Most of you will not be too interested in this post, it is more for me to look back at what happened after I left Maine for NH on August 27 to go work on the house over in Lancaster and finally got home on September 5th.
No, it wasn’t that long of a time, but damn a lot got done over there.
The other big thing was that for someone who spends as much time online and watching some television in the background there wasn’t any for the nine days, except when I could get signal with my phone (which was spotty at best). Basically, it felt like I was back in the late 90’s and kind of lost touch with everything that was going on in the rest of the world.
When I left the big news was Hurricane Harvey and the devastation that it was bringing to Texas, now we are on to Hurricane Irma and the potential devastation that it might bring to Florida. Russian influence, North Korea and racism are all still in the news and American and world politics are not any better. The Celtics did actually acquire Kyrie Irving and the Red Sox are somehow still in first place – despite playing like they want to lose it.
In other words, the world kept on spinning and doing what it will do, despite me not being involved, not that I really make any difference in the world as we know it.
All which was kind of nice and reminded me of a simpler time, when everything was not 24/7 or quite so nasty most of the time.
If you decide to keep reading this long boring narrative, remember I am not a carpenter and I am an out of shape runner. Also, somethings might be slightly out-of-order, because my memory is not the greatest and there was just a wee bit going on.
Sunday – 8/27/17
I had to go over earlier in the week than our usual Tuesday morning – we had a contractor scheduled to do the roof starting Monday morning.
I left Maine and got to NH that afternoon. No issues on the drive over, but it felt longer because Mary and Bennie wouldn’t be joining me until Tuesday, which wasn’t the usual routine and I would notice they were not there. I did actually go for a 3.0 mile run that afternoon, after running 5.0 that morning – I needed to get out and stretch the legs a bit. It was a nice easy one, where I got re-acquainted with that damn Portland St. Hill.
Once I got back to the house, I decided to tackle replacing the paneling that needed to be done. Luckily, I took the correct measurements last time we were there and pre-cut the panels before I left home (I found out they were almost half the price in Augusta). They fit with just a little trimming, so I surprised myself on that one. However when I started to trim the windows and the bedroom door, I found out that I needed more trim boards.
That was frustrating and put everything on hold for the night.
A long day that ended with supper by myself after 8:00 PM and off to bed by 9:30. I did get to play some old school Never Winter Nights – Diamond edition for a while and kill off some Orcs and Goblins.
Monday – 8/28/17
The Contractor showed up at 7:00 and started working on the roof. After he got there and had everything setup (his helper never showed up that day), I went over to the local lumber yard (10 miles away) to get more supplies.
I did stop and get some Dunkin Donuts coffee and sweets for me and the guy working on the roof. He was a helluva nice guy and we got along great. I did finish trimming the windows – although I suck at cutting angles and it took me about twice as long as it should have.
After that it was a lot of cleaning out in the garage, getting stuff ready for more trips to the transfer station and all that kind of stuff. Ron and I talked a lot that day and he offered to finish the deck that week as well. An offer that I gladly accepted, because it needed to be done prior to closing on the house. Monday and Tuesday to do the Roof and Wednesday to Thursday to finish the deck.
He said that he would bring his dual axle trailer over and let me fill it with anything that would burn and he would take it away for a bonfire later on (I had a lot of burnable wood that had sat outside for too long and wasn’t good for anything else). Then it would be ready to finish being filled up with the deck demo debris on Wednesday.
Ron worked on the roof by himself all day. He forgot his radio and he asked if I had one he could use. I told him I could turn on the stereo and I turned it up so he could hear it over the compressor and he jokingly told me that it was vibrating the roof pretty good. hehehehe. He did come into the house after lunch and woke me up from my nap. He asked how I could sleep with the stereo so loud. I told him I can sleep just about anywhere, with noise, after being on a ship all those years ago.
