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.
So I stay inside, sprawled across an overstuffed chair with my daily-gibberish notebook and a purple pen.
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.
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.”
We move our cars out of the pole barn during the day to give the guys room to work.
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.
In between yard jobs—they’re still blowing leaves and spreading mulch for other clients—Pedro and Martin re-floored our front porch.
Now we have a floor of nice new, pressure-treated wood which will cure for several months before they come back and stain it.
And then they started on our mammoth back porch.
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.
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!