We soon came to realize, however, that we were not yet in a position to afford the larger house we planned; while at the same time, the cost of the "shop" had been paid entirely from savings. Raising children and the capital needs of establishing a farm business would prioritize our resources for the next three decades. During those early years we would make do with a smaller space and an outhouse. Barn-sash windows and varnished sub-floors would suffice, as needed machinery was acquired, additional farm buildings constructed, and berry fields planted. Over time, to accommodate our growing family, additions were made: a proper bathroom, a third bedroom, a pantry, and expanded living space--but many of the improvements languished in varying stages of completion. Still later, some original features of the house began to show wear or were in need of re-purposing.
Finally, now that our children are grown and the farm is complete, we are able to return our attention to finishing the house. Our son Jon, now an accomplished carpenter, helped to enlarge the master bedroom, remodel the bath making it handicap accessible, finish floors with tile or native oak hardwood, replace the barn-sash with energy efficient windows, and install substantial new cupboards and cabinets in the kitchen. Outside, gutters and down spouts were added and the entire building was re-stained. Late this fall we began the final project that will complete our home: a large open porch across the front of the original "core"--an outdoor space for Kennedy style rockers, a patio table and chairs, and a "bench railing" to provide informal seating for a gathering of the entire family or a party of friends.
Forty years in the making and very near to completion. Recently in my reading I came across a quotation that gives expression to my sense of fulfillment. In a meditation he recorded at Cadiz in 1587, Sir Francis Drake mused, “There must be a beginning of any significant endeavor, but the continuing unto the end until it is thoroughly finished yields the true attainment.”