These journal entries track our progress as we undertake our adventure of restoring this very old home. The main reason for keeping this journal on the web is that we have found that there are very few resources (books or websites) that follow all of the trials and tribulations of restoring an old home...from start to finish.
December 14, 2003
William turned ten today! All he wanted for his birthday was to be able to spend the weekend in Williamsburg and stay in one of the old houses.
We stayed in the Lewis House (a reconstructed house) and had a great time. Even as many times as we've been to Williamburg, we always discover something new. Saturday was pretty busy and crowded, but today we practically had the town to ourselves because it was a drizzly, cold Sunday. Often we were the only ones around, so the various craftsmen and interpreters spent a lot of time with William, answering his questions.
William spent the entire weekend in his Colonial garb, including a new cloak that Gay whipped up last week to keep him warm. He looked quite sharp.
We made an exciting discovery in the upstairs bathroom in the Lewis House! The tub was tucked under the eave and they used a metal hook strip (looks like something you'd use in a commercial kitchen to hang spoons) to attach a specially shaped and grommeted shower curtain to the sloped wall, while making it easy to remove for washing.
We're taking a break from projects at Enon Hall for the rest of the year so we can enjoy the holidays and recharge for the new year. Meanwhile, the wheels are turning from all the great ideas we got this weekend.
December 28, 2003
Well, we're ending the year the same way that we started it...cutting down trees in the new lot. The more we thin things out, the better it looks. And the easier it will be to keep the grass cut this summer. My new plan is to finish thinning out the trees and then rent a stump grinder. I have cut most of the stumps to ground level (dulled two chainsaw blades in the progress), but there are still enough that stick up that make mowing a lot like dodging mines in a mine field. If we thin the trees enough, and if I invest in a day of stump grinding, I should then be able to fly with the tractor. At least that's the theory.
The trees that we're leaving, we're limbing up high so that the tractor can pass underneath.
If we had been real smart we would have opened up the lot as a "cut your own" Christmas tree lot before the holidays and let other folks do the work for us...and pay us too! We used one of the cedars from this lot as our tree one year and it was real pretty.
It's always nice to check out new views of the house that are revealed as we thin.
After two days of cutting and dragging, we had lined the entire length of our dirt road with trees to be hauled away.
I have some big trees to take down next weekend, including these two leaning cedars...thanks to Hurricane Isabel.
Looking ahead, I sketched out this idea for Enon Hall...for several years down the road.
The idea is to correct the disproportionate feel of the 19th century addition by increasing its mass and giving it a distinctive style. Basically, it would involve raising the kitchen addition to the height of the 19th century roof and then giving the whole section a more Federal feel with dormers, etc. I'll have to keep playing with this idea, and all of its implications. (Just one of a handful of different sketches that I have made over the last 4 years.)
It felt great to get back to work this weekend. We're back in business! Stay tuned for more regular weekly updates. Happy New Year! -- Bill
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