53- Lemaire Mountain

53- Lemaire Mountain

In 1945, After Dan’s dad finished his military service in WWII, he returned to Reno and pursued his education on the GI bill, earning his Master’s degree in metallurgy.

He also purchased a several acres of land located north of the University of Nevada campus, and he and Beth built their house on the top of a prominent mountain. Over the years Darrell’s brother, his sister, his mother, his mother-in-law, and later his son, Aug, built houses on the land. And that’s where Dan wanted to build our home.This is a God story because even though Dan’s parents did not know Jesus, He knew them and I believe He led them to purchase this land.

Dan’s grandmother, Mumbo, fell and broke her hip a few months after we returned from Japan and went to live with her daughter Beth in Chicago for a year. The family agreed that we could move into her house, a stone’s throw away from the house Dan was building. One year and three months later, Mumbo’s return coincided with our move into the solar house.

It was more completed than this! but this shows the passive solar windows
This picture shows the tall passive solar south-facing windows, with Dan’s brother’s barn on the left. On the hill in the background, up on the top of the mountain, Dan’s dad’s house is barely visible.

From a letter to my mom & dad: The house is really becoming an exciting project! I’m so proud of Dan’s design. Every view of it has interesting lines and angles. It would be nice to settle down there, but we’ll see. We walk by faith and that part of the plan has not been revealed to us. I’ve been going over everyday now with the boys. I crochet and watch them while they dig and climb the dirt piles, throw cans, etc.

Spoiler: Thirty-eight years later it isn’t the solar house we live in, but it is Mumbo’s house on the other side of the mountain.

Over the years Dan’s dad sold the remainder of the land, and the sheep herder he bought it from sold the rest of the large parcel of grazing land. Although the neighborhood is full, it still has the feel of being set apart from the city. It’s a great place to be.

During this season we took the boys to Tahoe for a weekend, staying in a motel and playing on the beach. We also drove 525 miles to my parents’ for a summer visit. We enjoyed my sisters and their families, spent time at the beach and barbecuing together at our family’s cabin in the woods. We went back again for Christmas, and my mom and dad made the trek to Reno at least once that year.

Backyard pool!
Fun in their backyard pool!

My journal shows that I was praying for friends for the boys and within a week our good friends Danny and Lynn asked if I could watch their kids on a regular basis. Our kids loved their kids, Summer and Zachary, so it was fun for all. After a few months I experienced a pregnancy symptom glitch and the doctor insisted I be on complete bed rest until it subsided! Bummer.

Dan had taken a loan to build the house, so he quit his job with Dale and paid himself from that account and spent long days with hammer and saw. This new health issue required that I stop babysitting, and that he take the boys with him to the construction site at least part of each day.

The Prince & his Princess
The Prince & his Princess

It was during this time that Charles and Diana were married. Dan moved our small TV (black & white) into the bedroom so I could watch the historic event. I was enthralled with the pomp and glamour of their fairy tale wedding. In many photos they appear to be gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes, but perhaps this one is more indicative of what lay ahead for them.