This Too Shall Pass

Madison County, Virginia

 

Like a late spring snow.

 

From my window, as I work remotely in semi-quarantine, I can see the red tulips coming up around the dogwood where they have bloomed for each of the last 20+ years. Wedding gifts, we planted them, along with a lot of other hopeful things, when we had so much to look forward to.

These photos were all taken in March snows that came to Virginia in all the past 10 years, all but this year. We had no real snows this year. Maybe that’s the new normal.

But the tulips and the dogwoods will continue to bloom. Next year, and the next. Maybe long after we’re gone.

 

Red Hill, Virginia

 

 

 

Advance Mills, Virginia

 

 

 

Burtonville, Virginia

 

 

 

Scuffletown, Virginia

 

 

 

Southern Albemarle County, Virginia

 

 

 

 

 

 

35 Windows, 25 Doors, 1 Stove Hood, 1 Bookcase

 

We finally have a move-in date. On December 20 a three man crew of Student Movers will help us move the big heavy stuff from the rental house to the upstairs, and T and I will spend the rest of the month shuttling carloads of stuff back to the house, which definitely won’t be finished. There’s months of work ahead – but at least we’ll get to spend Christmas at home again.

With the deadline looming, everyone is scrambling to get done. Painters are right on top of the carpenters, priming trim as soon as it’s nailed in place. Electricians and tile setters have been working Saturdays and Sundays.

Dennis helped me rebuild the stove hood, almost exactly like the one I did a little over a year ago. Same design, but had to adjust it to fit new cabinets and walls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The carpenters have been wrapping up baseboards, door jambs and window sills. I follow behind with the final trim – ripping, routing, cutting, and mounting for 35 windows and 25 doorways. Built before the advent of domestic air conditioning, my gosh, this house has a lot of windows and doors. And still more to do later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted the second floor plumbing to run through a new hall closet on the first floor, but it came through the ceiling 6″ into the Living Room. Erg. I wrapped the pipes in insulation to cut down on the flushing noise and built an inset bookcase to hide it. Finally finished that late Sunday night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More painting and trim work will continue through Thursday. Then we have to completely empty out the house again and sweep the whole place. On Friday, the floor guys come back to clean and buff and apply the final finish coat. We’ll have to stay out of the house at least through the weekend.

Appliances are still MIA, but maybe they’ll show up soon.

 

(Update: Long story short, the guy who took our order at Lowes got fired two days later, and screwed up our order before he left. Looks like we’ll be camping in the house for Christmas.)

 

 

 

 

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.