The bright light of a harvest moon floods through the high windows of our completed log cabin. Heather and I lie on our couch-bed looking up at the wooden cathedral ceiling and pine beams. The flickering light from the wood stove glints on the log walls. Over in the shadowy corner behind a screen our three precious children sleep all unaware of their parents sense of wonder. After over a year in the pumphouse and trailer we are finally living inside something that started as a big dream and now is reality. This is heady and potentially dangerous stuff. We have learned that dreams can be made to come true and if this one, why not another, and another?
Not only have I laboured hard through almost a year of seasons to complete this project, I have gained a long list of skills that I can put to use on the next big project. Not that I am enthusiastic right now about beginning the big house back beside the orchard on the other side of the stream. It seems too much to even think about right now and besides we are low on money. I need a job, and on this little island with a plethora of back-to-the-land ex-teachers looking for work it will have to be associated with one of my new skills. The secret of island work is to be multi-talented and ready for whatever is needed. My curse of having a million varied interests and abilities can start to pay off for us at last.
I begin work as a plumber in a house a friend is building for resale and it is just a slight bump in the road to become the electrician as well. Bruce says to me, “Look Bill, I don`t mind you looking things up in the Readers Digest book, but hide it when we have inspectors and prospective buyers come around eh?”
I take on building the kitchen cabinets and am finally left to do all the trim details on my own when the crew moves on to another house start. I have the prospect now of full time work but little time to build for myself. Catch 22.