I expressed a few of my views in the past episode of this blog. The response was definitely underwhelming. Nevertheless, I go on:
My fourth “ONLY” is about contractors. Since our cabin has been a weekend retreat for the past 74 years it’s missing some of what we consider essential, most importantly closets. We sleep in the loft, which means that when nature calls at 2:30 in the morning, I have to climb down our steep, narrow galley stairs to reach the bathroom. I will continue to use our travel trailer parked on our lot as my office until my study/office/retreat/area-insulated-from-Monique-when–she’s-sleeping is built out.
Quickly giving in to the common sense of adding on to make our lives here more comfortable, Monique began planning an addition, which has involved working with architectural designer David Lilieholm to fashion a build-out with a bathroom and study upstairs over a new kitchen on the main floor. And, hooray, there will be closets!
The first requirement for David was to not change the “cabiny” feeling of the place. With Monique’s intense involvement, that will be accomplished. To achieve livability, we began our quest to select a local contractor. Lord, there were names of contractors coming out of the woodwork. I think there may actually be one contractor for every 46 residents on or near The Hill. We wonder how so many survive in this small community.
I loved it when I was having lunch with Les Walker at the Red Kettle and mentioned our process of selecting a general contractor. Almost immediately the restaurant erupted in a discussion of who’s good, who’s available, who hasn’t been seen here since 1992, “but he does a great job.” We finally made the decision (more on that in future weeks). So my fourth “ONLY” is the general contractor demographic.
We Idyllwildians are not unique in not having mail delivered to our doors – I experienced the same in Orange County’s Silverado Canyon. Nor are we the only folks required to visit “the dump” to empty our
garbage cans. Having coyotes, deer and other feral critters is a bit unusual but certainly doesn’t set us apart; it just makes living here more exciting.
After all our months here, we are still in awe of how blessed we have been to have chosen Idyllwild and appreciate the fact that it has chosen us. After selling our home in San Clemente in 2006, we traveled in our RV enjoying the nomadic lifestyle. Over those five years on the road, we had two informal goals: 1) to visit all 50 states in our trailer (using a rental in Hawaii), and 2) to find the best place to buy our permanent home for when we were ready to stop full-time traveling.
We have not yet reached America’s Northeast as RVers (we have been there in years past), but we know that it would not work as a permanent place to put down roots since we are both comfortable in the southern climes when temperatures drop. Early in our journey, we began making an informal list of places where we would consider buying a cabin or cottage. Nevada City, California; Mountain View, Arkansas; and Cortez, Colorado, were on our list over the years. We found a great opportunity for purchasing a cabin outside beautiful Sandpoint, Idaho, but realized that wouldn’t work because of the frigid winters.
We have been to thousands of towns across America and western Canada, always open to the chance that “This might be the place.” We picked Idyllwild over all of them, and each day we express our thankfulness that we made that decision. It fits our personalities and budget perfectly.
We’re certain that that could have happened ONLY IN IDYLLWILD.
Happy RVers, but At Home on The Hill
Barry & Monique
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved