Shangri La

Shangri La

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Slow Work

I have read that the framing is the fastest (and most gratifying) part of building a house - it's all rough cuts and rough nailing, and every day you see big progress as a wall goes up or a roof goes on. And it's true - each weekend this summer left a feeling of accomplishment in its wake, each new picture on my desktop at work drawing comments from passers-by, astonished that one of their desk-jockey compatriots could successfully assault a task so seemingly daunting.

Now? Not so much. The picture from 3 weeks ago showed siding on one side of the building up to the first window. 2 weeks ago the picture had siding up to the 2nd window. With any luck, this week's picture will show one side finished. My co-workers are starting to sneak past my desk without comment.

In fairness to me, I'm now working by myself, one day a week, in increasingly cold weather. By the time I get there and set up, it's almost 10, and I begin to pack up for home by 2. Not exactly a recipe for rapid progress. But the goal is to get all the trim up and get one wall sided, so I keep plugging away. (Thank god, by the way, that I chose white pine shiplap rather than shingles; at this rate I'd be 3 years dead of old age before the shingles would be finished.)

I expect that this weekend (or next) will be the last for the year, and then we'll settle for staying at the Saxton's River Inn once per month (they gave us the corporate rate - thanks!) to check on the place and have a nice meal. Maybe we'll spend some time getting better acquainted with the other 2.5 acres on the property, and I've promised The Boy we'd do some sledding - the cleared slope of land from the cabin to the utility right-of-way should be perfect for it. Might even rent a snow machine or two and explore some of the VAST trails. In any event, it will be nice to go up to relax for a few weekends for a change.

On the plus side, our little slice of heaven has been painfully picturesque as the fall has progressed, and the fresh donuts at the Saxton's River Market seem to get even better as the temperature drops. With the leaves gone, I've noted that - with a little clearing - we've got an potentially nice view of the ridge to the West to add to the current view from the East. We'll have the perfect view from either porch. Nice.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm Exhausted

So I'm sure the two of you who read have noticed the posts getting sparse lately. Sorry about that, but I'm exhausted.

For example, today I got up at 5 am to be on the road by 6. Got to the cabin by 9 am, and began setting up to continue the siding in 40 degree weather. Spent 6 hours covering on 16 feet, and then spent 3 1/2 hours on the road to arrive home at 6:30. Such has been my life each Sunday for the last (?) number of weekends, trying to get the siding up before it gets too cold to work any more.

I know: Boo-Hoo. Just the price you pay for a 'vacation home'. (Actually, I had always assumed that if you could afford a second home, you could afford to pay someone to build it. Sigh.)

It's all good, though - VT is beautiful in the fall. After a few days of rest, I'll post a real update.