Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Short Week

I couldn't resist sharing another example of the ever-changing spectacle right off our dock. This picture of the morning fog is taken from the same place and position as the sunrise picture at the top of the blog. The scene out there is just like that famous box of chocolates.

We had a very pleasant yet productive weekend. The holiday traffic horrors caused by emergency repairs on the Bay Bridge were so well predicted that potential travelers were frightened away; the backups never materialized. Friend Chris made the trip in record time early Saturday morning, at less than 2 1/2 hours. As for the building project, we did accomplish what we hoped we would: applied for the variance to accommodate a deck (our personal appearance before the zoning board will take place within the next two months), and signed a contract with a builder to take us as far as final design preferences and permits. Once we have plans and permits in hand, we will be able to shop them around to other builders to see if we can get a better price. When we're through that process and decide on a builder, we'll slow down on construction plans until the spring, when we have a better idea of what we can get for this house. But we'll still be looking at storage costs, movers, final "staging" of the house, and of course....painting! I'll no doubt have plenty to entertain you with in the coming months.

I have much to do here in Arlington before we take off Thursday for about two weeks to Nags Head, with stops at the Delaware place bracketing the start and finish of the trip. The Outer Banks are beautiful during this "shoulder" season. The air is still summer-warm, but the days have shortened a bit, making the nights comfortably cool, and the crowds have finished their vacations, leaving the beach and the local roads relatively serene for us to enjoy. But there is one obvious drawback to September: hurricanes. We're watching Hannah, Ike, and Josephine as they develop and follow the wind currents west, hoping they will turn away from where we will be. I have to say we've had extremely good luck in the thirty years we've been making this trip. We've had some heavy rain, but never for a full week, and we've only been required to evacuate two times. As long as all the friends we go with want to stick with September, we'll keep going at this time.

Outdoor work beckons this truncated week. Happy New Work Year!


Jeff said...

Hi Ralph - welcome back after the holiday! I've also noticed the days getting shorter - the summer seems to have slipped by and I find my fall melancholy beginning. My only hope is that with the weather having been so cool, that the leaves will remain longer than they have in the past. Good luck to you with the house plans - I can only imagine how exciting that is!

Ralph said...

Hi, Jeff, and thanks. Yes, the whole house thing is really exciting--to be watch the process of something you basically dream up out of your own head turn into concrete reality is a trip. And the angst of jobs and real estate markets adds its own wrinkle.....

Sorry about your SADD. I'm weird enough to actually look forward to the shortening days and cooling weather. I like winter food and the general coziness of a warm house in the winter, so I have something to look forward to. (Of course, along about February I'm ready for that monotony to end...I don't think I'd enjoy living in extreme northern climes where summer is only a few weeks....)

Hang in...we'll keep you happy!

Nan said...

What a gorgeous photo. I love the muted light. Beautiful! Have a great time in the Outer Banks. I love it there. (Also meant to comment that your Friday cake looks magnificent. Wow.)

Ralph said...

Thanks, Nan. About that cake: I've been fooling around with it a lot, making practice versions to perfect as a dessert for the Nags Head group. I landed on raspberries instead of blackberries this weekend and it was a winner! Hope you can try it soon!

Mim said...

The cake looks like one to try.
Nice picture too of your building spot.
Glad things are moving along on your building project. Never a dull moment at your house.
Plus you get two weeks at Nags Head. I think one week there is good, so you know I'm green with envy.
We went this week last sept and it was perfect.
We are debating if we can get there the second week in Oct, but have never been there that late so we haven't decided yet.
Hope you have a great time vacationing before you return home to begin more work to sell your house and begin the building.
Are you a politics watcher last wk and this wk?

Cuidado said...

That is a gorgeous photo, Ralph! I love September. We had record breaking rainfall the month of Aug. so anything is an improvement. Your trip of thirty years would be considered a ritual by now and that is one great thing about September: the ritual where it seems like a new year somehow.

Ralph said...

Hi, Mim. Actually, we'll just be in Nags Head for a week, but we're taking a couple of extra days on either end in Delaware for a total of 11 days--almost two weeks. We've never been there in October. I'd think it would be a bit chilly for beach sitting, but still beautiful...

I tend to avoid national orgies of most kinds, so I'm not really attentive to the conventions. I did catch Bill Clinton's speechl which was enough to make me feel like the Democrats will unite behind the candidate. Wanted to see what Biden had to say but it got too late. The Repubs interest me the same way a serious car wreck does--curious in a sick way but not really interested. I get enough from the papers.

Ralph said...

Cuidado, coming from you that is a very high compliment indeed. I, too, was rather taken by the shades of silver. Very rare. Wish I could paint, but a good camera is the next best thing.

You're so right about the NH trip being a ritual. Same people every year, and to the extent possible, the same house, but that does change at times because the ownders want to use their house when we would rent it. We're in a new house this year. Hope we like it!

Mim said...

Ha ha I'm with you on the car wreck analogy.
Yes enough in the papers.
Have a great time in both locations.