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Work on the Rocks

I’m working “on the rocks” at our cabin in the Catskills, more specifically the “patio” between our cabin and the outbuilding, and having the most perfect day.

First up, I took an early morning bike ride to and from one of the gobs of local post offices where there are no lines, everything you might need is in stock, and the postal worker is happy to see you. Read that last line again and appreciate the shock and awe of it. I’m tempted to abandon emails in favor of snail mail just to give me an excuse to go back. And the bike ride was just challenging enough to work up a sweat but without the “OHMYGODI’MGOINGTODIE” feeling that some of the hills around here induce. I came home to eat breakfast and read the paper on the aforementioned patio while listening to Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of American Music, took a trip to the hardware store (yes, that’s part of the perfect day…I could spend hours in them), I’m wearing flip flops and a sun dress and there’s just enough breeze and clouds to cool down the sun. Perfect, I tell ya!**

The patio between the cabin and the outbuilding has been a rewarding, not-too-labor-intensive project. It started as a huge mound of dirt and rocks as deep as two-and-a-half feet in some spots and a ten-foot long by three-foot wide area. The pile was left during the renovations that took place some five years ago. I was convinced there was something worthwhile under the rubble or, at the very least, we could make the dirt level to where we could put down stones.
Once the ground thawed, Christian and I went to work. We used some of the bigger rocks to build a stone staircase and began the sweaty, tedious job of hacking away at the rock pile. We unearthed a smooth patch of concrete patio along with some natural rock and some broken concrete slabs. The picture at right is just past the mid-way point. It’s great knowing something awesome and usable is underneath that pile and that it didn’t cost us a cent. But it’s not so great knowing that you have that much work ahead of you. After a while it was like pulling the string on a sweater…just when does it stop?
As you can see from the bottom two pics, it was worth the effort. Once we patch a hole, add a few flowering plants, and a string of party lights and we have a party!

**And, okay, so maybe it’s not PERFECT. Christian queued up Elvis Costello (blech) and, while Texas loves to brag about how big everything is there, lordy the mosquitoes here are the size of horseflies. And my Texans are saying, “Sheee-it, here we call them gnats.”
Full Flickr set of Rock House photos here.