We love houses. We love one another. This leads the four of us to the optimistic conclusion that our tiny backyard cottage adventure will go swimmingly. We already know that the bull terrier and the chihuahua are fully committed. This past month has been what our contractor has described as "the tearing off the band-aid stage," and that is exactly what it feels like. No “wait the garage isn’t empty yet.” No "wait the checking account isn’t robust enough." No "wait, the neighbors don’t know."
You see, the planning and permitting process took nearly a year and then this day arrived. There was no saying "wait!" there was just scurrying and hurrying to rescue a few last items from the garage, fatten the checking account and inform the neighbors. Everyone was anxious except the contractor and the dogs. A port-a-potty was delivered, followed by a trash bin big as big as the soon-to-be-built cottage. This was really going to begin.
So here we are! This is our record of the intergenerational living arrangement we are about to embark on and share with the world, or at least our families and loved ones. The cast of characters will evolve over time but for starters here are the brave souls who are tearing off the band-aid:
Drew! She is married to Jacob and lives in the 1910 craftsman home which (fortunately for her parents) has a backyard big enough to “trash” (the words of the contractor today). Meredith and Elyse are her mothers.
Jacob! He is married to Drew and also lives in the 1910 craftsman home. Meredith and Elyse are his mothers-in-law. They lovingly call him their "super son in-law". He handles it well.
Elyse! She currently resides in West Seattle, is the mother of Drew and mother-in-law to Jacob.
Meredith! She is also the mother of Drew and also mother-in-law to Jacob and lives with Elyse in West Seattle. Yes, Jacob is surrounded by a tribe of women.
Maude! She is the rescue chihuahua who is lives in the craftsman with Drew and Jacob. She is fully committed to the project, primarily because she will have more company.
Scout! He is the bull terrier who loves everyone and subscribes to the philosophy that home is where the heart is. He resides in West Seattle with Meredith and Elyse and thinks Ballard might be a nice change.
Bruce! He owns Microhouse. We had our first backyard cottage conversation with him. He designed the cottage and managed the permitting process that led us to where we are today.
Joe! He owns Viking Construction. He is very tall and very calm. We have complete faith in his powers of transformation.
It is important to note early on that Meredith and Elyse are baby boomers who will retire in 2017. This is part of their retirement plan. Stick with us as we play in the mud.