Grit Blogs > Red Pine Mountain

Getting to Know Us

A photo of Mountain WomanHow did I find myself on Red Pine Mountain? For years, I was a Navy wife, moving from duty station to duty station, never staying long enough in one place to put down roots. I have no regrets. It’s wonderful to serve our country and the friends I have made and the places I’ve lived have enriched my life beyond measure. But my husband was killed, and after a while, I knew I wanted another relationship. But how to find someone when you’re middle aged and not interested in the dating scene? The answer was Eharmony, and when I read the profile of my Mountain Man, I knew he was the one for me.

Mountain Man has lived in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont on a 300 acre mountaintop farm for the past 30 years. Divorced many years ago, he was also searching for someone who shared his love of rural life. You would think that would be easy, but it wasn’t. Most women turned and ran as soon as they found themselves miles from the blacktop road and even farther from a city with the requisite shopping mall. But not me. I was entranced. And now I find myself married to an incredible man and living my dreams of raising animals, riding horses and learning to garden.

But what about my Mountain Man? He’s a logger and a craftsman. And one of the things I love about him is his great respect for the land. He knows we do not really own our farm but are stewards of the land responsible to the generations after us.

And with the timber he so carefully logs, he builds timber framed structures, and at the moment, he’s building a barn for me and my hay burners (his name for horses).

I thought you might enjoy watching the flooring made.

The red pine logs at the log landing. They will become the flooring for my barn.

Red Pine logs at our log landing.

Running the logs through the sawmill.

Running the logs through the sawmill

The lumber set out to dry.

Sawn boards set out to dry.

Running the flooring through the four sided planer.

Running boards through the four-sided planer.

Installing the flooring.

Installing the barn floor.

Almost finished.

Almost finished laying the floor

But does my Morgan horse, Khrysta, approve?

Khrysta, my Morgan mare, cheks out the new flooring.

Yes, she’s quite happy with her new accommodations, and so am I.

mountain woman
2/16/2010 11:47:37 AM

Nebraska Dave, Hurray!!! I have to tell you that you ARE most definitely a writer and an eloquent one at that and I look forward to all your stories. I'm so glad you are taking such a worthwhile and important trip. Yes, I loved what you said about simplicity and luxury. The rural lifestyle isn't for everyone and I appreciate people who recognize that they aren't cut out for this way of life but for those of us who can embrace it, there is no existence any better. I'm rich beyond luxuries. I live in nature, surrounded by beauty, animals and hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks Nebraska Dave for saying it so beautifully.


nebraska dave
2/16/2010 10:11:53 AM

MW, Ok, you talked me into it. I applied for a blog here on Grit. I guess it was time. I’ve been floating around on the Grit blogs for about a year. If I’m accepted, it should appear while I’m gone. I’m just a couple hours away from leaving for a trip like I’ve not been on ever in my life. A friend of mine bought a van to give to a mission church and school in Nicaragua. We will be driving the van through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and into Nicaragua to our destination. So I might not be around to respond to any comments for a couple weeks. All the writers here on the Grit website have a much higher level of talent than I have but I’m a work in progress. I’m better than I was but not as good as I could be. I’m more of a story teller than a polished writer. I play around with words; make up words; use words in unorthodox ways; but it’s always about fun times. If I can lighten the load and put a little joy in the heart of the reader of my stories, then I’ve accomplished my goal for writing. I definitely do envy your life away from black top roads and city malls. The hard work and soothing country sounds have a way for making a restful night like no sleeping pill can. I believe it was intended for us humans to live that way. Work to live in simplicity and not to work for luxury, in my humble opinion, should be the goal in life. Enjoy every day for the day that it is.


mountain woman
2/10/2010 7:01:40 AM

Lori, It's so exciting to meet someone who has experience in the process. There is so much craftsmanship and work that goes into logging. Mountain Man used to build furniture and we have several pieces but his shop isn't climate controlled enough at the moment to produce fine furniture but what an art that is. I would love to see your Dad's work. I don't like shopping either. Can't stand to be in stores looking at stuff when I could be home on the mountain with the animals so you are a woman after my heart. Yes, Nebraska Dave should have a blog. He's such a talented writer. What an interesting life you lead. I'm trying to learn more about photography but right now I'm at point and click. I admire beautiful photographs and the artistry it takes to produce them. Thanks so much for stopping by!!


