Fall is Here


They say that we might actually have a dusting of snow at the end of this week, but our fall has been absolutely wonderful.  Summer was filled with lots of projects here in Georgetown so there were stretches of time that we simply had to put the Phippsburg house project on hold.   I have had the opportunity to spend some serious time there over the last week or so, and the push is on to get things closed in before the temperatures take a dive for good.

As this picture indicates, yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day!  The sky was blue and the temperature was just right for working outside.   I took this picture at lunch time.  By the end of the day all four of the front windows were in place.


Today was not quite as bright, but it was still a good day for working… at least till the rain came in the afternoon.  But, by then I had all of the paper up on this near gable end, and the fifth window in place.   Half of the windows are in now.   My goal is to finish the windows and the doors within 2 weeks.   This morning the fellow who has been doing the site work stopped by, and we made plans to finish up that portion of the job by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.

A pressing need now is to take a few loads of trash to the dump – if all goes well, I might get that accomplished tomorrow.    I should really spend more time at the end of each day, sweeping and organizing the refuse, but I am finding that there is little energy left for such things these days!

On a side note, I stopped in Bath today to pick up some glass panels that we had ordered for a job in Georgetown.  The woman at the desk took me into the shop and opened the door there to make it easier to load.  When she saw my van, she asked if I was building a house on Lewis Way.  It turns out that she is our next door neighbor there –  the world is rather small.. especially so in the mid-coast area of Maine!


Progress on the Phippsburg House


At the conclusion of a flurry of activity spurred on by the imminent annual spring closing of roads to heavy vehicles I showed up to the site and saw the foundation of our new house for the first time.   And then we took a quick trip to PA to check on family.  When we returned I got a call from the excavator – only two days left before he would not be able to take his trucks on the road, he wondered if I was ready to install the drain pipes.  I wasn’t, but, of course, that is not the answer that he wanted!  I showed up the next day,  and began installing drains, and, when that was finished, we filled in with stone…


and then backfilled the outside of the wall.  It is amazing how much material one can move in a short time with a machine that large.h2

The next job was to install the mud sills.   This was a cooperative effort on a sunny day – Janet helped with the drilling and bolting of the sills. h4

It is always satisfying to  check off one of the hundreds of items on the list !


Next came the floor joists.. this did not go quite as quickly as i was working solo.   Beautiful sky –  quiet – a wonderful place to work!


One joist at a time….


and then , all of a sudden, another item is checked off the list!

Today I returned with a van full of  subfloor panels.    It pays to be patient and to get the first sheet right….


The shadows sort of indicate that a good number of hours passed between this point…


and this point!   I was a little sore as I packed my tools away in the van,  and I was thinking to myself that I had imagined getting done quicker.   But, when I got home I looked up the weight of  one 4 x 8 sheet of adventech sub floor and found that it was 70 pounds.. and I was carrying and throwing those around all day .. and I am not 35  any more  🙂   So I guess I don’t feel so bad!

I have ten more panels to pick up and install, and then..  well, it seems like our plan of action at this point will be to cover everything up and hold off  for a while before we actually begin to frame the house.

Spring has arrived in Maine, at least along the coast, and there is a long list of items that need attention in order to prepare for the summer season in Georgetown.   It looks like it will be a busy and fun summer, with lots of projects to keep us occupied.  But  still plenty of time to entertain friends, so call us up and let’s make plans 🙂

It’s all related…

ImageThis morning I wrote about my trip to Maine.   After making an offer on a piece of land in Phippsburg and having it rejected and then resubmitting it a couple of weeks later and having it accepted,  we are moving forward in the purchase process.  My fingers are crossed that all will be well and that we will close by the end of May.   So, what about the picture of a house under construction, you might ask.   That is the house that we are currently building.  It has been a 4 year process of working during the summers and vacations and gradually getting to the point where we can enjoy living there when we are on break from school.   And, within a month, around the same time that we close on the property in Maine,  we will be moving to this house after living in a dorm for the last 13 years.   The dorm has it’s highlights, but it will be very nice to be in our own home after so many years!

This brings us to bad habit number one..  ( my bad habits, of course)  I typically begin  new projects before finishing old ones which means that I am constantly drawn in different directions.   I probably should have been working on the exterior of the house this past weekend, instead of traveling to Maine..  but even warmer weather is on the way..  plenty of time for exterior work 🙂

In addition to working on the house, the major adventure for the upcoming summer is supposed to be a boat trip to Lake Champlain.  It has been 6 months in the planning stages..  but reality began to sink in on the long ride home from Maine yesterday.   If our next project will be a small house in Maine, doesn’t it make a lot more sense to have the boat there?    On the way up to Maine on Saturday, I crossed the Hudson River at Newburgh NY and looked down at the water, thinking that in a couple of months I would be cruising at 6 mph under this very bridge…   on the way home yesterday  I confronted the reality that  I probably would not be headed in this direction at all, but instead, would be sailing up the coast..  into NY Harbor and then through Hell’s Gate into long island sound..  and continuing on till reaching the coast of Maine.  

On the bright side,  it means a lot more sailing whereas the trip up the Hudson would have been mostly under power..    And, actually, Maine was the first destination that we considered as we talked about moving the boat last summer.   But,  we may never make it to Champlain and all that it has to offer the cruising sailor.  The big draw of Champlain was that my daughter lives near Burlington, a great town to visit..   so we will miss the opportunity of spending time with her and sailing with her on the lake.   Hopefully, she and her boyfriend will find time to visit us in Maine instead…

So, even life at 6mph can be complicated, and, as often is the case, it is our own desires and dreams that are the sources of the complications.   In the end, I am imagining that we will build a small place in Phippsburg which will become the focus of many summer adventures for us and for our kids and their families.   And if that happens, it will all be worth it.   One way or another, however, this summer will include a trip on Adagio, and that will be a dream fulfilled…   jt