Most of the month of August was given over to arranging the monumental task of painting the farm house and David’s shop. I was lucky enough to have Shannon Wilber respond to my search for a painter.
He turned out to able to do absolutely anything and around an old farmhouse, that is the man you need. I never dreamed I would find someone as handy and knowledgeable as David. He was the best thing of the entire summer. I only wish David could have known him and he David. They have a great deal in common. Shannon so reminds me of David at Shannon’s age. A quiet, calm capable man.
The roof was first and it must have been horrid up there in the extreme heat on that metal.
The painting of this old house with 4 different colors was made, as I said, so much more difficult by the extreme heat this summer where it was in the mid to upper 90’s for weeks on end with heat indexes over 100 degrees and 110 at one point. I wondered why I left Florida where it was in the low 80’s in Flagler Beach.
I’ve lived in Virginia since 1968 and I have never ever seen heat like this even when I lived in Virginia Beach rather than here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge where one would expect it to be cooler.
In addition to getting the painting done, I was working on putting together a slide show for David’s memorial in September. I went through all the thousands of pictures we had taken of our Full Timing Life and as many as I had time for of his life prior to that.
These pictures were among my favorites. First is David before I knew him. This picture is from 1966 while he was in college and I found it in his first International Driver’s License. Remember he was a pack rat and kept EVERYTHING. Guess he was trying out the beard. Glad he decided against it.
The second is also from an International Driver’s License in 1997 when he was the respectable father of teenager about to leave for college herself.
Ah, the young and foolish, painting without a shirt in this blazing heat. Frying his skin to a light golden brown. But in his defense, it was SO hot his shirt would have been dripping and needed to be wrung out. No joke. I hope he had sunscreen on though
Before painting the house had to be scraped and on this side in particular, repair work done to replace boards. I wish I had taken more pictures of all the work Shannon did just to get the house ready to paint.
Carrie came again to continue cleaning out her room. This time she only brought Colin so she could get more done. Unlike Celia, he is not walking yet and easier to watch. Yes, if you put him in one place he can crawl off but at least he can’t run off. He also naps more than a 3 year old.
During those naps Carrie continued going through the collections of things in her room. The tuxedo dress was worn for many piano and flute recitals and competitions.
How about those Cabbage Patch dolls? An almost empty closet!
Like all active toddlers, Colin sometimes wears his food. I love this picture. He seems totally unconcerned. No idea how he got those cheerios stuck to his forehead. Hope he gets a kick out of this picture when he’s a teenager.
Colin is 11 months old and cruising around the furniture or whatever he can pull up on. He enjoyed seeing himself in the mirror of the oak wardrobe David had turned into a stereo cabinet.
He caught me taking pictures of him. I wonder what he thought about seeing me in the mirror too.
David’s shop is the last building to be painted, including the roof. Inside he kept a Shopsmith and tons and tons of other tools, nails, files and things I have no idea about or what to do with.
This grape arbor is to the left of the shop and led out the gate and toward the 10 100 square foot raised bed gardens and potato, and corn patches we had during the 30+ years we were organic gardeners. We grew vegetables and every fruit tree and berry that grew in Virginia. And grapes of course.
Here is an example of what will happen to an arbor of Scuppernong Grapes that is not pruned for 8 years.
Still producing in spite of it all. The pruning or at least a sever cut back will happen this year. Hopefully a repair of the arbor as well.
Among the other things Shannon did was to trim the fence line coming up the driveway and take the piles of brush away back in the woods before he mowed the fields around the house so that people might park their cars for the memorial in this area behind the house.
Shannon is a one stop shop. It was so wonderful to ask him if he knew anyone who could do X and have him smile that cute grin and say yes, me. He turned out to be such a wonderful help. Having only one person to arrange with was just fabulous. He reminds me so of David in that he can do anything.
In addition to the painting and repairs and mowing and clearing of this summer, during August he put in a new breaker for the water heater when it quit working, found a leak in the well line going to our former garden and repaired it when I had no water, got the lawn tractors working so I could mow the grass and in general was there whenever I needed him. I can NEVER thank him enough for showing up in my life at the perfect time. I hope he will stay forever and ever as my go to handy can do anything man.
He hauled off all my cuttings around the house fence as well and his assistant Maria can handle a big weed whacker with the best of them. She trimmed the fence line after I cut it and did much of the trim painting on the house.
By the end of August we were in very good shape. Only a few things remained to be done to the property. Now all the arrangements for the Memorial have to be taken care of.
The internet at the farm is sketchy to say the least so there is definitely no streaming. The farm still has a land line since cell service is undependable. I’m lucky to be able to do email and some things on the web. There is no TV reception without a lot of cost and contracts as the house sits in what is locally known as a “holler” surrounded by the mountains. So to keep myself from worrying hours away in the evenings about all the things still to do, I’ve taken to doing puzzles. Here are some of what I worked on in September. Some easier than others. Nothing over 750 pieces. I don’t want to work hard at night too.
Wish I were here this summer. Wherever it is.
I’ll save this one for Colin and Celia
I’m working on this red rock country as August comes to an end.
The beautiful view out the west porch window where I am using the big desk to do my puzzles. This is also the reason I have weak internet and no TV. The internet is an extremely irritating story best left for another post.