Geekwif
“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet

 

Building a home with my Geek

Monday, June 20, 2005


It is time to introduce my leading man in the story that will be unfolding on these virtual pages. He has been called many things, but for the purposes of this blog, he will be called "the Geek". He is the guy that made me the Geekwif more than a decade ago. (He affectionately calls me his "wif", rather than wife, thus the name "Geekwif".) He is the person I can't wait to see at the end of every day, the one who makes me happy whether I want to be or not.

There are words on my refrigerator - lots of them - in the form of magnetic poetry and one of the poems there is about him. It describes very well what he is to me.
but for my man I cannot say
what mad storm would manipulate
the wind within me

Ok, it's somewhat ambiguous, but if you have any poetic imagination at all, you'll get it. So, now that you have been introduced, I will move forward with today's post.


Most of my life I have carried in my mind the illusion that I am incredibly unique and not at all like anyone else. It's ridiculous because I know this is just an illusion, and yet I persist in believing it. I realize that I am indeed unique just like anyone else. We all have different combinations of personality traits that make us each the unique person that we are, but my illusion says I'm even more unique than most.

This illusion leads to different results in different situations. Sometimes it leads to vanity which eventually comes crashing down in a heap of belated humility.

Case in point: When I was in my late teens, a friend and I were teaching ourselves songwriting skills by means of a book we had purchased together. One exercise, early in the course, required that we write a short melody using just three given notes. By the time I was done, I was convinced that I had created the most unique melody that ever had existed in the history of songwriting, using those three notes . Mine was the epitome of the three-note-melody, and I was so proud of it. (For those who are not musically or mathematically inclined, there are only so many possible combinations of three notes and when you consider the thousands upon thousands of songs that have been written in the course of history, mine was certainly not unique.)

Apparently that prideful moment impacted my friend, because recently in a casual conversation she asked if I remembered that three-note-melody I wrote so long ago and how funny it was that I thought it was so unique. This of course jogged my memory and brought on the delayed humility - delayed by 15 years in this case. Uggh.

Another common result of my illusions of uniqueness is disillusionment. The Geek and I are planning to build a home this year. We have been planning this home for over a decade and are very excited to finally see it coming to pass. We want to build in the country with plenty of space around us, yet close enough to the city so the Geek can continue at his current place of employment. The illusion of uniqueness kicked in here. Who else would want to live out in the country? Doesn't everyone else want to live in the city, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of it all? Surely there is plenty of land out there just waiting for us to find it, sporting all the amenities we want like trees, water, and space.

Right.

Nine months after we began actively looking for a piece of land, we are finally closing on a lot tomorrow. It seems now (here's where the disillusionment kicks in) that EVERYONE wants what we want - to be away from the city but close enough to work there. The only difference is that most of the people in our situation are content to live in a development where they will still live close enough to their neighbor to carry on a conversation from the front porches and where their home is one of a million cut from the same cookie-cutter.

The final possible outcome of my illusions of uniqueness, and the most uncommon, is that I find I am actually unique. This is my favorite outcome. The Geek (who shares delusions of uniqueness with me) and I are going to be building a dome home. Yes, it's a round house. No, it's not underground. No we're not hippies...well, maybe a little.

Our fascination with domes started one summer shortly after we were married. We were at the State Fair and ran across a booth for a company who has been building dome homes for 30 years. We were both vaguely familiar with the concept since the Geek's parents had considered building a dome some years before that and when I was a teenager, I had accompanied friends when they stayed for a week with an uncle who lived in a dome. We started studying the literature they offered and attending their biannual tour of dome homes, and found that domes are incredibly efficient both in space and energy, stunningly beautiful, exceptionally strong, and best of all - intensely unique.

This year, after over a decade of planning, we build our dome. The process will be chronicled here and you can join me for reports of the joys and trials of building a home whether you are interested in dome homes or in the process of building a home of any kind. Mixed in will be random thoughts and ideas, but the building project will be a major theme. Thanks for joining me in the process!

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