Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Getting back....


Well, it's about time, right? The weekend that started with Thanksgiving (the day itself seems ages ago) was so varied and so busy that yesterday I had trouble wrapping my brain around sitting here for a couple of hours just listening to music and cobbling words together. I felt like I should be "doing something."

We made a one-day trip to the Delaware property on Friday for a couple of errands and to see what the place looks like now with most of its ancient trees cut down. Since we're taking the whole project one day at a time these days we really didn't want anything done to the trees yet--if, God forbid, the whole scheme falls apart we still want to be able to enjoy the lot and the trailer. We told the demolition contractor to hold off on any work, but he didn't get word to his subcontractors until they had done what you see above. It was a shock, and I can only imagine what that barren landscape would be like in the depths of summer with only the trailer to escape from the constant sun. There was one huge loblolly pine, must have been 90 feet tall, that was cut. We counted 128 rings in the stump. All of the oaks were over 100 years old, too. They all did have to come down, but we're sorry it had to happen now. At least word is out that all further work will be on hold until we sell the house.

When we got back here we set to clearing out my room and re-creating it. Steve has now become expert at removing wallpaper. In an amazing three days he had all of it down, chinks in the ceiling and walls spackled and smoothed, and half the room painted. If we continue at this pace we may actually finish this work by March.

I am starting phone calls to some friends in town to see if there are any contractor positions I may be able to avail myself of after the first of the year. We'll use the extra money to pay down debt, preparing for the lean times we're expecting after June. And frankly, getting out and using my mind for something besides fretting over uncertainties wouldn't be a bad thing.

8 comments:

Mim said...

Oh wow that would be a shock to see the trees down prematurely.
Hope you are recovering.
And the contractor positions sound good.. will that be hard in this down turn economy. Hopefully not for you.
We're hitting dead ends here on our job hunting.
M.

Ralph said...

Hi, Mim. Re: contracting, that's what I'm very curious about. I know the federal agencies I'm interested in are suffering through a budget shortfall, but I don't know how that's affecting ongoing contracted projects. I'll soon find out....

Linda (SE PA) said...

Hi Ralph!

Good to see the blog active again... miss the daily conversation(s).

Wow... talk about bare!!! I would still be speechless as I do love trees. I sense they were also very good buffers. In the county where I reside, the builders pledge to plant trees on any development. I don't know the formula but in one former farm, now development - there are buffer trees down what could be in length a Manhattan city block. As time moves on and eventually, you will not see a house from the road.

Good luck on the job search! You've hit the right - first step - network - network - network!

Peewit said...

I can't help thinking of the Simpson's episode where Lisa tried to stop the loggers! We had to remove a diseased Apple tree from our garden 2 years ago and I still feel guilty about it. Our house was built in the thirties on the site of an orchard we have mature apple and plum trees that had clearly been "worked" in the past.

Ralph said...

The trees were great buffers, Linda, and they also softened the landscape a great deal. We kept as many as we could, all around the perifery, but the ones in the middle had to go to make way for the house.

I'm taking the job search nice and slow. I did hear today that the Peace Corps is still taking on temps. Just don't know yet which offices....

Ralph said...

I know what you mean about the trees, Peewit. We felt really bad that any had to come down. But the house is the greater good, we're convinced.

Zoey and Me said...

I'm with the other tree huggers, what a difference. It's bare. When we built the house we're in now we fell in love with the treed acreage. Told the contractor to only remove the trees needed and our front yard today looks old Florida, some people think scraggly but what a buffer during Hurricane season.

Ralph said...

That's what we told our contractor, too Z&M--we left all the periferal trees. But with only a quarter-acre to build on, the ones in the middle of the lot had to go. We hated having to do it but like I said, the house itself will add a different kind of beauty once it's built.