After Long Silence, a Weaselly Update

I've been holding off updating the webpage this year because we were supposed to buy each other a digital camera for Christmas...which was fine. Finding the right camera in the midst of constantly updating technology, even staying abreast of the changes enough not to feel like complete idiots when we go shopping, that's been the challenge. We should be buying one soon, and then we won't have to wait six months to find the roll of film that house the house pictures on it, then wait another few months to get it into town to get it developed....

Anyway. I knew I'd been putting off updates for a while, but I hadn't realized just how long it was until a friend sent me a very tentative email, asking if something wasn't wrong with my health or something. All here is fine. We've been, like everyone else I know, very busy, but very happy as well.

2003 was the year of the thunderstorm. It seemed we couldn't get anything done, between the dampness that kept us from painting, doing masonry, work on the house, or just about anything else except mow, sometime twice a week, dodging raindrops. We had the wettest year on record, which culminated in an impressive show of nature when Hurricane Isabel came to town....


In retrospect, we considered it a dry run in our Flood Preparedness and Response Program, which we failed miserably. The water came up high enough to get us nervous, not high enough to do us much damage. And it was actually a beneficial experience, in that it showed us where the weak points in our emergency planning lie.

selfportrait in the water

After a long quiet winter, and in the hopes that this year will be a little drier, we've begun work again on the house, in several areas. Andy built a huge deck of the north side porch and we're preparing to refit the entire side of the house with historically accurate siding and a screened porch.

porch in progress

Already it looks much better; just removing the masonite siding and installing the windows and trim have made an enormous impact. Inside, we've refit the back room and made it into a temporary workshop until the major restoration work is done. I've been painting and doing window restoration, both slow and tedious projects, but they make a big difference. I'm getting rather skilled at fixing rotting woodwork, and restored surfaces are a lot easier to keep clean. One set at a time, we're rebuilding the windows and their casements, inside and out. Things are looking better.

front facing

Jack is growing, of course, and every week he seems to take more and more responsibility. We are very proud of him. Giving him the chance to grow up on a farm was one of the major reasons we came here in the first place, and he's rising to all the challenges we set for him. He can drive all the vehicles including the tractor and the tiller, he's very helpful with painting and woodworking, and he's not bad with a chopping maul, either.

Paul Bunyan in training

In return for his good work in school and at home, he's stepping more and more into the role of a living historian and a Civil War infantry bugler. His unit is the Third Virginia Infantry. In addition to hanging out with the officers at some events.....

Jack and General Lee

..... he's been of some use locally for memorial observances, which he very much enjoys.

in the Elkton cemetary

So, work goes on apace, now that the weather is warm and reasonably dry. This year, we've been getting doses of rain when we need it, and the world is green and thriving. And I'll show you, inside and out, as soon as we get that camera....

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