Author of fiction novels, short stories, book reviews and other online content, Peggy Cole has been writing articles on HubPages since 2009.
The View From the Porch
The best thing we ever did for ourselves was when made our five-year plan for the future. We called it the Plan of May 14th because that was when everything changed for us. Once we identified what we really wanted, we were able to start working toward our goals.
One of the first things on our wish list was to move out to the country away from our crowded neighborhood and the barrage of other people's music. Thefts and break-ins were becoming commonplace in our subdivision. We wanted a bigger yard and a safer place for our dogs. One of our dogs had been fighting with the neighbor's dog through our chain-link fence.
We decided we needed at least five acres outside of the city limits where we would build our own house.
- Find out what you want and write it down.
- Put your written plan in a place where it can be seen every day.
- Be willing to get up early to fulfil your dreams.
- Don't be afraid of some hard work.
Our plan took shape after we met some people who had actually built their own house. They invited us out for dinner in the country and we shared an amazing sunset over the nearby lake.
As night slowly crept in and darkness transformed the sky into a carpet of glittering stars, we decided this was the life for us. Helping them build their detached garage helped us to develop new skills and gain confidence in our abilities.
After that, we started looking for a piece of property to buy. We spent a few weeks driving around in rural areas before we found a ten-acre plot that had a lake view in the distance. We called the number on the sign and negotiated a great deal.
Once we closed on the property, we decided to build a pole barn and live in that while we built our house. It turned out, that wasn't the way to go. It would take us too long, so we changed gears.
Building a Pole Barn
Every Saturday morning instead of sleeping in, we'd get up early and head for the local homebuilder's supply where we bought only as much lumber and materials as we could pay for in cash. We were determined not to go into debt. That was a key factor for us. We already had one mortgage payment and a land payment so sticking to our budget was important.
We brought our own food, filling our cooler with sodas, sandwiches and snacks before beginning our day of labor in the hot sun. Having shade was essential for surviving the blistering sun of the Texas summer. We rigged up a tarp with tent poles and drank a lot of water to avoid dehydration. Hosing ourselves down with a garden sprayer helped when we needed to cool down.