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Is this what normal feels like?

May 11, 2011

I think I feel good.

Readers, the last two days (well, really five days) have been so crazy and emotional that I’m not sure I know how I feel anymore.

Friday afternoon Mr. B and I got the site map back from the surveyor. They assured us that we would be able to build a house (hooray!). In our excitement we drove straight over to see the flood plain administrator, the man who initially put a hold on our plans because the proposed house site was in a 100-year flood plain. He confirmed that we could build a house in the new proposed site up on a hill, but he also told us that he had contacted the health department and they now had serious concerns about our approved septic system (boo). Of course it was 5 pm on a Friday so there was nothing to do but come home, drink a Manhattan and fret for two days.

Monday morning Mr. B and I were ready to go. We had a new set of plans and wanted to get everything sorted out. We talked to everyone: the electric company for a price quote; Fish Wildlife and Parks, Missoula Conservation District and Public works about putting a driveway over a ditch; the surveyors about a new septic tank location; the engineer about a final approval letter for our plans. We also talked to the health department. Readers, I freaked out. We went in and were told that even though the septic system had been previously approved for its location, they were now unsure about the spot. This is a bug deal because there is only one spot on the entire property that is even vaguely possible to put a septic system. We pointed out that someone had seen and approved this location, that we were desperate, and that we were tired of getting jerked around at every step of the way. No good. The health official told us he would try and figure it out by the end of the week. Mr. B went to talk to the flood plain administrator who initially contacted the health department about our site and I sat in the car and cried. I’m not sure there is anything more frustrating than never getting a straight answer or having someone tell you that you can’t do something while acting like it is in your best interest.

We came home, I fell asleep, and at 4:30 Mr. B went back to the health department. He had been trying to call them for hours but was told that everyone was in a meeting for the afternoon. When he got there Mr. B found out that the meeting was about us and our septic system. They had even invited the flood plain administrator. In the end they decided to approve our system (with some contingencies), but from now on the health department will require extra surveying for anyone putting a septic system near a flood plain. We have never figured out, and probably never will, what happened. How did the system get approved in the first place? Why wasn’t more surveying work done? The truth is that I don’t really care anymore.

That brings us to Tuesday. We finished turning our building plans in, we have a new closing date set for next week, and we are two days away from having a septic permit. The last two months have been so stressful and intense that I am still waiting for another problem to pop up (we have to get through zoning), but it is starting to feel like this is all true. I’m so excited to get out there and start everything: a garden, building the house, a new kind of life. I’m excited to not feel like someone is squeezing my internal organs together and my eyes are about to pop out like those creepy stress dolls. Mostly I’m excited to not have to constantly be balancing my hopes and excitement with the feeling that this property purchase wasn’t going to happen and someone was going to take it all away.

One Comment leave one →
  1. sue hayes permalink
    May 11, 2011 12:31 pm

    truly sounds like a “manhattan” project to me. you know it will all be worth it. now dry those tears and drink up!

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