No running too damn tired, mentally and physically. Doing carpentry work tires me out more mentally than it does physically, it is using a part of my little pea brain that isn’t used all that often and requires me to focus pretty hard while measuring, cutting and then putting up the carpentry.
Tuesday – 8/29/17
Ron got there around 7:00 AM, with his helper and the trailer. They got right to work and by mid morning had finished up the other side and were going quickly up this side.
While they went to town on the roof, while I busted arse to get the old finished board wood pile into the trailer (they were there for fixing the deck, but most of them had rotted after being left outside for too long). After three hours I had the trailer full and all the finished boards that were around the house were in the trailer.
Yes, I filled it.
He couldn’t believe that I filled it that quickly or with that much junk, it was a double-axle 10′ Downeaster dump trailer. Filled to overflowing with debris from around the yard.
Mary got there at some point in the afternoon, I did get a nap in – I needed it. Then I did a couple of runs to the transfer station.
They finished the roof up around 2:00 and took off with the loaded trailer. I continued to do yard work and walked Bennie.
Too damn tired to run
Wednesday – 8/30/17
Ron showed up at about 7:30 to start work on the deck (he had stopped to get the lumber). Unfortunately, his helper hadn’t shown up and today was demo of the deck day, along with re-doing the support beams and in order to do things safely, there needs to be 2 people.
I volunteered to be a carpenter’s assistant for the day. I hate demo, because it is hard work, sometime things can get squirrely too quickly, but we filled up the trailer again with all the rotten boards from the deck.
Man o’man, I didn’t realize how bad the deck was until we started to tear it apart. It definitely wasn’t safe to walk on, especially over by the tree and the rails if anyone had leaned against them would have been laying in the driveway very quickly.
Definitely, needed to be done.
Now for an old fart, I keep telling myself I am in decent shape. Well for running I do okay, but for physical labor, let’s just say that chicken wings for arms don’t help when swinging a sledge-hammer or using a pry bar. However, I did see how much help a Saws-all is – it was my friend.
We filled the trailer again with demo stuff and then started on the support beams.
Sistering up or replacing as necessary the story of the rest of the day. I learned alot about prepping a deck’s support and even how to use a few tools that I hadn’t used before. I wasn’t paying much attention to what was going on around me and was very focused on helping Ron, but at some point my brother and sister-in-law got there from Arkansas.
Mary and her went to the lawyer’s office and found out that we could start selling and getting rid of stuff from the estate (car, truck, motorcycles, etc.) that had value. This is something that we had been waiting on for a while.
I helped Ron with the deck until late in the afternoon and was pretty well wiped out for the day. Not used to that manual labor stuff – I guess. I had a feeling that the next day was going to be a sore and whiney kind of day.
I don’t know how much of a help I actually was for Ron, but I would like to believe that I saved him some time and effort.
Even though we had permission to start getting rid of the vehicles and stuff – and we had been waiting since July for this, I was just too damn tired to make calls that day.
Thursday – 8/31/17
Not as sore as I thought I would be – thank goodness. The old fart was in better shape than he thought? We did our daily morning mile walk with Bennie and I felt pretty good.
Ron and his son got there about 7:30 and the truck from the lumber yard arrived a little bit later. So I didn’t have to be his assistant again that day (although I would have if he had been by himself), his other helper didn’t show again.
After 8:00 I called all the people who were interested in the stuff back in July, to see if they were still interested in purchasing them. They still were, so we made tentative arrangements for them to come get them (those changed hourly it seemed).
I walked Bennie on his long walk, putzed around the house some and just kind of relaxed a little more than I had most of the week.
They got most of the deck done that afternoon and just had a couple of hours of finish work to do. We stood around gabbed and yakked for about an hour, had a beer or two from the case of Bud Light that I bought for Ron, for letting me fill the trailer yesterday. Just a little way of saying thank you, but it still means a lot to the person receiving it – after giving that acknowledges what he did for us. After all Ron went out of his way to help us out more than he will ever know, letting me fill that trailer saved probably 10 loads at $20.00 a load to the transfer station.
