Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lifting The Roof Off The House

Far too many times Marilyn and I have had to honker down in a windstorm named Hurricane. It's not fun at all, although I can't say there isn't some extreme exhilaration associated with it. And of primary concern is whether or not the roof of your precious home will in fact stay attached to the rest of the house. And subsequently whether you will be able to remain inside the place should the roof get ripped off. So it was with great interest that we waded feet first into the Log and Timber Home Expo- where taking the roof off (the models on display) is one of the best ways to get a look inside the offerings of the many different home types and company products being shown.

This Expo is held just outside Washington, DC. Chantilly, Virginia to be specific, and this is one of the largest such shows in the country. We've seen a lot of log cabins on our travels about the country and admittedly are drawn to them. They're casual. They're comfortable. They're rugged. And by tweaking the design a bit they can be made to "fit in" just about anywhere with reasonable parameters, of course. I've done a wee bit of building and tinkering on other types of homes we have lived in, but the only most minute experience I've had with log cabin construction has been as Mr. Mike's helper at Chicken Gold Camp in Alaska when he was putting up a 12 X 12 (or there abouts) primitive cabin to serve as a museum addition to the gold camp property. It was a fascinating experience for me. The building went up very fast with minimal hassle. The rapid progess was its own reward and it didn't seem all that difficult a structure to build. We were ready for the ridge pole installation when the season came to a close and I was sad to leave without seeing the whole process through, but it starting me thinking more directly along the lines of building the real deal at some point....and so here we are. Planning and what-iffing only for now. Manufacturers and contractors would all like to know where we intend to build. Good question! For now there is no answer---but it is always important to define the questions before they need an answer anyhow. And when might you build? Another good one! We are in the 5th year of a 5 year plan. The other 5 year plans all began and ended pretty close to their appointed deadline , but this traveling thing has worked out really well and is a lot of fun. Why ruin a good thing?..... he asked rhetorically. There are still places to go and things to see (and, yes, gold in them thar hills). But it would seem that sooner or later the need for roots and a life a bit more predictable will reassert itself. And then, as they say, we shall see what we shall see. For now, the investigation of the next somewhere-down-the-road-five-year-plan is quite fun as a stand alone project. We are learning things we might otherwise not ever have known we needed to know. (Huh?) Knowledge is good. Experience is good. Put the two together and ya might actually have something!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Farewell...and Hello Again

It's been too long. Too long since I posted anything for you. And too long since I posted anything for us. It's not that we haven't been busy. In fact we have been nearly too busy. But busy with family matters and family business - the type of things that are very important and must be accomplished, but not really the kind of thing you share, at least on the surface. Not matters of adventure. Not matters of the heart and soul. Rather - matters of fact. And while I thought about writing nearly every day, there never seemed to be enough time or enough will to get it done. And so it didn't---get done, that is.

Tonight I'm writing just really to say we are back in travel mode. The big tire version of the road trip has resumed and we find ourselves in Chantilly, Virginia to take in the three day Log and Timber Home Expo. And yes we know that neither of those terra firma type homes have wheels, and, no, we're not hanging it up at this point- not to worry, those of you who travel with us in spirit and via the blog. The weather is pleasant here- 60's and 70's daytime and 40's night time. The summer of this year's cycle left us in its dust, true, but the cool of the Fall has us revving up in search of shelter from the coming winter storms.

We had more than our share of death to contend with for one year to be sure. Please, God, no more! But we've also had more than our share of love and support for getting through it, and so we have. So when Marilyn's Uncle Vinnie passed away up on Cape Cod before we left the Reading, Pennsylvania area, we put the departure plans on hold a moment and took the van up to the Cape for several days to pay our respects. Those of you who have "traveled" with us for a long time will no doubt recall the many references to our Cosmic Cousin Companions, with whom we have shared many a wonderful adventure on the road. They are family. They are important to us. Two of the "cosmics," as we call them, are the children of Uncle Vin and we feel very blessed to have been within driving range of being able to make the services in order to support them in whatever small way we could. And beautiful services they were. A graveside military honor with live fire and taps is a very moving experience. A seaside procession and memorial mass at East Falmouth on a faultless day weather-wise seemed most serene considering why we all needed to be there. For me, it was a bit surreal to see another family going through what mine has just been through. But like all our experiences in life, we bundle what we see and think and feel and reflect upon into the fabric of our being, and Yes, Virgina, we are made stronger, in due time, by all the things that don't "kill us" as the old adage goes.....

Before returning from the Cape, and after all the services had concluded, Marilyn and I took our final evening there to drive back out to the coast for sunset. The sunset marks the end of only one day, but at times it certainly seems to be a metaphor for an episode of our lives. Hopefully, this can be just such an episode fading into the sunset. Farewell to my dad. Farewell to Abby. Farewell to Uncle Vin. Hello- open road!