seekinghaven (seekinghaven) wrote,

  • Mood:


Something is wrong.  Something is terribly wrong.

The four of us met with the Civil Engineer today.  We came up with a rough plan that will get the ball rolling on putting in a driveway and starting to build Haven, and we hired the Civil Engineer, giving him a check for his retainer. 

This should be a joyous time.

But afterwards, halfway through dinner with Lee, I felt let down, and as I talked with him about it, I felt increasingly tearful and sad. 

I would have cried myself to sleep in his arms tonight, if I had been able to go to sleep.  Scott and Shannon are afraid that when they are 70, they might lose all they have built if we do not do all the permitting and stuff now.  

I feel like my cob home is slipping away from me.  I feel like I've already lost what I have wanted so much, and worked so hard for.

I feel like my baby has been taken away from me.

This is me being fearful and very unhappy.  I wrote these thoughts last night at 1am, lying in bed in the dark, my face wet with tears, and unable to sleep.  I finally put on the CPAP and fell into a troubled sleep.    
Such a strong reaction says there is something I need to pay attention to.  At the time I began to be aware of it, I wasn't clear why I felt that way, although very early on, I told Lee that I felt like my cob home was slipping away from me.  

He said that at Haven, he would be sleeping the shop -- he didn't care what the house was made of.  He said if we build a permitted dwelling, it has to meet code.  The day before, he said he was increasingly doubtful that the county would let us build a cob dwelling, and that he thought that strawbale would be expensive.  He was disappointed that it would take so long before we would be allowed to move onto our land. 

Yes, the County has the gall to forbid us to live on our own land until there is a permitted dwelling on it.  Their code specifically prohibits the use of a recreational vehicle as a residence in AF-20 zoned land, even temporarily (except for medical hardship).  Other jurisdictions allow owner-builders to live in trailers or RVs or whatever on their land while they are building.   While we may erect a tent without a permit, we may do so for only 10 days out of 30.  There is no consideration of us dealing responsibly with issues of sanitation, water, and our own health and safety.  This is wrong! 

And costly.  Rent is already eating into the money we have set aside for Haven, and our ability to set aside more.

I have met and talked with a very helpful cob contractor/builder in Portland, and discussed issues related to getting a cob structure such as we want permitted, vs having to go "under the radar".  My comrades have not yet met with him, although I relayed to them a summary of what he advised me.  There are permitted cob structures in Portland, but no permitted cob dwellings, yet.   I have reason to believe that we can get a satisfactory cob and/or strawbale/cob dwelling through the permitting process, albeit not as easily as a mainstream stickbuilt home.  It worries me to think that Lee may be giving up hope. 

One thing I need to do soon is arrange a meeting of the four of us with Joshua, the cob builder/contractor.  

But  first, I need to get clear about what my fear and unhappiness is about.  What are the things that are so important to me that I feel this upset, this alarmed, that they may be threatened?  I have some ideas about that...

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