Home Improvements

The federal income tax refund that I’d planned to use to buy new roof gutters at Chez McLendon this year got abruptly re-routed to replacing a wall of windows and the door facing the patio.  The previous window/door unit, installed twelve years ago, had rotted out to the point that I was getting increasingly nervous with the approach of every rainstorm.

$3,765 later, the wall overlooking the patio from the study is now rainproof again…and the ratty old gutters are still on the roof.

I don’t mind spending huge chunks o’ cash on this much-beloved old house, but spending it to merely replace things (or on invisible infrastructure stuff like plumbing and electrical systems) certainly isn’t as much fun as adding things – like, say, planting new trees.

And speaking of trees, a neighbor had a huge tree removed from our property line the same day my patio windows were installed. My always-too-shady back yard was instantly transformed into a sunlit place, bringing to an aburpt end to the long era of a perpetually searching for shade-loving plants. (I could plant a row of corn out back now if I wanted to, or had the room.)

Still in shock, I haven’t yet decided what I will plant in the back yard this year, other than the two Italian cypress trees I’ve ordered from a nursery in Blue Ridge. With all the new sunlight in the back yard, the cypresses might actually survive, and I’ve long wanted a couple of these slender beauties in my yard to remind me of my trips to (and obsession with) Italy.

Next up: repairing a hairline crack in the patio fountain I bought a couple of years ago – seen here through the new patio window unit:


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