Friday, February 10, 2006

February 10, 2006 - Estimates

Today was the day for contractors coming by to look at the Vine Street house and prepare estimates for the work we are having done.

The AC guy had been by earlier in the week, but he sent the electrician and plumber to bid their parts. The electrician was a friendly gentleman, and we chatted as he looked over the situation. When he spotted the deer heads on the wall, he commented on how old they were. I said yes, but that I could tell him the story of when and where they were harvested near Fredericksburg. Turned out that one of his co-workers is a descendant of the owners of the ranch where the deer came from. While he was talking to his friend on the phone, I offered to let them have the racks back, and he was very eager to have them for their hunting cabin. So, after 55 years, the deer are going home.

Then came the stone mason who is going to extend the front porch, put in a curved sidewalk, build a wall in the back yard that will create a terrace, and put in a paver patio. He's a tall, red haired, tobacco chewing country boy from the Buda area where my dad grew up. We looked over the drawings, stomped around in the rain, measured, discussed, and agreed on a plan of action. He hopes to begin work in two or three weeks. He said that Daddy selected a very fine grade of Oklahoma stone for the rock on the front of the house, and that finding some to match at a reasonable price will take him a bit of effort. The face of the wall in the back yard and the face of the new front porch extension will match the Oklahoma stone. It's going to be fantastic. I do need to find someone to build the arbor that will shade the front porch and keep the living room cooler in the summers.

In the afternoon the plumber came who will be making the changes in the gas lines to comply with city code and to provide gas for the new central heating system. Code requires that the bathroom wall heaters be disconnected, but I have requested that they be left in place for aesthetic reasons. I simply like them! The big wall heater in the den will, however, be disconnected and removed, and we are considering building a set of shelves there.

This was a day of sorting and packing. I can't tell you how many boxes of junk we have unearthed in the closets, sorted through, and disposed of. Mom had a love of paper, and whether newspapers, magazines, recipes, or coupons, she kept it. In amongst the debris are a few gems. I have found my grandfather's letters home to his mother at the start of WW I, and an envelope of pictures of my grandfather as a child and young man. What a blessing that the gene for his ears did NOT pass down. His ears stand out from his head like sails in the wind. Sorry, Poppy, but truth is truth.

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