I believe that Hillary Clinton famously said, “it takes a village to renovate a house.” Or something like that. From our perspective, there is no way that we could undertake a project as overwhelming as building this house if it weren’t for all the help we’ve gotten along the way. Our friends and family have humored us, pitched in, donated blood, sweat & tears, and otherwise made it possible to continue our journey to a sweat-equity house! So here’s the list of people we need to thank (in no particular order). We’re grateful to all of you, and frequently humbled by the amount of assistance we’ve gotten as we’ve tried to build our house and a life in the San Luis Valley.

Patricia & Kent:

Their generosity has made it both psychologically & financially possible for us to undertake this project, start a business, and generally cope with life in the valley.

Jim & Ruth:

Luke’s parents have spent nearly every weekend helping out with all manner of tasks– from building contraptions to hold our saggy house, to cooking scrumptious meals, to participating in all manner of odious demolition projects. Their “tasmanian devil” attitude has kept us going many times.

Kathy & John:

My parents have helped us by cheering us on, lending us cash, pulling millions of nails, and generally being supportive through it all

Olin & Kim:

They’ve traveled long distances in order to schlep tons of dirt in wheelbarrows, rip out rotten floors, and set up laser levels over & over & over….

Rebecca & Lynn:

They’ve donated time, grilled lots of burgers, ripped up miles of hardwood flooring, and repeatedly offered babysitting services, should we suddenly find a need for them.

Uncle Carl:

His constant advice and structural explanations have been invaluable. It’s funny that it took me years to tap into that connection, but I’m grateful for it, and have been greatly enjoying his assistance.

Cousin Dave:

He traveled from Kentucky to spend an entire week doing whatever needed to be done. With the momentum & labor that he provided, we were able to make significant progress on our concrete floor project.


He’s the best. Even though he’s not chosen to make our little project into his “life’s work.”


It’s a mixed blessing, but we live far from the likes of Lowes and Home Despot. Without ebay and a guy in a brown delivery truck, we wouldn’t have things like laser levels, copper fittings, stainless steel screws, a $2.99 concrete saw blade, heat exchangers, etc. etc.


When we’re exhausted and overwhelmed, there’s nothing like a red envelope in the mailbox to bring hope for an evening of mindless relaxation & stress relief.

John K. Branner:

You know who you are.


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