Friday, March 14, 2014

the land

hello! welcome to the resurrection of this, my once dearly beloved and highly active blog. in reopening these vaults i hope to share with you what is shaping up to be one of the most bizarre adventures/educational experiences i can possibly imagine.

about a year and  a half ago, with the help of Kim Weindel Volhontseff an incredibly patient and knowledgeable real estate agent, i bought a piece of property in pierce county, washington.

it is18.5 acres on a county road with a great view of mt ranier. (or almost great. needs a little clearing to open it up).
the land is more or less undeveloped. the previous owner had intended to build their retirement home there but circumstances changed and when he decided to sell it, he had only gotten as far as drilling a well and having a septic plan designed. this provided a perfect combination of a property which was raw enough to be sculpted the way i want with the peace of mind that it would pass the inspections demanded by regulatory authorities to prove it could support a home site.

being an hour and a half outside of seattle it is far enough to get the benefits of a secluded property, while being close enough to be within reach of the opportunities offered by urban centers. even as the property is shaped by the dream of self sufficiency i dont plan to ever fully abandon tattooing, the hobby/profession which has been the source of all good things in my life. barring the zombie apocalypse, its hard to imagine my life without some sort of connection to the tattooing trade.  even in the apocalypse i can probably do some sweet stick and poke.   
bordering the property is 1000 acres of forest owned by the University of Washington which uses the area for research but allows the public free recreational access. this means hunting and camping and all the wild activities i have come to love, literally right across the street. 
 the rest of the land is surrounded by large acre properties zoned against sub division. this means there is very little risk of waking up one day and suddenly finding myself surrounded by track homes and mini malls. at least according to the current zoning. though, as the process is unfolding i realize more and more what a slippery and convoluted slope this concept of "zoning" is and generally what a debilitating and marginalizing experience it can be trying to navigate the world of government regulation. but ill save that rant for another time.
i fell in love with this property the moment i set foot on it. it immediately had the 'it' factor i was looking for, with all of the features i had listed as requirements plus many added perks i would have gladly been able to live without but count as huge blessings and am incredibly thankful for.

the only roadblock was the owners asking price. when i first looked at it i decided it was just high enough to be stretching my upper limits too far.  none-the-less i couldnt get it off my mind, it nagged at me, it made a strong case that actually, when put in the right  place, maybe money COULD buy happiness. so i didnt take it off my list completely. if nothing else i kept it around as a basis of comparison, to hold up future candidates next to. after a few months of looking for a suitable second place and not finding it i decided there was nothing to lose and i could at least make an offer within my price range and what would i lose if the answer was no? 

the owner was open to meeting potential buyers and after getting to know him a little i realized he had more than a few personal reasons to be selective about who he sold to. his family had been in the area since the 1800's and were among the first settlers to arrive in that valley. they had been living off the land ever since and had strong ties to the community. he was not interested in selling to just anyone and wanted to know that the buyer would keep the land in good stead and be a good neighbor. he didnt want to look across his fields to see the woods that had provided his family with lumber and deer for a dozen generations get flattened, replaced with some disgusting modern architectural nightmare. he was happy to hear that i had every intention of keeping the land as close to its wild state as possible and during our meeting we caught a glimpse of a large cow elk grazing in the fields below the property. this inspired a few hunting stories exchanged between us along with the feeling that the other might not be such a bad guy to live next to.
i left with an even stronger desire for the property than when i arrived as well as a sad pessimism that there was no way he would accept my offer.

but he did.

and now, i have this view to look forward to:

 someday i will look out the east windows of a humble home, while sitting next to a warm wood burning stove and watch the sun set on mount ranier. i can envision this scene as clear as day yet it feels all the more real with you, dear reader as a partner to tell the tale to. as an observer  you help create this reality as well and for that i thank you and hope you continue to follow along on this strange adventure.

till next,

1 comment:

  1. Good on you for pursuing and actualizing your dream. We're leaving this state entirely to follow ours.