Turkey, Tools, and Sawdust

 

We made dinner and took it over to the house to have a Thanksgiving picnic amid the tools and fresh paint and sawdust. We’ve got lights and heat and flushing toilets. Everything else is gravy, so to speak.

Thankful for so many things this year, but especially all the friends and family who helped us through some really tough times. We fell in love with our little town all over again.

Things are surely looking up.

May you all be as blessed as we have been.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Progress

 

We’re coming down the wire, approaching the one year anniversary of the fire. A lot is happening fast. Crews work Saturdays, while we’re there doing projects of our own, trying to get us moved back in by Christmas.

A week ago the good folks at Albemarle Countertop Company did us a super solid job. They replaced the stone we used in the kitchen renovation, which we had finished just before the fire. We were only able to save one piece of the original stone. It’s out in the yard, still covered with soot. We may use it in another project. They finished the vanities, too, so we have partially functioning bathrooms.

 

 

 

 

Last week the porch ceilings that took me four weekends to finish were in a few hours painted a lovely traditional southern pale blue. “Clear Skies” from of Benjamin Moore.

 

 

Wednesday we finished the window and door trim upstairs.

Thursday we got running water and two out of three flushing toilets.

Saturday, Dennis helped me rebuild the custom stove hood. While we worked, the electricians wired up some lights that turn on and off with switches, and sockets you can plug things into.

Wonders never cease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columned

 

From last weekend. This one failed to post from my phone.

Front porch columns finally finished and ready for paint. Took three weekends to do them (thought it would take me one) – 280 pieces and 600 cuts.

Will be worth it when it’s all done.

 

 

 

Trees I Planted

Weeping Willow

 

 

These are trees I planted around the house 25, 20, and 10 years ago, the first when the girls were starting elementary school. Some, like the willow, were rooted from branches. Some were transplanted from the woods as saplings. None were more than an inch around or six feet tall.

Now the tallest one is over thirty feet high.

Most will outlive me.

 

I think we’ll plant a Sycamore where the Silver Maple used to be. I’m still thinking long term, apparently.

 

Eastern Hemlock

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Beech

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Beech

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Oak

 

 

 

 

On Top of the World

Carpenter Mountain Lookout Tower

 

While we’ve been sweltering here in Virginia, daughter Emily sends this, her view this evening.

She works for the Forest Service between Bend and Eugene, Oregon. On her days off, she now has a part time gig as relief staff for the Carpenter Mountain Fire Lookout Tower.

The view is amazing. Click on the link to see it full screen.


Carpenter Mountain (5349’/1630m) summit [1]

 

To get the full effect, here’s a Youtube link to some drone footage that really gives a sense of place and scale.

The full time ranger is up there 10 days on and 4 days off, April through October. It takes a crew of rangers to backpack enough water to last him 6 weeks.

I’m so jealous.

 

Busy Intersection

Triple Crossing, Shockoe Bottom

 

A whole lot going on here.

Starting at the top:

  1. A six lane interstate
  2. Two exit ramps
  3. Three railroads (one dating from the late 1800s and still in use)
  4. A flood wall
  5. A city street
  6. A walking trail/bike path/tow path
  7. A canal built in the 1700s.

 

postcards from the road, Richmond, Virginia