Friday, August 04, 2006

ETC: Just Call Me Doppelganger, Esq.

Considering we've never owned anything larger than our truck, you can imagine how insanely giddy Rusty and I feel at the fact that we've just bought some land! Real land, with dirt and rocks and trees and everything!

About a year ago, we decided that half a million dollars is too much to spend on a decrepit bungalow with needles and used condoms in the yard, and since that's the going rate for houses here in good ol' Vancouver -- the most sustainable city in the world, dontcha know -- we decided to set our sites further afield and look at land on the nearby Gulf Islands. After a year of searching, we've finally found it, and it's pretty damn sweet. (We've posted a short video over on Vidiotbox, if you're interested.)

It's going to take a while to build a living structure on our new land. We want to do it right. Whatever we build will be designed to integrate into the landscape. It'll have a small footprint, to minimize its ecological impact. There'll be minimal building waste. We'll be using solar panels to provide most of our power, as there's no electricity on the island. We want to feel good about our place, in every sense of the word.

And when we do have a little house of our own, one of the first things we're going to do is frame this passage from a book we both love:*
Lennie spoke craftily, "Tell me –- like you done before."

"Tell you what?"

"About the rabbits... Come on, George. Tell me. Please, George. Like you done before."

"You get a kick outa that, don't you? Awright, I'll tell you, and then we'll eat our supper."

George’s voice became deeper. He repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before. "Guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no fambly. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an' work up a stake and then they go to town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin' their tail on some other ranch. They ain't got nothing to look ahead to."

Lennie was delighted. "That’s it –- that's it. Now tell how it with us."

George went on: "With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us..."

Lennie broke in. "But not us! An' why? Because... because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why." He laughed delightedly. "Go on now George!"

"You got it by heart. You can do it yourself."

"No, you. I forget some a' the things. Tell about how it’s gonna be."

"O.K. Someday we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and... "

"An’ live off the fatta the land!" Lennie shouted.

*Yes, we know how this story ends. We choose not to think about that.


Maya said...

A good quote maketh a house, a home. Big congrats on a) Lannnd! b) being ecologically kind. Small note: I had so many links and so little techie know-how that I moved all mine from my regular blog to another blog, meant just for links. Let me know if you'd like another description on Chock Late, the Linkening.

Anonymous said...

OM&M was the first, and only, class-required reading book that made me cry.

Anonymous said...

Is there a Starbucks there?

You don't know it now but one day you'll miss those urban machette attacks.

Deanna McFadden said...


Em said...

Gulf Islands! Someone on a Gulf Island somewhere signs my paychecks. Hence, I love them.

Alice said...

Congratulations! That's very cool indeed.

My parents are on Vancouver Island - is that close? I know nothing of you west coasters and your tricky islands.

And I've just realized I've never read Of Mice & Men. How shocking is that? I'm going to get on that right away.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! That sounds amazing. Land, Hoh!

Claire said...

Congrats, landowner!


PS May I link to you from my blog, please? You are so witty about books and toddlers.

Anonymous said...

Look into building a yurt (or ger, same thing really, just a different name.) Reference book recommendation:
"Build a Yurt" Len Charney

Tammy said...

Hey! Thanks, all!

Alice, you must read Of Mice and Men, but I warn you: it will make you cry. But it'll be worth it. To answer your question, the Gulf Island are between the Lower Mainland (which Vancouver is part of) and Vancouver Island. They're a chain of about a dozen or so small islands, and each one has its own character and demographic. Which one you pick is like a litmus test for your personality, so you can imagine the pressure to choose wisely.

Meepers, I'm intrigued. The Linkening? Please tell me more.

Claire, please do link to my site! I get all blush-y every time someone blogrolls me. And thanks so much for your kind words. Books and toddlers occupy pretty much my entire universe these days. Heh.

And Anonymous, much as I love yurts, Rusty gets anxious without corners to hide in, so sadly, the noble yurt is out of the running.

Anonymous said...

Poor Rusty! My Ding is partial to under the bed and under the diningroom table. Would a little under-cabinet hidey-hole work for him?