“…in the chambers of my heart beats a love for every crooked timber of this shitbox of a structure.”

Once upon a time I lived in a quaint little cabin in the woods. Well the quaintness wore off a bit some time ago -sometime right before I tore the roof off of it. That was four years ago. Then about a year and a half ago most of the woods got knocked over. They laid hither and thither in large piles covered under blue tarps. Then the gravel truck started showing up. You see one of the problems with building in the sub-arctic is that the ground is often mischievous.

A long time ago it was much colder and windier and the mighty glaciers ground down the mountains that rise to the south of us. Dust in the wind. Take that dust and pile it up against the low hills to the north of us and you get loess, a fine clay like sediment that is very susceptible to freeze-thaw mechanisms -such as frost heaves- also it tends to turn to slime when wet. So, if you build a house on top of it and the ground warms up your house sinks. Then winter happens and the ground expands, as frozen materials are wont to do, and your house heaves and shifts. Most buildings are not meant to withstand this sort of rigor, especially not some half built shitbox. So the drywall is all cracked inside, the front doors are a seasonal challenge -at times not opening  and at others not closing- and all the while the quaint little cabin has been getting swallowed up by the ground…and eaten by tree rats and ants in case you forgot.

Anyways, back to the gravel. To avoid this unfortunate scenario one can choose to pile up large quantities of gravel in an effort to keep the ground insulated and then build on top of that…but wait. that is still not enough. The structure at this point ought still to be elevated so as to avoid heating up said gravel pile, which could in turn heat up the loess and once again the maw of the Sarlac opens beneath you. Well, perhaps it is not that dramatic, but you get the picture.

But I get ahead of myself. I meant to discuss the trees. They were mostly rather nice trees, although a few of which due to certain geologic complications discussed above, were leaning in a rather threatening manner towards both the house and the garage. Now, while having a 2 ton spruce tree fall through the middle of said cabin might achieve a similar result as the aforementioned fire, it seemed better to convince them to fall otherwise. I got a bit carried away. So the trees became logs, which in turn have mostly become timbers, which…ideally remember, will become a timberframe.

Damn fool am I.


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