HomeOur Happy Place - Stacy Willoughby

February 15, 2017by Stacy0


It’s finally happening! We’re in the final stretch of accomplishing a big milestone for ourselves, moving to our happy place in Chelan, Washington. This journey has been wonderful, and sometimes frustratingly, imperfect. It started with a weekend away during our first year together. We were staying at a cute bed and breakfast in the small town of Plain, outside of Leavenworth, Washington. We were driving around and spotted a few cabins along the river. One cabin was fully occupied with multiple families, kayaks leaning against the walls and other outdoor equipment littered around the property. Rick said it would be nice to have a place like that. I asked more questions and learned he often dreamed of a getaway in the woods.

Over the next few years, we often talked about that getaway. Where would be a good place? How much space would we want? What does the new house and property have to have? What would it take to create it? Finally, in 2009, we found our property near Lake Chelan. We spent the next several years building a small cabin. Family and friends have enjoyed weekends there with and without us. We speculated where we would build our new house. We got to know the charms of our new town. A well was drilled in 2015.

We had planned on building the house a year or two ago, but that didn’t happen. Somehow, it’s finally time. Rick doesn’t like change, but he does want to move there even though the prospect presents multiple challenges. Last fall Rick shared with me the story of when Cortes landed in Mexico. He burned the boats that had taken them to the new world so his men would have to conquer Mexico or die. There was no turning back. He was trying to embrace this attitude so that we could finally make a move to our happy place.

We plan to move into our tiny, 200 square foot cabin as we build our new house. Rick wants to be on site while the building is happening. I’m ready for a change of scenery, so I’m happy to go no matter how primitive the facilities will be initially. While the rough work on the new house is happening, we can do small things to make our cabin more livable on a full-time basis. Our initial projects will be finding work, putting up shelves for additional storage, setting up an outdoor shower, and installing a septic system.

Initially, we were going to sell our house. Instead, my brother and his family want to rent it out for a year. They have been living in Shanghai for the last seven years, working as teachers at an American school. Our house has been their occasional summer home and moving here makes it an easier transition for them. Although it isn’t quite like Cortes burning the boats, it does mean we can continue to store some of our stuff here. And it means Thanksgiving can happen at that house one more time!

While we wait for the snow to melt over there, we are packing, sorting, and purging the contents of our home. We’re planning and figuring out details. And I’m counting the months, weeks, and days.

Cabin in the snow

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