End of a Chapter

As it happened, 2015 was the year a number of chapters were closed. One chapter closing, that of my Dad’s life, was particularly sad. He was a big fan of Nerdwood and would have loved to have seen Clare and I move in. At least he went out with a whole lotta love all around.
There were some chapters that were much happier to close. I finally got my degree (Bachelor’s), and managed to do so before all my hair fell out. More salient to this story, however, is that we finished the last of the cordwooding, at least in Nerdwood proper.

The log and winding road
Why wouldn't we want to work on a wide wood wall?

We began in June, with 4 bays on the second floor to go. This year, we had plenty of logs and dry sand to complete the job. We took a week off to head to upstate New York, where we attended the 2015 Continental Cordwood Conference, which has been held around North America approximately every five years since the mid-90s.

It was at the 2005 CoCoCo in Wisconsin that we really got fired up about designing and building Nerdwood, and it was great fun to attend the 2015 shindig as grizzled vets rather than the dewy-eyed rookies from our previous go-around. So many great people in the Cordwood scene, we got to visit with old friends like Richard and Becky Flatau, and we got to visit Rob and Jaki Roy’s Earthwood, which for us was like visiting Graceland. Here’s a picture of Earthwood, as seen from the living roof of one of their many many cordwood outbuildings:

The cordwood home that other cordwood homes call home

Back at Nerdwood, we plowed through the panels, scatting and be-bopping, throwing in shelflets:
Three shelves to the wind

…and gewgaws:
Is it an owl? Or is it Zoidberg?!

…and bottle ends:
Time to eat some ghosts!

Our excitement built; we prepped the final wall while still working on other walls, since we would both be working a separate wall at the same time to move things along. In addition to the top-of-the-stairs panel shown above, we finished the French door panel:
Ooh, la log!

…and the panel with the giant bedroom egress window:
Oh, so close...

Finally, on a hot hot August day, Clare places the final log in Nerdwood,
One small log for wall, one giant leap for Nerdwood

and stuffs mortar around it.
Does this mean we can get our Master Mortar Stuffer certificates?

I had the honor of the last of the pointing.
Very impressive! Let's see how you do against my one-glove technique

Whew!

We started laying logs here in August 2008, and seven years later, we put up the last one. A much longer process than I could have imagined. Now when we look at the walls, we remember what the weather was like that day, who helped us that week, what sci-fi podcast or outré music we were listening to when we did that panel. So many tidbits of stories mortared up with each log.

We have lots more to do before we can move in, and we still need to finish the shed (so don’t put away that mortar mixer just yet!), but we have finished a major portion of the work, and the end seems much more tangible than it ever has. We hope to move into an unfinished Nerdwood in December 2016, but in the meantime, we’ll enjoy some peppers from a great gardening season.

Booker T should have called it 'Green Peppers'

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