One of the best things about real estate is that even though the process may be the same for my team and the the rest of us in the throes of production, the people and the house are always different. To me, that sort of variety has always been what is most appealing about the real estate Industry.
Recently, I was invited to a ranch in Tulsa to visit with a fellow Australian. Grateful for the invitation, I baked some chocolate chip cookies, cooked a pork loin, and packed bread rolls, baked beans, chips and wine. Then, I grabbed the the hubby and the kid for an afternoon in the country. Fifteen minutes outside of Tulsa, down a long gravel road, we pulled up to to a gate with a kangaroo symbol. The land was over 40 acres in size with 13 horses, a barn, and a trailer. There was ample time to ride horses, stroll around the property, and sit by a campfire.
Wine in hand, we strolled down a trail as the sun sat low in the sky and cooler winds blew in from the west. Mick, my fellow Aussie, rode on a horse with Ava as he told us about what he's been up to. As we walked through a second cattle guard and crossed a small hill, I could not believe what we saw. In front of us was a modern structure with a standing seam metal roof and walls made of the most beautiful layers--striations of varying color like art representing the different color of earth used to make the 18 inch walls. I had never seen something like it before. that was the day I fell in love with rammed earth construction.
Rammed earth is defined in Wikipedia as:
“A technique for building walls using natural raw materials such as earth, chalk, lime or gravel. It is an ancient building method that has seen a revival in recent years as people seek more sustainable building materials and natural building methods. Rammed earth walls are simple to construct, noncombustible, thermally massive, and durable. However, they are susceptible to water damage if inadequately protected or maintained. Rammed earth buildings range in environments, including the temperate and wet regions of northern Europe, semiarid deserts, mountain areas and the tropics.”
Its layers of pink, brown, and yellow were absolutely gorgeous. I knew there was something good that would come of that Oklahoma clay soil. The building had nicely sized windows a beautifully covered patio, which was all encompassed by a hand layer of rock wall. What an oasis!
As I walked through the structure and looked over the kitchen, the loft sleeping quarters, the bathroom, and the living space, I thought, "I want one." After 12 years in the Tulsa market, it's not everyday that you see something so unique and different. It's exciting to learn something new and see something so beautiful. I cannot wait to visit with Mick and his team to see how I can contribute and where we could take this. We're always looking for opportunities and new experiences.
In this age of technology, going off the grid and reconnecting to nature is refreshing and necessary. I would love to see this form of construction used for a cabin or as a second home. It's completely self-sustaining, has a water catchment system on roofs, and solar energy for appliances. So you could lock it up and go, just to come back at anytime. Apparently glamping--AKA, camping with glamour--is a way of life.