A lot of things are happening around here all at once. Progress is being made at the Studio, the logging job is almost wrapped up, and the snow has melted a good foot since last week. Martha’s been admitted to the hospital again, a friend turns 90 today, and the birds are making more noise than they have in months. Frustratingly, technical difficulties follow me; a new desktop computer which I purchased in December is rife with problems and is still in the repair guy’s shop some two months later. My printer’s out of commission now too. Personal costs (like a crazy $411 electric bill for last month and the unexpected computer repairs) are adding up and I’m getting worried about my financial future. But regardless of these stressors, there are happy and hopeful moments along the way. The air has begun to smell like promise and freedom, and it gives us the resolve to keep marching on.
Just last week the snow was this deep…
The weight of it required a shoveling of the Studio’s roof, as seams inside had begun to widen under the burden.
It’s a pity we had to spend money on this job; within days it was all melted.
We watch as the loggers move trees like they were twigs.
And they load em up like they were nothing at all too.
The cutting has come to an end, now the wood needs to be loaded and trucked out. Next week they’ll turn their attention to cleaning up and leaving a level surface behind.
Another load goes out.
From my kitchen window I can see a truck full of our trees disappearing down the road. (Look to the left on the horizon.)
I left for a couple of hours and came back to find they’ve taken out the exterior wall and begun to frame in the new kitchen! Hoo haw!
A closer look from the outside in…
… and now from the inside out.
Garrett’s making progress with the interior of the main hall.
Where there were huge cracks a week ago, it’s all sealed up, primed and ready to paint.
A view from the rear of the hall towards the stage area.
Behind the stage area are these doors through which my father moved harpsichords to be stored in the greenroom. Mom and I never liked the look of the wood in the background – and although I do hate to cover up natural wood, we’re opting to paint the doors to match the wall.
Look! Rick and Scott have the outside wall up already! They’re moving fast. In the far right corner is the new door leading out of the kitchen to the north side of the building.
The new exit, the future kitchen wall.
The Studio’s all sealed up and taking on its new shape.
Mom called and told me Martha was needing help, so I drove over to the farm.
For me, this is my life’s epicenter. I’ve known this place longer than any other.
I arrive to find the ambulance has just taken Martha to the hospital. Masie, her hound dog, remains behind in a big, empty house.
Mike straightens out the pictures on the kitchen wall. Martha’s leaving this place to Mike and his family after she’s gone; without children of her own, he’s the closest thing to a son she’s known. He’s planted his vineyards in the field that we hayed as children. The Farm has a bright future.
At the hospital.
The nurses ascertain that Martha’s too weak to sit up on her own.
Elihu visits with Martha.
Elihu recites the poem “Ozymandia” by Percy Bysshe Shelley for Martha. Missed the beginning, but it’s still impressive.
He tells her he loves her and says goodbye.
Later on, Elihu does his impression of Martha. She is known for giving her helpers incredibly detailed instructions on how to do every last little task. A knowledge of one’s cardinal directions is imperative if one is to assist her. Elihu cracks me up here. He’s nailed her perfectly.
At the end of our day we make a pit stop at Saratoga Guitar to get some advice from Ed, the resident guitar tech, bass and tuba player, friend and maker of gourmet hot sauces and other goods.
Elihu gives an impromptu performance…
… and enjoys himself a little longer.
Maybe one day we’ll add one of these to the collection…
The campaign for Saratoga’s Banjo Man, Cecil Myrie, is not forgotten. I’m leading the efforts to erect a memorial plaque for him downtown (should have progress reports soon).
Love an old-school music store. Always a nice end to a busy day.