My grandfather built his house from the ground up- he got back from World War Two and found that the bank wouldn’t loan him any money to build it, so he and my grandmother lived in the poured concrete basement with a little roof over it while he worked and saved money to add on.
Once they saved enough, they built the first story. Later, a second story, and so on. Their piece of land was (coincidentally) the same size as the piece of land I own- three acres- and the back woodlot was an acre attached to a larger piece of forest.
Because of pine bark beetles, most all of the pine trees had died off in the 1970s. The forest was all hardwoods, mostly giant white oaks with the largest acorns you’ve ever seen. Because the trees there had stood for well over a hundred years, the canopy was high and the forest floor was pretty much completely free of underbrush. In winter, there was a carpet of broad oak leaves that was as crisp and noisy to walk through as corn flakes. Back when Buddha was still with me, he and I would go back there and crash through the leaves for hours. Buddha looked kind of like an ice-breaker pounding through the leaves, about chest deep.
I was sincerely missing that yesterday- wishing I could go charging around in the woods with Big B one more time. But that woodlot was sold back in August, Buddha passed on a year before that, and the house is for sale. I’d buy it if I could afford it, but I don’t know what I’d do with it if I did.
If you have a dog, by the way, I suggest tackling him right now and hugging on him until he gives you The Look. Life’s too short not to spend more time with your dog.