lori
2/10/2010 6:37:30 AM

Hi Mountain Woman! I'm glad that you have found happiness again! I can relate to your Mountain Man's logging and sawmill work. I come from a family of loggers, and I myself used to be a sawyer. My dad is a very gifted craftsman and carpenter. Over the years he has done construction work, laying up block, brick, and framing houses and other structures. Then he moved on to the logging industry. After I got married, my husband joined the fold logging and my dad purchased his own sawmill. I started working there, stacking lumber and soon moved up to learning to do the sawing. I did that job for about 12 years. Now my dad has moved on to hand crafting furniture and other items, and custom wood burning. He is quite the artist. I am now a freelance photographer. We live in a very rural area of PA, and I love it here! I too don't mind that the nearest shopping center is some miles away. I am not your typical female in that I HATE shopping! My idea of a good shopping trip is my legs propped in front of the computer with a cup of coffee as I order what I want and have it delivered to me! Your horse is beautiful! I look forward to reading more about your wonderful life! By the way, Nebraska Dave doesn't have a blog here, but he should!!!!!


mountain woman
2/10/2010 5:56:56 AM

Yes, Nebraska Dave, I so agree with you about each life having good and bad. One of the things I enjoy about growing older is being able to take all that experience and put it to use and push forward with many things in my life. Kind of a spiritual rebirth. I'm so sorry to hear you lost your wife. What a difficult time it is working through the grieving process after the death of a spouse. Never say never about getting married or finding that special one. You just never know. I sure didn't expect to find anyone and I've been totally blessed with Mountain Man. I can't find your Grit blog and I want to read it. Can you point me to it? Thank you so much for your beautiful comment.


nebraska dave
2/9/2010 8:18:11 PM

MW, life does have a few surprises along the way doesn’t it. I am so glad that you have found a wonderful second life. I consider myself now to be into my third life. Each one has had its good times and bad times. Each one for me has been better than the last probably because of the gained wisdom. I know what it’s like to recover from the death of a spouse as I am a nine year widower. It’s been so long ago that the new neighbors next door consider me the old bachelor next door. It took be back the first time I heard the term, but after consideration they are right. I am old and I don’t plan to marry a third time so I guess that makes me a confirmed bachelor. I would love to have your barn floor in my living room. It’s gorgeous. You are so lucky to have a handy guy around. I’ve spent a life time trying to learn how to build things and could never come close to your pictures. The impressive thing is that your hubby even cut the trees to cut the lumber to build the barn. Boy is he a keeper or what. I wish you both a long a prosperous life together.


mountain woman
2/9/2010 4:15:14 PM

Hi Oz Girl, We're hoping to be able to leave our land to a trust of some kind so it will never be developed. Yup, animals here always are the number one priority. My barn is definitely way nicer than the house :) Thanks so much for visiting me!! Can't wait to see more of your gorgeous Kansas skies. Mountain Woman


oz girl
2/9/2010 2:15:52 PM

I really like your comment about being "stewards of the land" also. I've always thought to myself that once we die, the land is again available for anyone to purchase. It is paid for over and over and over again with paper money, but it is never truly owned by anyone. Your barn is truly gorgeous, and once you get your wood floors in the house, I am sure they will be even more beautiful there! But of course, our animals are always our priority. :-) Hope you are having a wonderful week!


mountain woman
2/9/2010 9:16:59 AM

Thanks for visiting Cindy. I'm hoping for wood floors in the house too. I have to visit the barn to see them at the moment :-) We both feel very strongly about stewardship of the land for future generations to enjoy. Thanks again for leaving me a comment. Made my day!!!


cindy murphy
2/9/2010 6:47:44 AM

Thanks for the introductions, Mountain Woman; glad to "meet" you. It's wonderful you found your Mountain Man, and your dreams of living a rural life. The pine floor is beautiful - a lucky horse yours is! I've always wanted a plank floor in my kitchen...ah, maybe one day. Perhaps there is already one buried under the layers of linoleum in our old house that only needs to be discovered and restored - that's a job we haven't tackled yet. I love that you say you are not really owners of the land, but stewards keeping it for future generations.