In the early 80’s I moved to Lopez Island as a haven to raise my two children as a single mom. I was struck with the “pioneering spirit” and wanted to experience building from scratch. So after buying five acres, I took a year to create a clearing in the midst of the tall firs, and then peeled many poles for the post and beam cabin and house, and had remaining trees milled for lumber.
I first built the cabin in the summer of 1981 summer, basing the design on what I could see of barn construction. The post and beam style has hand peeled poles, rafters and BIG windows and skylights . Many upgrades to ensure comfort have happened since then! My kids and I lived in the cabin for three years while I and a talented craftsman worked on the octagon house. It took a total of seven years to complete the house, as many of the custom joints were carefully fitted and the uniqueness of the design demanded creative approaches to traditional building. In those days you could build with an owner builder permit and we ended up doing everything ourselves.
There is something that happens when you live in the space you have created yourself. I got to see a reflection of my dreams and perhaps even of myself manifested in a form that has a permanence that has shaped my life. Building my home with the materials that grew here has given me a feeling of being an integral part of the nature that daily surrounds me. I am so grateful to live here as I do, and find it a pleasure to share that gratitude of island life with others.
Though there is the endless “keeping up” of a homestead, I no longer pound many nails or peel poles. I find myself working with others on land conservation, and sharing perceptions of sacred ecology in retreats. I enjoy having Ravens Rook Lodging as my small business—a way to share the riches of a quiet island life.
May it ever be so.