A Time To Build; A Time To Destroy


When I moved into my place in 1986, there were a lot of things that I was worried about.  I was talking to the Lord a lot then and I heard Him say not to be afraid of the giants in the land.  So we purchased it and started dealing with the giants.

One of those giants was the house.  It was a late 40’s or early 50’s mobile home with a shell built around it.  It had a 12’X20” addition on one side and was only put on the place for a summer get-away.  The master bedroom was 9’X10’ and was swamped when we put the bunk beds in there for the two oldest boys.  My husband and I slept on a hide-a-bed in the living room.  The second bedroom was so small it was hard to use as a storage room and much later when I had to loft a bed in there, the mattress barely fit and there was only a foot between that and the closet.  Imagine trying to make that bed. The bathroom was so small that I could sit on the toilet, brush my teeth and spit in the sink, adjust the heat on the bathtub, and turn the light off and on without rising.

After we added 2 babies to the living room/bedroom, we built an addition to the end of the trailer that matched the first part.  That space was 12’X20’ and I put 3 bedrooms in there.  Each one was 6’ wide with a 4’X8’ loft bed. One of these had two lofts…..one halfway up with a crib mattress.  This is when I gave the oldest boys in their own space, the youngest boys a shared space, and made the storage room back into a bedroom for my daughter.

I have done a lot of patching on this trailer to make it serviceable.  The floors have hardboard over soft places.  I have put in windows and doors to improve access and light.  I took out the smallest bedroom when my oldest son moved out so we could have more room in the dining room to sit at the table.  I have stuffed paper into the cracks between the trailer and the shell to slow the wind in the winter.  I took out the trailer window so that there was an open window between the trailer and the living room.  I have repaired the floor in the bathroom when we started getting sea sick on the toilet. I have varnished and painted to no avail.  It looks good for a week then the stains on the ceiling show through. There are too many holes to patch so mice, rats, and skunks have gotten in there.


Now it is time…..time to take the trailer out.  I have already removed the dividing walls in the addition to make one room.  Now I need to remove the trailer walls and roof to build something within the shell to allow me the space I need to hold workshops and training programs here.  The frame for the floor was sturdy so I wanted to keep it as a foundation.  I was going to do it myself but I was told that someone might want to do the job for the salvage.  So I put an ad on Craigslist and the “fun” began.

I was told by some that I was an awful person for wanting others to do the job for me while keeping the most valuable piece of the trailer, the floor frame.  One email was really nasty.

I was told they would be here at a certain time to do the job and they never came, never called.  This happened several times.

One group came, did part of the job, promised to return the next day, took one of my good tools and never came back, never called.

One person came and was slower than molasses in January.  She did do some work, but it was so inefficient that I could have done the job twice as fast by myself.  This one actually tried, but did not keep the boundaries that I had laid out so I did not allow her the bonuses that she wanted.  She got so mad that she left with nothing. This event is a long story which is truly sad.

So I get to go back to the old saying that if I want something done right, I have to do it myself.  It is sad in a way, but somehow I never expected anything else.

Here I am.  I have built.  Now I am destroying, so I can build again. This process is part of growth, part of moving on in life.


But the shell is showing the promise of its new life to come.

About Janolyn

I am a mother of 5 wonderful children, 4 boys and 1 girl. During the years that my children were growing up, we grew most of our own food with a vegetable garden, many fruit trees and berry patches. I grew flowers for joy. We milked goats and raised our own meats and eggs. I learned to make my own cheeses, butter, canned foods, sourdough, and fermented foods. I made our own health products like soap, hand creams, lip balm, and herbal tinctures. We live off the power grid and have learned to do without conveniences that most Americans consider essential. The land clearing and building has been mostly accomplished with hand tools; some of them even the right tool for the job. After a couple of miscarriages between #2 and #3 due to “standard medical procedures”, I consulted a midwife and my last 3 children were born safely at home. That was when I was first alerted to the fact that doctors did not know everything nor would they have the time to share it with their patients if they did. As I learned the basic principles of heath-through-nutrition from my midwife, I learned alternative gardening practices from her husband. That introduction started a lifelong love of learning the practical life of our ancestors. I want to share what I have been learning with you and learn from those who are also living a sustainable life.


A Time To Build; A Time To Destroy — 5 Comments

  1. Hey girl
    I think i know one of your kids, lol. I left our website for you, i’m sure you are one that will appreciate my husbands work. Good luck and have fun!
    PS Nice looking grandsons too. They are precious.

  2. I can’t believe how much room it looks like there is in that old trailer in the pictures. We know better!! So glad to see it going away.

  3. I am impressed by what you are endeavoring to do & have had a great time reading through your blog. I just want to encourage you to continue with your herbal supports and homestead healing help you are giving your animals…I want to learn more! I’m interested in the cayenne you used with the animals…I make a lot of tinctures from herbs on our homestead, but your practical ‘how-to’ would be a great resource…
    Looking forward to more Herbal wisdom!

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