Chapter 9: Living in the HemLoft
In August 2011, the dream was almost complete… the only part left, was to live it. Initially, I had hoped we could live in the HemLoft for most of the summer, but by the time we had finished building Sven’s house, relocated all our belongings, and visited with family, we only had a week before our scheduled departure for Nova Scotia. It wasn’t the long term living experience I had in mind, however, that week turned out to be so delightful, that it couldn’t possibly endure, except as a memory.
When Heidi and I arrived there, it was a surreal feeling to be walking through the woods with a suitcase, instead of an armful of planks. Since starting work on the HemLoft, it was an uninhabitable construction zone and I had only slept there a handful of times. Now we were actually going to live in it! After a day or two of settling in, we felt like we were in the lap of luxury. We had a bounty of showering options in nearby waterfalls and lakes, and, if the need arose, there were plenty of unused hottubs in the neighborhood. In the mornings, we’d say hi to Mr. Bear, from the comfort of the loft, as he poked around the area on his daily route. Then we’d pick the twigs out of our hair and head into town for an espresso resuscitation, and some worldly news. After that, we’d round up some fresh food from the market and head back to enjoy al-fresco meals on the deck. Life was grand.
Besides tying up some loose ends, such as landscaping and building furniture, there was only one other thing I wanted to do while we were there: photo-document the final thing. Heidi and I had bought a Nikon SLR about a month previous, and we had been having fun playing around with it and getting used to the settings. That week, the weather was wonderfully sunny and we were able to capture some of the magic that we had been graced with.
The photos turned out well, and once we had pared them down to a set we both liked, we’d take almost any opportunity to show them to our friends. It was gratifying to show people what I had done. There was something about secretly building a treehouse on land that wasn’t mine, with money I didn’t have, that had made me question my own sanity… so seeing the impression it made on others was pleasantly validating.