Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Day Nine of the New Dream...

It was eight years ago-almost to the day-when I decided to give up the conventional life of working for someone else so I could afford the finer things like a nice truck, a comfortable house and so many other things guys go into debt over just to impress a girs or at least, to make a life for said girl. In fact, the girl I was dating at the time decided to buy that house on her own in Townsend, which was way too far from the river to make a serious go at the guiding thing so I decided to buy my own dwelling--a 1967, fifteen foot Shasta camper and I moved it up to Craig, MT where I would give up everything to be a trout bum.
A lot of guys thought what I was doing was kick-ass.Guys that were easily making six figures were telling me how awesome it was that I was actually living in a, "van down by the river," (as Chris Farley would say,) to live out my dreams. A number of them suggested I write a blog about it so I did and a few started living vicariously through me. Here's the deal though; living in a 15 foot camper is cool for a few days or maybe even a week but the reality is, is that for an extended period of time, it really sucks.
I stayed in that little camper for seven months through the guide season and then into the hunting season before finally giving into the cold and moving out. After spending the winter in Minnesota, (I know, most guys go to Florida or somewhere warm but I decided to be with family and hunt crappies...) I graduated to a single bedroom cottage that was roughly 400 square feet we affectionately named, "The White House."
The White House served me well. It was convenient. It had a fenced in yard for my dogs. It wasn't very nice so it wasn't like there was a lot of upkeep. It was small so cleaning wasn't too bad. There was just enough room for my fishing and hunting gear but the problem was, you couldn't have two people in that place and turn around without knocking into each other which again, is cute and all for a few days but...
Again, a lot of people--mostly dudes that were tired of their jobs--thought the White House was kick-ass in that minimalist, kind of giving my finger to the man so-to-speak way of living a life of leisure and pursuing dreams. I was. I was really living the dream and I was having fun but let me tell you, it's not all that appealing to the opposite sex and really not all that practical either for a partner. But I was cool with it. I was having fun and I was living a life where I didn't have to answer to anyone...but just so you know, not answering to anyone also means there's not really anyone there to listen to you either and that sucks.
So here's the deal; I met a girl that has somehow given me perspective and although I've fought it tooth and nail, I decided...we decided, it was time to grow up and we wound up buying this house and in the past nine days I've been ripping out carpet, chiseling out linoleum, tearing out walls and cutting the shit out of my hands and forearms on random nails and staples that seem to be in every piece of material coming out of that house and I have to say, it's kind of fun...I mean in a sadistic kind of way. It's fricken hard work but I'm realizing that seeing a project like this gain momentum and start to come together is also pretty kick-ass.
So here's where we are at; ALL of the carpet is out. All of the linoleum is out of the kitchen and dining room, (BTW, who the hell puts linoleum in a kitchen and dining room in 2005?) and the wall is gone. We contracted an electrician to move the switches and outlets and to put in better lighting. (There was actually a florescent light like you'd see in dry storage at Perkins in our kitchen.) We also have decided on solid oak flooring with carpet on the stairs and in two of the bedrooms that will be installed mid-June and there's a painter working on the entire upstairs as I write this. I am acting as the general and I'll be honest, I'm just glad I've been given the names of some really good dudes because I don't know what the hell I'm doing. But it's working out and I feel like the work I am doing is saving us a lot of money. That's good because I haven't been working a lot on the river since this has pretty much consumed me so it's kind of a wash.
Speaking of the river, this Friday starts a marathon of day for me, which I'm excited about but it also means I have to get everything in order before I become unavailable. Wish me luck.
Keep 'em where they live...