At a party recently, a friend commented that he was impressed with the accomplishment of building a house off on an island in another country. I was feeling rather pleased, what with my great achievement being recognized, until Sooz chimed in with, no, it really wasn't that difficult at all.
After I got over the ego-deflation (it took a couple days, frankly), it struck me we were both right. As 2007 ended on this blog, we had the land (with a few trees cut down), a well, and application papers sitting over at Värmdö Kommun. Now, as 2008 ends, we have two houses, with rooms, electricity, a kitchen, and furniture. The only significant tasks left are plumbing and finishing the bathroom. That's a fairly big deal; nothing was there a year ago, and now there is something pretty cool. And it was all done under my direction. So I am a bit self-impressed.
But Sooz is right, too. It was surprisingly straightforward to do. The main reason it was so relatively easy is all the help I had, first and foremost from Janne. It's no exaggeration to say that I could not (and probably would not) have done this without him. The practical, legal, emotional and physical support he's given to this project can't be overstated. Margaret's contributions (especially in the practical and emotional realms) were also really necessary.
I probably could have built without the help, advice, and housing provided by Marcia and Rutger and Ann and Dave, and the support of Tony and Ann-Catrin, Britt and Ronnie, Stefan at X-House, Göran the electrician, and the kitchen-assembling Johan and the Cinderella-toilet Johan. But it would have been immeasurably more difficult and not at all as simple or enjoyable without all of them.
Of course, Wille and his crew actually did it. They wrestled up the beams and made a house out of an enormous jigsaw puzzle. Seeing it first-hand, that was pretty impressive, and not easy by anyone's measure.
So, on that note, may I close a very eventful year by wishing all a Happy New Year (or Gott Nytt År as they say in Sweden)!