Getting things started again has involved a lot of time with lawyers and
monetary aspects of insurance settlements;
at times we wished we had guns,
but restrained ourselves.
Our insurance company has been quite good about paying their part,
but it seems likely that we will be working on collecting the balance
from other companies for the next 2+ years.
This will certainly influence how we proceed.
We hope to start clean up right away,
but construction can't start until Spring,
so we will be spending our time skiing and considering all the options.
We are also re-organizing the Carriage House to store the accumulation
of things destined for the Main House and make room for what is probably
at least another year and a half living in cramped quarters.
We swapped in some of the furniture intended for the Main House,
so we are a little better equipped to accommodate guests.
Many of the workmen employed at the time of the fire had expensive
woodworking and painting tools in the house.
Very little was covered by their insurance,
so they found themselves unemployed and without tools to take on new
Pauline helped organize a fund-raising party at the county fairgrounds.
Local bands donated time,
merchants donated items for auction and many private individuals gave
Almost $5,000 was raised,
which helps defer some of the cost of new tools,
but is still well short of their actual loss.
We had a
large extended family get-together
over the Holidays,
topping out at 11 guests for Christmas and winding up with friends Paul,
Robin and Aaron for the New Year.
they pose with Skippy on
with skeletal remains of the Main House in the background.
The weather had turned warm and much snow had melted,
then a storm yielded a couple of days of good skiing.
did a snow shoe hike around the property,
and sighted the local elk herd on the lower part of the property.
Paul fixed Gary and Pauline a nice dinner for their wedding anniversary.
We have met with architects,
contractors and demolition people.
We hope to save most of the garage structure,
though the interior will need to be redone.
Metals can be sold,
debris other than concrete must be hauled to a dump,
and concrete buried on site
(it is very expensive to haul off, and we don't want to disturb other areas).
With some redesign,
the house footprint will accommodate the buried concrete at the expense
of some square footage and crawl space.
is a shot similar to that at right,
taken a week later.
On a recent plowing of the drive,
Gary was puzzled by what appeared to be a rabbit in convulsions.
It turned out to be a rabbit with an
in white winter attire firmly attached to its back.
though only ¼
the size of the rabbit,
had just about killed it by gnawing its spine.
When the ermine finally noticed Gary observing only inches away,
it ran about 30' and stood up
(like this photo
Since the rabbit was nearly dead and in the path of the plow,
Gary threw it to the ermine.
ermines are cuter and less common than rabbits.
But apparently quite vicious!
Deconstruction of the Main House Starts
One excavator is at the north end of the North Wing.
Another is sitting where the Master Suite was.
Starting this month,
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the format and type of content will remain essentially unchanged.
Readers can link forward to future months and may find drafts there
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