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ABI, ADU's & cottages. The story begins once upon a time...

The Story

It wasn't dawn, but to a seven-year-old it was close enough. My mom pried me out of bed and her logger friend, Randy, asked if I was up for a visit to his house. I liked Randy. And I'd never been to his house before. My sleep, I decided, could be sacrificed. We piled into his pickup's front seat and Randy drove. Mom hummed. I might have closed my eyes. The next time they opened, we were in a forest. Randy turned up a makeshift road and, weaving through beastly evergreens, bounced us along until the cratered dirt segued into an open field. We slowed and Mom gestured out the window, delighting me with the news that I'd have free reign of the place. For now.

I parked myself at the field's edge and got to work prying up a massive rock I determined was covering a few of the forest's gems. As I held the first, a foot long earthworm, up for inspection, I heard a motor barreling up our road and turned to see a man--Joe the Carpenter I would later call him--in his own pickup, pulling alongside me. He admired my find, then asked if I'd be willing to part with it long enough to help him unload the two steel beam skids that spanned the length of his truck bed. Mom and Randy reappeared in hard hats and handed one my way. They told me the four of us weren't visiting Randy's house. We were building it. A tiny cottage in the forest where he and other loggers could live while on the job.


Suddenly, my worm did not seem so exciting.

We worked all day hammering floorboards, installing window sash, attaching roll roofing. Mom and Joe passed the time arguing over who would build and hang the door. Tradition had it the honor went to the most experienced carpenter. By dusk, Mom was tightening its last hinge.

We slept in the forest that night, but I never saw the stars or felt the soft give of the ground below. Instead, I fell asleep atop a flat, hard, wood floor, gazing at the shadowy grooves of a ceiling not seven feet above me. And even though the moon shone and the coyotes prowled and the trees whispered to each other outside, I felt the true magic in here. Between the walls of an 8' x 24' cottage that, only ten hours before, had been a pile of lumber and a keg of nails.

What we had done that day--what we had made from nothing--was truly awesome. I fell asleep exhausted, content, and certain of one thing: I would make more.

I'm Stan Mitchell and for fifty years I've dreamed of building cottages. Have you dreamed of owning one?