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Merry Christmas to us!

All we want for Christmas is new porch decks and siding on our pole barn. And, we always get what we want.

It’s the morning of Christmas Eve Eve and I’ve gotten up to sip coffee and write. I am so sure it’s too cold to sit outside, that I don’t even crack open the door for a sniff of morning air. Also—besides being still dead dark—there is no back porch at the moment.

But later, when I do open the back door, this is what I see.

So I stay inside, sprawled across an overstuffed chair with my daily-gibberish notebook and a purple pen.

Pedro and Martin, tearing apart our front porch.

We’ve hired Martin and his brother, Pedro, to do some repairs here at Trouts Farm. They’d re-sided Bob and Torrey’s aging shed and had been trimming our front ditch all summer, so we knew they were talented and easy to work with.

They began with the rotting pole barn that shelters our riding mower, garden inputs, and our two, blue Teslas. Can’t have the barn falling down on our cars, can we?

They got right to work replacing the bad wood, sistering on new supports, and cutting away tree branches that brushed up against the roof.

A bright, new look
They put in a new window outside the work room.

When all was structurally sound, they covered the roof and outside walls in blue metal. “To match your cars,” Martin said, after I named the color. “Yes!” I said, “And someday, the house.”

Won’t our cars look nice in here, now?
Temporarily displaced

We move our cars out of the pole barn during the day to give the guys room to work.

New window, new ceiling

They also fixed the ceiling in the work room. No more looking up for snakes before entering the work room. All this in less than a week.

Front porch laid bare

In between yard jobs—they’re still blowing leaves and spreading mulch for other clients—Pedro and Martin re-floored our front porch.

Spot is very happy about the new floor

Now we have a floor of nice new, pressure-treated wood which will cure for several months before they come back and stain it.

The old back porch decking: Astroturf and carpets to hide holes and hardened paint spills.
Can’t wait to get a new welcome mat!
No coming in or out of this door for awhile

And then they started on our mammoth back porch.

An old post suspended between the decking and the roof

When Pedro and Martin pulled the decking off, they learned that only the posts on either end went straight into the ground. The interior posts rested atop the deck itself, so they fixed that by installing new posts that reach from dirt to roof.

Thanks for your service, Astroturf. May you rest in peace.

It made my heart soar to see the wad of green Astroturf in the discard pile.

In 2022, we got new interior floors and a fabulous master bath (Thanks Trip, Jerry, and Ron!) This year we got an upgraded garage and new porch flooring. Merry Christmas to us!

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

8 replies on “Merry Christmas to us!”

Sure will be nice when it’s all done and dusted! You’ll enjoy it for years to come 🙂

wow so great to see so many upgrades! can’t wait to see the transformed back porch. love you guys!

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