Construction Journal Entry Week of 11/27/22

11/28-12/2/22 I went up to Camp Serendipity for five days: Monday through Friday.

I started late because of a doctor's appointment in the morning. There had been a lot of snow in the mountains, but the road was plowed and clear. I arrived at Camp Serendipity at 4:51 and saw that there was 10 inches of snow on the ground that had not been plowed. It seemed rather light and fluffy, so I pulled ahead of the driveway on the road, engaged 4WD, and successfully backed over the berm and around the corner to my normal parking place. Then I stomped the snow down around the truck so I could walk around it and then I stomped a trail to the foot of the stairs. I had a headlamp on which made the job fairly easy in the dark.

With the scoop shovel I shoveled the snow off all the stairs, and then stomped a trail to the cabin. Once I opened the cabin, I made two trips down to the truck to bring up my gear. Then I unpacked, had my dinner, and talked to Ellen. I ended up going to bed later than normal.

On Tuesday I slept in and when I got up the temperature outside was 9 degrees. I went out and hoisted the flag. It was snowing lightly. After breakfast I practiced the piano and then Robert called. We had a fairly long interesting conversation.

After lunch and a nap, I called Earl and learned that his sister's cabin, two doors from his house, had burned to the ground. I had known that there was a fire on North Shore Drive, but I didn't know it belonged to Earl and his sister. Quite a tragedy.

On Wednesday morning when I got up the temperature outside was 11 degrees and there was 15 inches of new snow on the ground. I slept in again.

After practicing the piano, I listened to the radio then I got out two frozen cheesecake pies and cut them into pieces. I planned to take them to the meeting at Dave and Nancy's house at 5:00 o'clock in the evening. I was supposed to let the cheesecake thaw in the refrigerator, but I made a mistake and stuck them back in the freezer. Turns out it didn't matter much.

After lunch, I went outside and shoveled the snow off the steps. I also stomped all the trails and cleared the new snow off the truck. While I was down there, I noticed that someone had plowed the previous snow off of the lower driveway but now there was the new 15 inches that had not been plowed. I stomped a trail across that so that I would be able to walk out onto the road when it was time to go to Dave and Nancy's.

I brought my jacket up from the truck and then had a short nap. I couldn't sleep so I got up and listened to the radio. Just then I noticed that Josh was plowing the lower driveway so I got my boots on and went down to move the truck so that he could plow the rest of the parking area and driveway. Josh finished, I re-parked the truck, and went back to the cabin just in time for the power to fail at 3:09 PM.

Since I had no idea when power would be restored, I decided to prepare for a cold, dark night. I hauled 4 loads of firewood up and stored it on the back porch just by the door and then I took one load in the cabin and started a fire in the wood stove. The temperature outside was 20 degrees.

I prepared a grocery bag with the cheesecake, a serving spatula, and my slippers that I plan to take to the meeting. Once I had everything ready to go, the power came back on at 4:30. That was a relief and it simplified things. At about 4:45 I left to go to Dave and Nancy's.

We had a delightful gathering of about 10 neighbors, and they ate about half of the cheesecake. I brought the rest back to the cabin at 7:30 and discovered that my phone was dead. Fortunately, I was able to send out a text message to Ellen that the phone was out and I got a reply back from her. I had to go out onto the back porch to get the text service.

On Thursday it snowed some more but not very much. After practicing the piano, I caulked an ugly crack in the bathroom wall. Then just for fun I built a fire in the wood stove and did some reading. At about 10:30 I got my boots and jacket on and was ready to go down to the school bus turn around and use my cell phone to report the phone outage, but I tried the phone and got dial tone so sometime prior the phone service had been restored. After lunch and a nap, I painted the crack in the bathroom that I had caulked. Then I took on a fairly hard job.

The job was to set up a 4 by 8-foot sheet of OSB outside the back porch railing leaning against the lower newel post to keep the snow that falls off the roof from flowing over the stairs and stoop. I had done it last year and it worked well. The problem was it seemed that sheet of OSB got heavier over the year.

I used a stout rope to give me a grip on the sheet of OSB so that I could stand it on edge and drag it out of the crawl space over to the snow berm. I found that I was unable to lift the sheet just because I'm weaker than I used to be, or the sheet got a lot heavier. So, I struggled with the sheet using two ropes tying them against the newel post and made quite a bit of progress getting the sheet slid behind the newel post. But to pull it all the way into position, I finally resorted to using a come-along attached to the upper newel post and with that I was able to crank the sheet right up into position with no trouble.

In the process, I decided I probably would not set up a similar sheet at the front staircase. Instead, I will just let the snow cover the lower stairs. I don't plan to use the front porch stairs much during the winter and it will be no problem keeping a passage clear anyway.

On Friday morning it was 11 degrees outside when I got up. After practicing the piano, I called Earl and told him that I would stop in on my way home for a visit with him and a look at the burned house. I had my lunch early and left the cabin at 11:45. I stopped at Earl's and had a nice visit and a look at the wreckage. There wasn't much to see because the new snow had covered up most of the wreckage leaving just a fireplace and chimney poking above it. It was a sad sight.

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