Monday, May 23, 2011

Meet Bruce, Living - Simply!

Last year when I was building my lovely's tree house, I was really fortunate to find an old barn that was being taken down. The owner was thrilled to let me take as much lumber as I wanted for two reasons; the first was because her father had built the barn for her pony when she was a child. She felt his legacy would live on high up in my trees. Second because the more I took, the less they had to haul away. For me this was a very fortunate stop because I was able to learn so much about the history of the barn, and because it saved me some "cha ching". 

As I was nearing the end of the construction I needed to address the topic of windows. Since so much of the tree house was made out of recycled materials I knew that new windows wouldn't do. I immediately remembered a property that I pass on occasion that appeared to be a recycled/junk yard, so I made a stop along my way to inquire about some windows. 

Bruce & his homemade pickup truck
Bruce, the owner came out to greet me, well actually to see what the heck I was doing on his property. We talked for quite some time, and I was fascinated by our conversation. Apparently this was not a recycled/junk yard at all, this was Bruce's home. Sitting on three acres of land, tucked in the woods, and hardly visible off the main road, his property is laden with bike wheels, bricks, wood, metals, doors, windows,and so much more. His collection is neatly organized and available at any given moment for a project of his choice. 
One of the many sheds

Some of his collectables
As I looked around I could see that everything he collected was for the purpose of reuse. His home, various outdoor sheds, and his car were all built by these harvested goods. Amazing. You see, when he bought the property years ago for a song and a dance he decided that he would live a simple, practical life. When homes were being taken down, he was there to pick up the pieces. When businesses were throwing away old machinery he was there to give them new life. It didn't take me long to know that Bruce was not only a very ingenious fellow, but a very knowledgeable one too. I must admit, although I was reluctant to ask I had this burning curiosity to know what his days consisted of, what type of technology he uses, and what he thought people thought about his living style. I didn't want to offend him with my curiosity but I just had to ask. After all, let's be honest, if you walked onto this property wouldn't you want to ask the same questions?  
The Home
Luckily Bruce took no offense to the questioning. His days are spent repairing the old, and making the old new again. In the evening he lives at his handmade abode with only the necessities. He prides himself on being up to date with World War 2 technology (i.e.: a rotary phone). I can assure you that American Idol is not his Wednesday pass time. On the contrary, he incessantly reads current and historical publications which adds to the wealth of information that he has on both subjects. I'm not sure what people think about his lifestyle, for me it is clear that he is an extremely practical person that is clearly living simply. 

As for the windows that I needed; he was able to part with two, in exchange for a frosted yellow/chocolate cake. 

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