Saturday, January 29, 2011

Summertime (in winter) And The Living Is Easy

After two weeks in our new home, we were finally treated to a more typical Chattanooga winter day:
sunny and nearly 60 degrees. And let us tell you, it was such a perfect day (Lou Reed, you get our nod).

First, we resumed our old Minnesota ways and took Nick for a long walk : first down our long driveway
 and down to the community lake, then trouncing around our property. Nick was a dog in heaven
 –- sprinting down leave-strewn paths and sniffing out the footprints of the wildlife party from the
night before. He smiled the entire walk.

For the first time, we walked off our property lines – we thought five acres was going to feel
too small, but it really isn’t. It might help that our neighbor on one side is a thousand acres of
timber company land. Or that our other “neighbors” are summer-only visitors, two with
small cabins and one with a mere shed (complete with Confederate flag, of course).

We spent the bulk of the day chopping down five, quite tall trees, thanks to our chain saw --
donated courtesy the Lo-Banks household -- while soaking up the sunshine and grooving to the
tunes of the local NPR station, which thankfully is spun by some hip local college kids who
have decent music taste. Between “Morning Edition” and “Fresh Air,” we score some decent tunes.

We were sad to lose trees, but we have, um, hundreds … wait … thousands, and we really had
to clear a specific space for the new water well that’s coming soon. Very important that the water
well is uphill of the septic, for obvious reasons.

The sun was shining strong, and we stripped down to just T-shirts while we chopped, lopped
and snipped down all the trees. We saved the tree trunks to use for the pole barn we plan to build,
which meant that Mason (and his trusty truck) got to pull two 60-foot-long tree trunks across the
property to the future pole barn site.  The boy was in his element.

By 4 o’clock, we cracked out first beer and set fire to front-yard fire pit.  People, this is a serious fire pit.
It’s maybe seven feet wide and completely lined with sandstone.  When we moved in, it was filled
with scrap wood, pieces of a broken old dresser and assorted trash, much of it nonburnable
 (must let these Tennesseans know that glass does NOT burn). After sorting out the nonflammable,
 we set a get big bonfire and spent the next two hours poking at the flames while we doused our thirst.

Dinner for Mason was steak and potatoes, for Nan, edamame.

Yup, heaven. And the next few days are also supposed to finally be more typical for
Tennessee winter: 60s and sunny.  We can handle that.

Tomorrow: The militia in our driveway ...

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