We have been a long time building the big house ( at 1600 sq.ft. it is not really so big.) but at last it is finished enough to move into. The house is still sheathed in black tar paper and it will have several layers reapplied before the cedar siding is cut from still more trees by a portable mill and nailed on. Bedrooms have ‘temporary’ carpeting over the plywood sub-floors and some furniture waits for me to design and make it. The kitchen cabinets and stairs are beautiful though, made of hardwood planks we have milled from our own maple trees. Friends have given us some contorted willow branches from which to make the curved handles. Owner built houses on Saltspring are seldom really finished and indeed it would seem like we were putting on airs if our neighbours were to see us rushing to a perfect finish. Rural rustic is the style of the day.
It is time, and all our goods come down from the log cabin which will now become Heather`s mother`s summer home. All those anonymous garbage bags stacked in the big open- area downstairs room are just a little intimidating for Heather to unpack but over the next two weeks things settle in and find a place to live. This house is almost three times the size of the cabin and, including the basement and the loft, is on five levels stacked up in a split level arrangement. We no longer all share one big room as we have done for the past three years. We notice that we all move upstairs as a group, it is so lonely all alone by oneself. Gwyn especially finds this a difficult transition, she doesn`t remember any other home than the cabin. One thing though, all three girls don`t know enough to feel hard done by that they all must share one big bedroom.