I also found out that the in-law’s camper would have to come into the driveway Friday morning. Which added a lot to my stress level, since Ron still had his carpenter trailer in the driveway and needed it to finish the deck.
Getting everything to work out on Friday logistically was going to be a pain in arse.
Later on that evening, the guy who wanted the truck came over to look at it again and paid for it. He also decided that he wanted the Miata. We sold them both as parts vehicles even though they both run, since they were appraised as uninspectable in New Hampshire or Maine, due to the rusted frames, visible rust on the body, large amount of bondo and generally poor condition of the vehicles.
He came back and got the truck later that night. One less vehicle in the yard – a very good thing, because I needed the space. He also told me that he would be coming to get the Miata with a ramp truck that morning, in addition to the other guy coming to get the motorcycle stuff in the yellow tarp tent and the one in the garage.
Logistics, logistics, logistics.
Mary left for Maine, to get some stuff that needed to be done at home – done. So Bennie and I stayed in Lancaster. I didn’t sleep all that well, I kept going over in my head how to handle the logistics of getting Ron out of there in the morning, the in-laws RV in the driveway, while leaving enough space for the motorcycle guy’s trailer into the driveway and our vehicles. Then getting the Miata out of the driveway.
A lot to think about.
Friday – 9/1/17
I put the battery charger on the Miata first thing that morning, hoping that it would charge enough to start and move it out of the garage when Ron left.
I puttered around the house and yard, while they worked, talked with Linda and Bruce, walked Bennie.
Ron and his son finished up the deck around 10:00 AM, but when I was looking at the check at around 9:00, it wasn’t signed properly. I called Mary and we talked for a bit. She hadn’t planned to come back until Saturday, but decided to get back to help out during the day Friday, with so much going on (a tough flip flop).
Unfortunately, with the check not being signed corectly, meant that I had to run to the campground – about 10 miles away to get a signed one from my sister-in-law. That added to my already pretty high stress level that morning to say the least. I got back before they finished and settled up with him.
The deck was finished, his two large trucks and trailer were out of the yard. I would recommend Ron’s Construction highly to anyone in the Lancaster area who need work done on their home.
The major house repairs were done.
Time to move things around in the driveway, to get ready for the rest of the day. I put my truck beside the field on the other side of the road and went to see if the Miata would move under its own power.
The Miata started!!!
I was able to move it out of the garage and put it over in front of the old Mazda truck. Just as I was finishing that up, the guy getting the Miata, showed back up with the bill of sale so I could take a photo of it. I had called and asked if he could do that (things were so crazy that I forgot to do it the other night) and just as we finishing up yakking, my in-laws showed up with their truck and RV.
I got him and his vehicle out of the yard (he said he would be back later to get the Miata), then we had to stop traffic on busy Route 2, while my brother-in-law negotiated the RV into the driveway. I was more worried about this part of the day than anything else. It went smoothly and the people just waited patiently while he backed it in. There was no horn blowing, people yelling WTF are you doing or any of that other stuff I kind of expected.
About an hour later, the guy got there to get the motorcycles and stuff. We loaded up the pick up with motorcycle parts and his trailer with the four parts motorcycles.
We also took down the tarp garage and got it ready to take to the dump. He and his assistant were a huge help in getting stuff out of that and breaking it down. He did make a couple of trips to get stuff. There was a LOT of stuff in that little tarp garage.
While he was there the guy getting the Miata showed up with a JerDan flatbed truck. Of course it wouldn’t start and we had to push it to start it and he drove it up on the truck. It got gone – a good thing.
After all the others left, I got to load my truck with a load for the transfer station in the morning and then went inside and sat down for a while.
It was a long stressful day, where I was just toast at the end of it. Too tired for a run.
