Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Good Weekend


Of course I can't blog while I'm away. Can't you see how busy I am? Eating crabs without even shelling them....

We're back home again for another ten days or so, taking care of big business here--especially finishing the bathroom!--to return to Delaware for another weekend, and only a few days after that, take off for ten days with our friends in Nags Head. I realize many of you have already had your vacations and your new "work year" has already begun. Since we take our big vacation so late, in September, it's only after Nags Head that the sense of a page turning comes upon us. By that time it really is the end of summer, there is little more sun and fun to look forward to, and thoughts turn to the chores and delights of autumn and winter. I am grateful for the change in seasons.

In Delaware, we are getting deeper and deeper into planning for the new house. We invited the two sets of neighbors on either side of us over to show them our plans and get their blessings...this will be a much larger structure in their midst than they've ever dealt with before, and they'll have to look at it, and us, forever! We wanted to assure them we will be as kind to the surroundings as we can be, saving as many trees as possible, and using muted colors that will blend into the landscape. (No jarring white PVC trim for us.) We will have to ask the local county for a zoning variance because of the width of the deck we want to build towards the water; a variance always involves impacted neighbors' input, meaning they will get letters from the county asking for comment. We wanted to give them a heads up so they wouldn't be blindsided by these requests. They are good people all, seem to love what we are planning and assured us we'll get no roadblocks from them. They are oldtime residents there, big business owners. They were full of advice and warnings about dealinng with the county, and offered help if we need it. (I hope we won't, but it's nice to know we can call on them.)

We are trying to push things along because change is coming to Delaware. Many are promoting a mandatory 100-foot setback for any new building along waterways--a rule that would automatically prohibit us from constructing anything on our tiny lot, which is only 100 feet square to begin with. We hope to get our plans approved now, while more congenial regulations are still in place. I have to say that I'm sympathetic to any rules that help preserve the purity of the local waterways, but still, I hope they're put in place after we do what we want to do! (And of course, we'll be perfect stewards of nature's bounty if given the chance.)

Aside from that business, we did the usual fun things. The air was cool and extremely clear on boat rides, with distant landmarks in high relief. We found a couple of small byway coves and explored them--there are several small, high-end waterfront communities hidden away in those parts. I caught the last crabs of the season. Among the crabs this time was this fish, astroscopus guttatus, or "one who looks at the stars"--a stargazer. It gets it name from its strategy of burying its body in the mud with only its eyes and mouth exposed, pointed up, ready to lunge at some tasty morsel that may swim by unawares. We had never seen such a creature before; it's listed as an "occasional" visitor to Delaware's waters. There is nothing at all beautiful about it, but I suppose other stargazers love them. (We set this one free to gaze some more after its modeling session.)
Duties of the day await. Have a good one.

9 comments:

Nan said...

What a picture!

Eclecticity said...

He's pantless too I'd bet!

You guys are soooooo smart to include the neighbors. Nice touch.

Ralph said...

Heh heh--no, E. We want to be allowed to stay there, not scare the horses and children!

Kat said...

Ralph,
I'm glad everything is starting in earnest. But that picture!

How did the tiles look?

Ralph said...

What's wrong with the picture? Hasn't anybody seen a man without a shirt before, for goddness sakes???

The tile work is wonderful, really transforms the room. We are so glad we learned of this alternative to ripping out outmoded tile, and just in time, before we finished the walls. It's still curing, so we have to use the bathtub at shower time until Thursday. We still need to put the finish coat of paint on the walls--that'll happen this weekend, and at that time we'll also put up all the new hardware, towel bars, switch plates, etc. Once everything's up, I'll post b&a pics.

Jenny said...

I'd say you'd better lay that foundation as quickly as possible while the rules still apply! Aren't fresh crabs the best?! We have enjoyed them on the west coast while visiitng my sister and her husband on Whidbey Island, WA.

Cuidado said...

Love to see you here with our abundant lobster.

Ralph said...

Oh, Cuidado, I'd be in pig heaven!

Ravel said...

"Hasn't anybody seen a man without a shirt before?"
Yes, but not THIS ONE !