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Hanging in the Hangar

Author and writer Brook Merrow holding copies of her YA novel Trapped in her airplane hangar in Idaho
At home in the hangar.

We live part time in a hangar in Idaho. It’s a small one by airport standards—50 by 50 feet— with bright industrial lights overhead and a noisy beast of a heater in the corner to keep our airy abode a snug 60 degrees. We built a raised, 15-foot-deep platform across the back of the hangar and hauled up some bygone furniture: a bed, two desks, some file cabinets, a couch and chairs, and one dog bed for Cira. Downstairs is a funny little kitchen with a microwave; an air fryer; a workshop-style sink, and two more dog beds for Cira. My husband has a man corner (not a man cave, although the whole place qualifies as a man cave) stuffed with fishing and hunting gear. There’s a bathroom, too, with a tiny shower that I grouted and it shows.

To be clear, this is not a cross between House Beautiful and industrial chic. I’d say the hangar is more modern brutalist. But we love it.

As I write this, I am upstairs at my desk, working on a sequel to Trapped, my debut YA novel. I can peer directly down into the hangar which houses my husband’s Cessna 180, a drift boat, a ’54 Jeep, bikes, and an RV that serves as a guest room for visitors. Basically, the hangar is a glorified garage. Without the plane, we could have pickle ball tournaments. When my husband goes flying, we open the enormous door that stretches entirely across the front of the hangar. A rush of cold air pours in as we push the Cessna out onto the tarmac. It takes a while to warm back up to our snug 60 degrees.

The Grand Teton is in the window off my left shoulder, but I cannot see it. It’s been snowing up there for six days. On a sunny day, its distant craggy peak pokes up over the giant hangars that lie to the east of us.

Why a hangar, you ask? Good question. About COVID time, land and homes were

super expensive here on the flip side of the Tetons from Jackson Hole. And still are. The realtor heard my husband was a pilot, so he said, Buy a hangar. The price was right, as in not remotely stupid-ridiculous. People at that point weren’t thinking a hangar was a good place to settle down.

I like to say we live in a gated community—heaven knows there’s a bunch of them around here. But ours is surrounded by cyclone fencing with concertina wire artfully winding across the top. We downhill and nordic ski for exercise. At home in the hangar, I write and my husband works on the plane.

In a while, the snow will melt, we’ll lock up the hangar, and head back home to Maine, where we’ll dream of fluffy white flurries until a new winter arrives.

1 commento

Brooke, I loved reading this! You are such a brave, adventurous lady! Don’t think I could do what you are doing!

Mi piace

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