The Life of a Wife of a Log Home Builder

by Kay Sellman of Sellman Log Structures

Reprinted from Spring 2012 Newsletter

I am wondering if any other wives of log home builders feel the way I do so I thought of writing this article to see if anyone agrees with me.

Kay Sellman

My life as a wife of a log home builder is not an ordinary life. Usually, our yard is full of piles of logs, muddy driveways; lots of equipment parked every where, and the sound of chainsaws running all day long. As the wife of a log home builder I find it necessary to work outside the home just to get away from all the noise.

The life of a wife of a log home builder is one of working around my husband’s schedule. Because of his unique style of construction, log home builders don’t get home at 5:00 p.m. for supper because that one curvy, snarled log they picked out that morning was taking longer than planned to get scribed and positioned on the wall. A log home builder is not a carpenter; he is the creator of something special.

My life as a wife of a log home builder does not allow me to plan ahead for vacations. Our vacations have to be at a moment’s notice because we never know when Duane can get away from the building yard. He can’t go now because he just got a call from a customer and he has to meet with them to go over the plans and do an estimate. Then after many meetings and lots of wondering if he is going to get the contract or not, he finally gets a signed contract. Then there is no time to plan a vacation because he has to find a logger that has the right size of logs for the house he just got a contract to build. Then they have to be delivered to our building yard. Then he needs to get the logs peeled and get fungicide on them. He can’t go now because he has to get the walls up before they get wet. He can’t go now because he is working on the roof structure and the pressure is on from the home owner to get the house done. He can’t go now because he needs to move the house to its
final destination. Then just when I think I can call and book that dream vacation I have been dreaming of, he gets a call and it all starts over again.

My life as a wife of a log home builder is one of watching a man come home at night so excited because he was able to work a log into the wall that has a porky pine chew right where it will be most noticeable. I get to watch a man that even though his joints hurt, his back hurts and his muscles ache, he loves going to work every day just to see what challenges are out there for him to tackle.

But my life as a wife of a log home builder is one of pride because my husband is the only one that can create a home that someone has been dreaming about, planning for and saving for years. One that is so unique that there is not another one like it in the world. So I wait and dream and I know that one day Duane will come in and say, “I think now would be a great time for us to go on that vacation you want to take.” (Vacation that I want to take.) Because he would be just as happy to get that next call and be able to call that logger and say, “I need another set of logs delivered.”

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Join our network of skilled log crafters at gllca.org

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The Great Lakes Log Crafters Association is chartered as a non-profit organization in the State of Wisconsin, USA. The Board President, Board Members, and Officers are elected by the general membership and serve as stewards for running the association
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