We have survived our first full year here in Amador County, and for the most part we have few regrets about leaving the urban sprawl. The routine is mostly broken up with projects aimed at getting our house built, so we can move out of our “modest’ accommodations. In the past year we have had the pad for the house graded, and just recently received the plan package (all 10 pounds of it!) to submit to the County for a building permit. Once the concrete pad and block walls are done, they will ship us the house, in panel format, out from Indiana. Once the kit is here it will be up to us to nail it together. Suffice to say, it will be a couple of years before we move in. For the time being, we are comfortable and look forward to getting more accomplished.
Rita continues to telecommute from our barn/living room. She is quite busy writing classes for Caltrans and in general keeping things going around here. Keeping the girls’ education on track, with loans, grants, etc. is another pastime. Her new hobby is drainage, and keeping the rain from washing our property down into Ridge Road. When it’s drippy outside she can be found in her rain gear trenching away, trying to convince nature which way the runoff should go. Rita dug out the paved section of the driveway this year and got some sealer down. This took a couple of tries, suffice to say the second time she did it cones and tape were put up so the mail delivery didn’t drive in and mess it up! She is also getting quite adept with a chainsaw, something of a necessity when you live up here. Rita also became proficient in AutoCAD during the design of the house, which Chris appreciated!
Chris looks forward to the day when the house is done, and Rita’s barn office can be turned into his hobby room. Until then there is plenty to do getting the Tiki bar decorated, cooking a few meals, and myriad other chores that must be performed to keep the wolves at bay. He has been practicing his cocktail making skills, much to the delight of Rita and the neighbors. No one has complained so far, but practice makes perfect. Volunteer work has taken a back seat for now to getting the work done on the property, but Chris hopes to get back to that again one day.
Anne continues her college life at San Jose State. She has a boyfriend, Jack, who lives in Ohio, so that makes things rather complicated for her. Jack visited over the Thanksgiving weekend, and was a welcome addition to our family. She teaches elementary age kids art as a side job, which pays for plane fare, and goes home to Pine Grove every couple of weeks to see the folks and do laundry (sometimes not in that order). She is applying for internships for the summer and next school year. With any luck she will fall into something she really enjoys doing while showing off her artistic talents.
Emily is in her second year at Fullerton, continuing in the Drama program with her sights on perhaps one-day teaching. Most nights she can be found working at her job at Disneyland, where drama abounds. She enjoys mingling with the guests, as well as the extra cash. She made it up to Pine Grove a few times this year, even driving herself up once, which qualifies as her very first road trip. She is quite possibly going to spend a semester in Wales next year, which should give her a more “rounded” view of the world around us. Her parents are looking forward to possibly visiting if she goes over.
That’s about it for this year. Thanks to all our friends that managed to come up and visit or at least keep in touch. Our dog Kona loves visitors! With any luck, next year we will have pictures to share of a house framework. Fingers Crossed!
Chris Rita Anne Emily & Kona