11 December 2023
Summer here was rainy, unseasonably overcast and cool. The garden didn’t really take off until mid august- and with the late frost- the Dahlias didn’t explode with blooms until nearly October.
Our town and home were spared by the devastating summer floods. We are situated on high ground: On a hillside overlooking the Wells River Valley. We learned from a neighbor recently that the valley used to have 5 dairy farms- and the one remaining just sold off their herd.
My cousin Paul visited from DC and worked with Terrence on our solar panel install. The 2 panels are powering wifi nodes & cameras, strategically located to expand the range as far into the hills. The system needs some fine tuning, but for the most part- is working.
A third panel is in the works, and will hopefully cast internet up to the campsites that Terrence has been working on developing.
The campsites are located towards the center of the property, in a relatively large clearing at the top of a hill where we believe a previous owner used to park their RV. Terrence has marked off the footprint for a small cabin and camping.
Back at the house…
A few weeks ago our neighbor David, a logger, removed a 35 year old Maple tree on the Western gable end of our house. The tree was overhanging power lines, our roof and chimneys, and left the brick house cast in shade.
It was remarkable to see the sunlight flood in through the old wavy glass windows.
Major work has started on the foundation of the brick house. We hired Buzz Churchill to repair the chimney connected to our furnace, and to repair the north wall of the house, which had been warping from the weight of snow falling on a porch that was tied into the brick. We had to replace a few beams and jack up the north side of the house. To get the supports in the right place we had to remove a portion of a granite stone wall. Jeff broke the granite into about 100-200 lb. pieces, which Terrence hoisted out of the basement and into our front yard.
It was a race to get the house jacked and brick wall reconstructed before the the temperature dropped too far. Buzz had to mix a historically appropriate mortar for our brick, which needed to be above freezing to properly cure. We almost made it- ultimately we had to set up a small heated tent to keep it at the right temperature.
We have been toying around with different ideas for starting a small business here. As our vision becomes more clear, we are tackling projects around the house to make our living space more comfortable and customized.
This dark time of year is welcome after all the activity of the Spring and Summer. We’re ready to hunker down and focus on personal projects to recharge our creativity.