Last summer when we returned home from Minneeeesota, I was dealt a rough homecoming because of a dying alpaca and a missing cat. And although we wobbled home from vacation this week with only 3/5ths of our family intact (2/5ths were left stranded in Detroit), and although we were limping up the driveway with a flat tire, and although we found our tulips crushed under the weight of 2 feet of snow, those of us who were home...were happy to be so.
Dogs were alive.
Chickens were alive.
Alpacas (so far) are alive.
We also came home to the tail end of this tale, one that's been developing on our property for over a year...when the big Super-Axe-Hacker came onto our property two winter's ago to strip some of our forests of Truffula Trees.
We shipped some of those Truffula trees (aka maple trees) off to a local mill.
Where they were cut into boards.
And planed on a big planer.
And examined by the Pauls....to figure out which boards will go to wainscoting and which will go to floors.
And then Mr. Lathrop, the truest Vermonter I've ever met- you can smell the maple syrup sweating from his pores, had a look-see.
But when the boards were cut and kiln dried, they arrived back on our property.
And Paul Bunyan unloaded them and stored them in the shop.
And then the construction began. We pumped out this corner. And added two windows.
But that was upstairs. So we took out the stairs. And made them go this way, instead of that way.
And added temporary stairs.
Which all seemed a lot of work to me.
Considering they were coming out in a few weeks anyway, when the real stair case was done.
Liebe thinks construction is hard work too. Here she is empathizing with Paul's sweaty head.
Here Mike is performing the very back breaking work of laying the new floors.
And then when that's done....the real staircase arrives.
And is put into place. And then landings are made.
And then we tiptoe around on unfinished maple floors, being careful not to spill our red wine.
And then we clear every piece of dirty furniture out of the room before we leave for AZ, and then we put plastic up in every doorway so that not (as much) dust seeps through the cracks and leaves a cover of film over all our surfaces.
And then we walk into our home, stomping through snow piles at the end of April, into a freshly sanded and coated maple floor. Wood cut from our own land, milled in a town 30 minutes away, laid by our savior, sanded and polished by a nice old man and his son.
Our daily noises echo in our empty house. I'd be happy to leave our mottled couch and our kitchen table that belongs more appropriately in a work shop down in the basement. We could eat off our shiny floor and move giant bean bags in to sit and chat. Think of the games of Twister we could have...and the dance parties.
But I have to admit I won't miss these sounds:
Although, I'd put up with them a little while longer...if only I could get Paul Bunyan to start on our master bath. I'm sick of trying to mop that plywood.