Friday, October 5, 2018

Deferred Maintenance

        Our log house on the lake was built in the 1940's and our family has been connected to it since my folks went out on a limb to buy it in 1959.  At that time, it was a vacation cabin with stumps for a foundation, and constructed with whatever building materials could be found.  The road to access the house was a narrow dirt lane with blackberries overhanging it to where you scratched your car to get to it.  My folks sold the house in 1975, and it was out of the family hands for the next 10 years.  However it always held a place in our hearts because my siblings and I spent a lot of our formative years struggling to live without electricity or indoor plumbing.  While my parents commuted over 60 miles each way to work, us kids planted the gardens, canned veggies, did maintenance tasks, and most importantly swam in the lake and played in the woods. 
       My folks saved the house the first time by digging under it and putting in a proper foundation and a daylight basement in 1963. At that time electricity was brought from the road, and the old power plant and kerosene lamps were replaced with bright new lights.  Luxury in those days seemed pretty simple. My folks retired and sold the house in 1975, and deferred maintenance piled up everywhere.
       When my husband and I were able to buy the house in 1985, we saved it a second time when we replaced the failing, sagging, original roof with a completely new one - all the way from the top of the walls to the peak. All our spare time was spent either inside on the house or outside on the property to make it better.
We finally had to get rid of one problem tree that hung over the power line and whose roots had grown through our water lines twice.  Ron spent a couple of weeks splitting all the firewood from the tree, I've been moving the mulch from the branches to all the flower beds.  The mulch pile is down to a fraction of where it started, and the flower beds are looking pretty good.
I used a lot of the mulch to mulch the raspberry patch and cut back my dahlia garden and mulched it too.  
After we finished the massive job of chinking the entire house (for the first time ever!) we stained it all.  We managed to do both jobs without either one of us falling off a ladder, so it's all good. 
In the meantime, we've painted the entire basement - I'm liking the color in the bathrooms - until now, we've painted walls everywhere in some shade of white.  
The built in breakfast nook settee is out to the upholsterers for repair and recovering, but it should be back soon.  Then we can finish the work on the upstairs interior.  We should be ready to offer the house to the vacation rental market by the first of November.
In the meantime, I've been harvesting in the garden - this sunflower is ready, but I may need a ladder to get to it.  
I did harvest one of the smaller ones, some pumpkins, and the last of the cucumbers to make my last jar of dill pickles for the year.
We should still have tomatoes for quite a while as I bring a few in from the greenhouse every day. It definitely has been a busy couple of months.