Moving the House to Granny’s Landing

I tried to imagine the process. I lost sleep thinking of the ditches, the lumpy field, the mature hardwoods lining the road. I obsessed. Even if he managed all of that, how would Leighton, the mover, maneuver the house to fit exactly on its foundation? Had we made it the right size?

I wrote about building the foundation in Granny’s Landing on Fantasy Bay. Three, seventy-year-plus old farts (my sister, brother-in-law, and me) dug sixteen holes, five feet deep, and secured posts to support the platform that would hold the house. In a few hours, I’d know if our combined math skills had withstood the test of time.

Me: “How will we know if it’s square?”

Gwen: “If the lengths of the diagonals are the same, it’s square.”

Me: “How do you figure the length of a diagonal? Doesn’t it have something to do with the Pythagorean theorem?”

W: “Only on paper. Right now, all we need is this…” He whipped out the tape measure.

Me: “Oh”

I am beyond lucky and so grateful that these two have my back. They’ve done it all many times and have answers to questions I don’t even know enough to ask.

Wake-up coffee and breakfast were finished when W sounded the alert. “He’s here!” I glanced at the time: 9:00 a.m. Leighton said he’d come between nine and ten. I gave him an A+ for punctuality and raced out the door.

W and I jumped in the gator and took off while Gwen leashed four-month-old Freya, their German Shepherd puppy, and walked with her to the site of the action.

When we arrived, Leighton was already at work.

I took hours of videos and ran three phones out of battery power, but I’ll spare you most of them and cut to the chase. The adrenalin rush when the house started to move is impossible to describe.

His father moved their house when Leighton was a baby. That was his practice move. From then on, he was in the business. At an early age, Leighton became his right-hand man and inherited the company when his father passed. This professional guy had thirty-plus years in the business and it showed. His every move was fluid. It was clear he’d done this so often it was inscribed in muscle memory. He didn’t even have to think.

On his prior visits, Leighton assured us that the two, right-angle turns at ‘T’ intersections with deep ditches on three sides, were nothing to worry about. W had already spent hours clearing trees from the right-of-way and had a stack of potential firewood to prove it. But as the house approached the first corner, and the machine pulling it dipped in and out of the ditches, I’ll admit my mind went to scarey places.

After that first masterfully executed, impossible hairpin turn hauling two tons of house, I began to relax. From the beginning, Leighton had said, “No problem.” Sometimes my vivid imagination is a terrible thing. I obviously have trust issues. Maybe that’s typical for a woman who has spent most of her adult life depending solely upon herself. But this post isn’t about introspection or self-analysis so, back to the story.

The house trundled merrily down 578th Lane faster than it would have if I were driving. The massive tires absorbed every rut and bump in the gravel road. The house seemed to float

Lieghton polished off the second turn as elegantly as the first.

As he pulled the load across the field toward the platform, Uncle John and Aunt Joyce arrived to watch. My aunt and uncle never come empty-handed and this was no exception. We’d feast on their goodies when the work was done. I introduced them to Leighton, whose perpetual smile never wavered. He joked that his job was a spectator sport.

Up to that point, precision hadn’t exactly been necessary. Big beams, big wheels, big house…there was wiggle room. Now, there was a 20′ X 22′ foundation platform and a more-or-less 20′ X 22′ foot building to set on it.

Gwen, W, and I had measured as best we could, but winter frost heaved the ground under the house and it was torqued. One end sat for years approximately nine inches higher than the opposite end. I’d been assured it would even out once it was on its new, perfectly level foundation. But what if our measurements were off? What if – I was sweating.

I don’t think I fully believed any of this was really happening. I’d pictured it in my mind for months, but in my heart, I’d remained skeptical. As I watched, my home came to rest squarely on the platform, set down as delicately as a bone-china tea cup. Cheers went up from the peanut gallery while I swallowed the lump in my throat and fought tears.

It was perfect from the start to Aunt Joyce’s pizza-and-chocolate-chip-cookie finish. As the sun sank slowly in the west, there it sat, my house at Granny’s Landing on Fantasy Bay.

Now it’s time to turn this abandoned hunting shack into a home…wish me luck!

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shanemac
    Aug 28, 2022 @ 21:04:08

    I’m wishing you more than luck. I’m wishing you great happiness; a feeling of contentment; warm, cozy winters; bright summers; and the certainty that you’re where you’re meant to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Rosemary Donnelly
    Aug 28, 2022 @ 21:08:42

    How exhilarating! Wishing you all the best…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Anonymous
    Aug 28, 2022 @ 21:32:50

    Wow- you got this! Remodeled 3 buildings during covid with great results and being a novice! Yes tape measure your friend!!! Good luck! As always, enjoy your posts!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Anonymous
    Aug 28, 2022 @ 22:32:08

    I was holding my breath. What a beginning to a new and exciting venture! SL

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Nancy
    Aug 28, 2022 @ 23:11:29

    Wow,wow,wow! It’s done! Or it’s the end of the beginning. Yes lots of work left to do but how satisfying! I’m going to love watching this whole process. Thank you for sharing, Sherry. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Carol
    Aug 29, 2022 @ 03:22:04

    Congratulations on being back home.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Gail Brown
    Aug 29, 2022 @ 08:41:10

    Well done, Sherry!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Anne Erez
    Aug 29, 2022 @ 13:00:35

    Fantastic result after so much anguish and now so many wonderful possibilities to make this your special place. I already studied the photos & have it all planned for you as I believe that your own special place is so vitally important for the “twilight” (yikes,?!) time of life. We recently moved to a new (to us) property and the best thing on my one acre is my Zen Den, a self contained little cottage that is just mine for reading all those hundreds of books on the shelves and my craft projects & just sitting & contemplating the sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Diane E Struble
    Aug 29, 2022 @ 14:02:27

    Happy that it all went well. I know you will make it comfortable and beautiful. Those are skills that you have beyond compare.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. stevecastley
    Aug 29, 2022 @ 16:54:08

    I hope you enjoy the never-ending adventure. Hugs. Steve

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Anonymous
    Aug 29, 2022 @ 23:39:05

    Amazing! I love this and enjoy seeing the progress. Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. loonatsea
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 10:46:15

    What! A! Cataloging! of events! Congratulations!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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