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Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017

Hobby House

Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at 8:54 AM

Oops! Dig deep honey!
When I was a kid, I had a hobby. I was an amateur radio operator when I lived at home and when I went to college, I operated the college radio shack as well. I'd stay up well into the night when the "skip" was in so I could communicate with distant lands, and I had a wall of "QSL" cards from those distant hams to prove our communications had actually happened. WAS and WAC was my goal then. WAS stands for worked all states, and WAC was for worked all continents. I never achieved either goal, but it was exciting to me pounding out the dots and dashes of Morris code and keeping track of where the folks I visited over the air waves with lived.

After college when I grew up and started working for a living, I gave up amateur radio as I was getting started with fixer-upper homes. Our houses generally didn't need a lot of work it seemed. but the usual yard work and painting projects came up as well as renovation work including adding a bathroom to one of the houses. Much of my spare time was spent working on the house of the moment for years, and there were several houses to work on during that time. I never considered working on the houses a hobby, but more of a necessary function to be comfortable. I did pick up a new hobby along the way however... model railroading.

More recently after moving up the corporate ladder, our last Denver home didn't need a lot of work it seemed. It needed paint desperately and received same, but as far as major work needing to be accomplished, it didn't have any. Other than the rather large yard to maintain, I rebuilt our brand new Jeep into a rock crawling machine that today I'm totally unwilling to take many of the places I built it to go in the first place, and I started building my 3rd model railroad. We would go "wheelin" and camping almost every weekend during the summer, and winter had me working on the railroad.

After retirement, we sold everything and hit the road in our RV and towed the Jeep all over the western US. We kept our eyes open for the "perfect" property, but until we stumbled on an Internet ad for the place we now own here in Nebraska, we couldn't find exactly what we wanted. We wanted to live in a rural area outside a town with open country surrounding us. We wanted a view, wildlife in the area, and just a little bit of property... why the property I still don't know for sure, but I expect that it was the thought we needed a "buffer zone" around us after living in the city our whole life.

So now I'm back to house renovating, and I guess for the time being, it's also my hobby. Being retired and looking back at what I was doing besides working, I wonder how I got anything accomplished. I must have had a lot more energy than I do now, or I was just a lot faster in the old days... probably both. When we bought this place, I knew I was going to stay busy working on the place as a lot needed to be done to make it our own, and to be sure, I'm making progress but it sure seems to be moving forward slowly.

The basement here will eventually hold my dream railroad, but today it's covered in sawdust from renovation projects. I'm looking forward to the day when I can start building the benchwork that will support the mountains, rivers, trains and tracks I envision, but for the time being, I need to quit typing and get back to work on this hobby house.

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G-I-R...When we purchased we were looking for neither, and probably found both. Truth be told, we were looking for a house location that was somewhat close to what we looked for in a camp site. Off the beaten path a ways yet close enough to supplies that going to the grocery isn't a half day affair. As far as safety in Nebraska I'd say our area is. We've got enough ground to grow a lot of veggies if need be, but being self sufficient would be a real stretch. I find reading the paper to be a lot more fun when it's not filled with drive by shootings, bank robberies, and crooked politicians in the news on a daily basis. My opinion... south west Nebraska is the place to be!

-- Posted by Brian Hoag on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 12:37 PM

Great story. Are you looking for safety in a growing unsafe world? Are you looking to be self-sufficient enough to survive the coming economic collapse? We too have examined Nebraska as a safe place to be. Lots of luck on your project..........now in colorado

-- Posted by Get-It-Right on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 9:12 AM

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