#13 - Ahhhhhhh!!!

caricature by Anola

I remember the moment well... I WAS DONE! I was ready to live on our Adirondack property forever more. I could not take the real estate search any longer. The kids were fussing and I was stressed out!

After my rant, it was obvious I needed the day off...

So we decided to visit Yellowstone for a break, and heading south to the Park. John wanted a coffee and stopped in Gardiner on our way.

When he got out and crossed the road to the coffee shop, a man walked over and ask if we were looking for property. (We were driving a truck with out of state plates and it was the ‘off season’.)

I of course said "NO!". John said "maybe".

John was driving, so he followed our new acquaintance to his house at the edge of town on the Yellowstone River. It was a purple home in poor condition. I refused to even get out of the truck.

John politely went in... and found out the vacant property next to it went along with the purple home. Hmmmmm...

The view was absolutely spectacular. Breathtaking really – south facing, overlooking Yellowstone National Park on the Yellowstone River.

WOW - We had not seen anything like this on our real estate searches. Amazing views of Yellowstone, on the water, south facing for solar potential. Just what we had been looking for - for years now!

We called him that night and told him we’d take it.

But how would we make the finances work? To make it possible, I’d need a BIG loan to tie us over. We would need to own 2 houses while we transitioned to Montana.

This was during the banking debacle and this may be why ;) We obtained a large loan and we were off and running...

The plan was to pay it off later when we sold our Adirondack home and studio. Fingers were crossed, knowing that if we couldn't sell our home and studio in time, financial disaster loomed.

Visiting the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman in December.

It was all falling into place, so we flew out to sign the paperwork in December for our new Montana property. (And of course go to the Museum of the Rockies while we were in town – since our general rule of travel is to hit the nearby museums during our downtime.)

We took measurements of the property and started drawing building plans when we got back to New York.

Now, we had just enough building confidence to be really scary. Plans were getting BIG, since we were trying to put it all under one roof this time. It seemed like one building would be a little simpler to make working and caring for 2 small kids at the same time possible. The design needed to fit into Gardiner and be all about the view.

It was a full winter and spring to say the least... continuing to work on our commissions and meeting those deadlines while designing our Montana property, getting the Adirondack property ready to sell and packing everything...

Moving thoughts still give me a little PTSD.... We had a business with loads of hand tools, power tools and a wide variety of supplies, the business office had all kinds of paperwork, electronics and filing cabinets, books, and more books, 2 kids and all that comes with them, a swing set, cats, dogs, plants, you name it! Even granite slabs that we never installed in NY we moved with us. After all, we might need them in our new building venture.

Finally, we got it all loaded in a freight truck, shut the doors and drove away from the house & studio we worked on for 15 yrs. Driving 2 vehicles, our work utility trailer and a camper too across the country to Gardiner to meet the freight truck there - with the much needed help of a friend. Thanks Jim!

My one stipulation for our real estate purchase – by the time we drive up to house on move-in day.... Please have the home painted tan instead of purple! Giving up a property I had put my heart and soul into – I just could not leave it behind and pull up to a purple house in Montana. Luckily, the owner was a previous house painter, so that wasn't a problem.

This is where we started…

It’s tan – and there are pretty mountains in the back.

I could only see the potential… when I went inside an eagle flew right by the window. It was going to be good, but we had a VERY long way to go – as we knew all too well!

At least this time we could live here and build there.

We moved in at the end of June, got the kids set up and the business up and running. (We still had commissions with previously established deadlines that we had to continue working on.) A week later we began excavating for our new home and studio...

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