Inspired to Drop Out

Just the next day after writing about the feedback we’ve been getting from our building books (see previous day’s blog), we got this email from a guy in Maryland. (I should point out that this is the first time in two years of blogging that I’ve written something two days in a row.)

Email to Shelter received June 3, 2006:

I am writing to thank you for being a huge influence in my life. Your book Shelter has altered the way that I look at house and home in profound ways. I first read Shelter at my friends farm in West Virginia about 18 years ago and ever since, my number one goal in life has been to drop out. I have been working diligently to gather the tools and funds to make my dream come true. Most Americans want a big house with a two story entry feature, big green expanse of grass, and three cars in the garage. Me, I want 40 acres and a mule. Eight years ago we bought an old farm house built in 1790, it was modernized in 1870 when a used timber frame house was attached to it. When we bought it the plan should have been to tear it down and have a huge bon fire, instead we poured too much love and sweat and and money into it. The pay off is that we have a home we love. We are now going to put on an addition of one bedroom and bathroom so that our old house will be more appealing to a future buyer. The real estate values are very high here in Maryland and our plan is to cash out in about five years. For what our house will sell for we could easily buy 200+ acres in New Mexico and still have something left over to build our forever house. Stay tuned for photos of our old house and soon to come mountain retreat. Between Shelter and Home Work I have been given so much inspiration… Thank you for doing what you do!

-Frank Yensan, Catonsville, MD

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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