Thursday, November 8, 2018

Progress Through The Week

Sunday was as lovely a fall day as anyone could desire.

The sky was brilliantly blue with soft white clouds.  
The wind was a gentle intermittent breeze.

The trees, so  long green in this autumn of rains, were wearing rusty hues, leaves drifting silently to the ground.
Walking behind the barn my attention was caught by a single scarlet leaf, spinning in a current of air, floating softly to rest on the trampled grass.

Trees along the east boundary, illuminated in morning sunshine.

Our good neighbor [renter when we owned the farm] volunteered to help for the day.

Jim and Fred devised a method for raising the truss rafters.

Looking at the sky from the main floor.

Monday was a restless day.  Weather forecasts warned of high winds, heavy rain beginning late in the evening. As dusk approached the mostly blue sky turned inky.

Later, I lay in bed listening to the rising wind, the scrape and skitter of leaves blowing across the camper's roof, aware of the seemingly fragile barrier between us and the gathering storm.

At about 10:30 the siren at the local fire station began to hoot.
Rain, propelled by gusty wind, lashed the camper, which shuddered.
We struggled into clothes, Jim pulled up the doplar weather map and announced, rather redundantly, 'We're in for some of the storm!'
Turning on my laptop to access the web page for county weather warnings I noticed that our SIL at the other end of the county was messaging me.
Tornado warnings in effect!
Headed your way!
Jim pulled on a jacket, stepped out to the deck, popped back in, water streaming from his cap, jacket soaked.
I fretted about the house, invisible in the swirling blackness.
"The house will stand," Jim declared. "We braced for this."

Thunder boomed, the sound mingled with the increasing roar of the wind.
The cats hid; Bobby Mac huddled in the windowless hallway, wedged himself against the shower door.  Unable to take refuge under the platform bed, the other cats flattened themselves along the edges. In a camper there is no room to pace. 

From my chair, laptop on its stand in front of me, I watched out the uncurtained west window, cringing at each flash of lightning, eyes glued to the awning that billowed, wrenching at its support posts.
For 10-15 minutes the wind lashed, howled, moaned; rain pounded, streamed down the windows.
Then--"Is it slacking off?" I asked, tentatively, not quite ready to believe the storm was passing.
"Yes, said Jim, "Its moving off."
Shedding his wet cap and jacket, he marched resolutely off to bed.
I messaged SIL--We're OK--the storm has gone through.

I picked up Jim's wet jacket, looked for a place it could be hung to dry; not finding one I poked it into the clothes dryer.
The cats began to creep out of hiding.
I turned off lights, removed my shoes, got back into my nightgown.
Shaken by the storm, I didn't immediately fall asleep., but lay awake listening to the now desultory spattering of rain on the roof, the rustle of falling leaves.

We were up early, reassured to see the framework of the house looming against the dawn sky.

Outside the day warmed into brilliance.  It was muddy underfoot and windy overhead.
Newly bared branches swayed under swiftly scudding clouds.
I stood looking upward, head tilted, watching the movement of the clouds until I was dizzy.

Too restless to stay indoors I squelched up to my makeshift garden.
At the house Jim and Howard were cheerfully sweeping rainwater out of the basement. 
Waiting for things to dry out we did errands, ate an early lunch at Bread of Life Cafe.

In the afternoon the men got most of the underlayment applied to the roof before dark.

Early on Wednesday morning the metal roofing was delivered.
By quitting time the backside of the house was clad.

Today the weather has been brisk--harbinger of the frost and cold front predicted for the weekend.
The rest of the roofing is on, though not the soffit and edge trim.
The house is being wrapped in tyvek.

Late in the morning the men appeared for a meal.
[We don't know whether to term it 'breakfast' or 'lunch' these days.]
I made cream of butternut squash soup, seasoned with minced onion, garlic, curry powder.
I used the volunteer squash which grew out of the compost pile at the farm.
Served with fat sandwiches--canned corned beef mixed with chopped celery and pickle, sliced tomato on whole wheat 'store-bought' bread.

The meal was a success, with a serving of soup tucked away in the fridge for me to enjoy tomorrow.
Gina brought us two loaves of banana bread--lovely with hot tea to ward off the chill.
Each week brings us closer to a new house--even as the days grow colder and shorter.


  1. Gosh the house is going up quick Sharon. We had a friend come yesterday, they are also building a new home on their two acres. This time a timber framed eco house, but it will be stone clad. The storm sounds scary, glad all the cats were in with you, our storms do not contain typhoons either!

    1. Thelma; I"m wondering if the term 'timber framed' is the same concept as 'post and beam.'
      Ours is a conventionally framed house. I suppose it would be thought of as 'contemporary' but we will add touches to give it a rather rustic appearance.
      Husband and son have made impressive progress considering that the weather has been uncooperative. Our son mentioned this evening that taking the rainy days together they have lost a week of work.

  2. My first thought was for the kitties. Ours run when someone bangs a bin outside, lord knows what they would do in a bit storm.
    I'm watching the progress of your house and can only take my hat off to Jim, what a giant of a man.

    1. Briony; Our Bobby Mac is the cat who goes to pieces over a storm. If he is outside and there is the faintest rumble of thunder he is frantic to get inside and run to his special hiding place. Years ago we had a Border Collie who reacted in the same way.
      We do always provide places of shelter for the cats who are outside.
      Re the house: some of our family and friends are a bit astonished that Jim has at his age [73] undertaken the hands-on building of another house. Having our son here to work with him makes all the difference--two experienced carpenters with a good work ethic.

  3. Storms like that are so scary, glad it passed you by. Looks like you're making good progress on your house, hope you get it done before winter really sets in.

    1. Janet; I haven't been given a 'move-in' date. I want to believe that we won't spend all winter in the confines of the camper! The next big hurdles are installation of a septic system and the electrical wiring.
      Yes, several times each year we get at least the tail end of these violent storms. Each time they scare me!

  4. Oh, so good to have the house in the dry! How reassuring it must have been to hear the words, in the midst of the storm, "The house will stand. We braced for this." I also love those blue blue skies!

    1. Chip; Jim is a man of optimism! In truth, he'd been paying close attention to the weather forecast and added extra bracing.
      The following day was so brisk and bright that it would seem we'd imagined the fury of the storm--other than noticing squelchy mud underfoot and the downed leaves.

  5. I am so glad/thankful you all survived that stormy weather. I would have been 'freaking' out.

    I can't believe how fast your new house is coming along.

    Love, hugs & prayers for you ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; I was surely praying for safety during that storm, knowing that we had to wait out the blasts of wind and rain. So thankful when it passed and all was well.
      Its starting to look like a house!

  6. Thank heavens you survived the storm. How worrying that must have been for you in the caravan and with just the bare bones of the house out there, riding out the weather - but I guess the wind blew through the gaps!

    Poor cats - ours don't like vacuum cleaners but I haven't seen how they react to thunder as it's normally a middle of the night job, when we are in bed and they are snug in the kitchen.

    You'll breath a sign of relief to have the roof and cladding in place, that's for sure.

    Makes our paltry "heavy rain" (think torrential) here just ordinary "weather"!

    1. Jennie; I've thought of your description of wind: "blowing a hooley"--it surely did. Torrential rain even without high wind, is worrying.
      The house is looking more substantial with each day of good working weather.
      I have to 'hoover' at least once a day in the camper, which upsets the cats. There are few hiding places in this small space!

  7. I'm glad the roof is on. That is always a relief!