Saturday – 9/2/17
I knew this was going to be a tough day. It was the day we went up to camp to scatter Phil’s ashes that afternoon.
However, before leaving for that my b-in-law and I did a couple of dump runs. One all metal and the other another demo run. Then a quick clean-up and hour drive upta camp. I got to talk with Bruce a lot, about a bunch of different stuff and the drive passed by pretty uneventfully.
Upta to camp.
We ate lunch, poked around for bit, waiting for 1:00 PM and when people started showing up, reminisced about Phil, told stories and then went down to the Inlet and the bridge where we were going to scatter his ashes.
The bridge is about 1/2 mile, so there were a few wheelers, but most people walked and talked, told more stories and said what needed to be said to each other. When we got to the newly named Phil’s Bridge, more than few tears were shed, words spoken and more stories told. It wasn’t fancy or formal, but it was the proper way to send Phil off. Friends and relatives there to say goodbye.
I truly believe that it would have been the way that Phil would have liked it.
Tough day nonetheless.
We got back to the house, ate a nice supper, poked around a bit, then sat around most of the evening talking, remembering and thinking.
No running after all that.
Sunday – 9/3/17
By now things are beginning to run together, it was basically a get up, do the routine, clean, paint what needed painting (Mary and Linda did most of the painting), go through another area (again) to see what could go away, then repeat.
We started poking around in the garage and putting things into piles of where they needed to go.
At this point, I was toast and just kept moving, although I did get a nice 5.0 mile run earlier in the day.
Monday – 9/4/17
More of the same, although I did get to run up around Reed Road, it was the one run in Lancaster that I really wanted to do, but that dreaded doing because of the big hill on Rt 3. The Hill going up Rt 3 was slow going, but coming down the other side on Reed Road, I was cranking in some places. I stopped a lot to get photos along the way, some gorgeous views.
We finished up with the garage and just needed to get stuff to the Transfer Station on Tuesday. We also decided that the wood piles needed to go away (it just didn’t seem right to leave all that there for whoever the next person is).
All that stuff in the back yard. So we loaded the truck up, piled the pallets in one place and generally got everything ready for to go for it on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday – 9/5/17
The in-laws were heading back to Arkansas, we were going back to Maine, but I had a bunch of loads to go to the transfer station. Three loads of heavy, unsplit rounds from a big pine (not exactly quality firewood – but it would burn), two loads of branches, bark/stuff, a load of rotten pallets and another of assorted garage stuff/old broken tools, recyclable stuff and trash.
Yeah it was a bunch of heavy loads for a little Ford Ranger.
At about mid morning the in-laws left to start their long journey home and we finished up around the house. It was sad to see them leave, because they are good people and I do enjoy their company. We made plans for us to head out there next summer. I think a couple of tears might have made their way down some cheeks as we watched them drive off.
You never know, when or if you will see each other again.
We finished up clearing the yard. While we still have a few things left to do (get rid of a junk Mazda pickup) and some final odd stuff, the little things that just never got down, because there was so many other major things that had to get done. It was a tough 9 days, where everything seemed to have to be done all at the same time. However, now that it is done, it is done.
We left about 1:30 and headed home – exhausted (mentally and physically).
As we drove into the driveway – around 4:30 PM, all I know is that it felt damned good to be home again.
I have a feeling that it will take a couple of days to get over the mental fog, physically I feel tired and bit sore after yesterday’s workout, but I am more mentally drained than anything.
I didn’t get online much or watch any TV. Yes, I could also survive quite nicely without TV or the Internet, they are a nice-to-have, but not necessary to live a happy life. I listened to the radio, stayed current with the news that way and played NeverWinter Nights Diamond Edition and got through Chapter 1. I enjoy playing those old style single player games, that don’t require an Internet connection or other players to play.
A long 9 days, but we are among the lucky ones, it was only 9 days and not any real danger to us at any time.
The good news is that the house is just about done and ready for a new set of owners.