Home Again

 

Passed a couple of really big milestones this week.

1) Today I finally was able to bring the boats home.

 

 

The Melonseeds have been away rooming in Doug Lawson’s rented garage for well over two years – since a month after the house fire. We needed our shed to store what could be salvaged from the house while cleaning and construction progressed.

 

 

Even after the basement was cleaned out from two feet of sooty water, and purged and repainted, it was temporary storage when we moved back in, until remaining projects got sorted out.

 

 

So Doug gratiously offered to space with his boats about 20 minutes away. We’ve had four boats, plus kayaks, two or three lawn mowers and wheel barrows, etc., all crammed into that two car garage ever since.

Then, of course, we got hit with this little thing you may have heard of – a worldwide plague – which has lasted over a year.

So before I could re-home the boats I had to clean out the shed. To clean out the shed, I had to first clean out the basement. Done, and done.

 

 

 

 

Also, after a year of doing nothing, I’m out of shape, so this project required some concerted hammock time to finish.

 

 

2) And, fortuitously, I was able to schedule my first dose of the anti-plague vaccine last week. Apparently, I’ve been drafted by Team Pfizer. Put me in, coach, I’m ready to play!

 

 

 

Weather was great today, so Doug and I met over at the garage and extracted my boats. Looked just like we left them – a fine dusting of pollen the only sign they hadn’t been on the water a few days ago. And home they came.

 

 

 

 

It’s been a harrowing couple of years, no question. Today, for the first time, it’s starting to feel normal again.

And good.

Looking forward to time on the water again very soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Doug!

Chasing Ghosts: A Short Documentary Debunks a Long-Held Theory About What Pollinates the Ghost Orchid | Colossal

Swamps are such amazing places, and when not maligned and drained, are mercifully neglected.

CHASING GHOSTS | OFFICIAL SCREENER | © GRIZZLY CREEK FILMS from Grizzly Creek Films on Vimeo.

In their quest to identify the pollinator of the ghost orchid for the first time, a team of explorers, photographers, and filmmakers spent three summers standing waist-deep in alligator- and snake-laden water, swatting air blackened by mosquitoes, and climbing to sometimes nausea-inducing heights. They came away with a startling new discovery – and an even deeper love for Florida’s wildest wetlands – revelations that may help to conserve both the endangered orchid and its shrinking home.

WINNER, ‘ECOSYSTEM’ SHORT FORM – JACKSON WILD MEDIA AWARDS

WINNER, ‘SCIENCE IN NATURE’ SHORT FORM – JACKSON WILD MEDIA AWARDS

WINNER, ‘LIVING FORESTS’ – WORLD WILDLIFE DAY SHOWCASE

Produced by Grizzly Creek Films in partnership with bioGraphic:

https://grizzlycreekfilms.com/​

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* Instagram: @grizzlycreekfilms @biographic_magazine @bendicci @carltonward @peter_houlihan @macstonephoto

 

Source: Chasing Ghosts: A Short Documentary Debunks a Long-Held Theory About What Pollinates the Ghost Orchid | Colossal

Winter Projects ~ Tile Stove Alcove

 

Between the worldwide pandemic and the weather, there’s a lot of time to spend on house projects.

The living room builtin bookcases are essentially done. All the doors came from old schoolhouse windows stored in the basement these past 25 years. The rest was built from scratch.

One major piece left was to tile the alcove behind the gas stove. Technically it didn’t need it – the stove is shielded on three sides and only needs three inches of clearance from combustibles. But it just didn’t look right, especially to those of us who’ve had house fires start in just such a location.

I worked my way through college as a brick mason’s helper, and we did tile work to fill in between jobs. Once I got materials together and figured out a plan, the whole thing was done in a weekend.

I also finished the posts and trim on the columns, which turned out nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Wrong

 

“There is a way of being wrong, which is sometimes necessarily right.”

Edward Abbey – Desert Solitaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before and After ~ January 2020

Terri and I have a lot of people to thank. We’ve had so much support from near and far throughout this year, and we don’t know what we would have done without it.

 

 

 

 

Last week we started sending out progress photos in emails, but we don’t even have contact information for many of the people who came to our aid. So I’ll be posting those photos here, along with a lot more as time goes on, more than is practical to send in emails.

We were able to move back in a few days before Christmas, a year and a fews days since the night of the fire. The house isn’t done, but it’s close, and we can continue the work more easily and comfortably now that we’re back. The yard is still a total wreck, complete with dumpster in the front yard and debris littered about. We’ll get to that soon.

Meanwhile, the inside is amazing. We still mourn what was lost, but that gets easier every day. Easier still, because we’re so pleased with the results of all the hard work.

Here are some before and after photos. In some cases, even the before-fire before for reference.

 

Living Room two days before he fire

 

Living Room the day after the fire

 

Living Room now

 

 

Living Room. The fire uncovered a doorway we always suspected was there originally.

 

Same wall with the doorway restored.

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Window before the fire.

 

 

 

Kitchen Window today

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had just finished the renovation two months before the fire.

 

 

Same view today

 

 

The sunroom a few months before.

 

 

Sunroom today. The arched ceilings are gone, but it’s full of light again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boat Buddies Bookshelf

 

Back around Christmas,  a bunch of the guys in the sailing group started asking about making a delivery from Philly, Delaware, and Jersey – “a major award” they called it, and promised it was neither a leg lamp nor Brandi, the  rubber mermaid fender. This week they showed up for a tour, with the goods in tow.

 

 

Most of us sailors are also readers. There was much relief that the boats were safe, but it hurt them to hear that my library had burned. So they banded together and brought me a new handmade bookshelf and four crates of books to fill it. Totally blew me away.

 

 

Apparently, this has been in the works for some time. I may not have this exactly right, but apparently Paul S., a teacher, salvaged some clear Douglas Fir from the old bleachers during a gym renovation. He delivered it to Kevin B. at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival  in St. Michaels, who then drove it back to DC to build the shelves. Meanwhile, over a dozen of the guys pitched in and put together a collection of books. Emily says they contacted her to see if she could suss out what I needed.

Many of the titles they sent were those I had before the fire and were on my list to find again and replace if I could. Many I have not heard of, but now look forward to reading. Add these to the books from Doug L. and Dave G., and I’m well on the way to restarting the library again.

Pete P. even tossed in a framed print of me sailing in Caesura with the tops’l up, taken on one of my last trips with the crew.

 

 

Thanks guys!

All of the above, including just seeing good friends again, made me realize how much I’ve missed it. By the time warm weather returns I should be ready to get on the water again. Even Steve E. has been prodding with a standing invitation, so it’s long overdue.