• Your new life and its keywords

    by  • August 24, 2011 • Design, Home Building

    House place, mountain, barn wood, waterfalls, these words describe the place we found in the mountains near Yosemite and Bass Lake. When we made the momentous decision to buy property in our favorite vacation spot, it started a whole series of changes, of mind, of lifestyle, of financial decisions and really, the meaning of our families’ lives together.

    Thinking of keywords can help when brainstorming about what you want a new home to be like. When faced with the task of creating a new home, you have to come through. Planning is glorious fun, but at some point you have to make the decisions on what to build, what to decorate with, what possessions to keep and use and so forth.

    Home Planning notebook cover

    Home Planning notebook cover

    On the many trips over five years to and from our new plot of land in the Sierras, I had lots of time to think.  In each trip, five hours long, I’d pack a tote with magazines, and a notebook and my precious “Home Planning Notebook”. These all fit in a canvas tote bag which always got packed in the car for our treks up to our new home property.

    On one trip, I made a list of words, that described my new home (which did not exist yet), or which came to mind when thinking of our new mountain lifestyle. This kind of brainstorming can help when you are in this situation or when redecorating.  It was a help to steer us in the right direction and keep the process from becoming too confusing. Here’s the list:

    From this list you can tell that the natural surroundings are as important as is the wildlife here. Children, grandchildren, family and friends are also a priority. Protection from the elements, warmth and good food,…are all necessities for a comfortable enjoyable life. Clay, rocks, barn wood, redwood, gravel,…practical building materials.

    Reading, learning, riding (motorcycles), camping and parties, …were those things I thought I’d be doing? I didn’t know yet about wood chopping, wood carrying, fire building, clearing brush, hauling our own trash and helping with neighbors and friends work projects: a way of life here in a small town.

    Osprey, dragonflies, blue jays and deer. Wind, heat, shade and clouds, satellites, stars, campfires and kids. Bull pines and bear clover, chaparral and moss, towhees and grosbeak and hawks and skunks.  Coyotes and snakes, mosquitoes and quail.  Sunrise and sunset and time going by.  These are the things that for us mean home.


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.