Call me moody, but I’m in love with this place. I know, I know. Yesterday it was completely overwhelming and I’m sure it will be again tomorrow, but today was a crystal blue and green day with amazing progress. Our contractor returned from a weeks vacation and just like magic, the builders had the lot cleaned up. I did a whole lot of phoning yesterday and when I arrived early this morning, the garden was being tilled, ice-damaged and fallen trees cut and cleared and a truckload of additional dirt was on it’s way. Habitat was scheduled to pick up the old cabinets, windows and vanities first thing tomorrow and a new dumpster and johnny-on-the-spot showed up before lunch.
The main reason for the quick turn around in my mood is the dirt. As absolutely breathtaking as the view is, I still expected the dirt to be crummy. All clay and unworkable. But lo and behold! I have really wonderful dirt. It’s soft and crumbles finely and clearly has been used for gardening for many years. The more time I spend walking around the lot, the more I find evidence of previous garden love side-by-side with wildflowers, dogwood, rhododendrons and azaleas. The yard is abloom with 3 different colors of violets, trillium are up by the creek, daffodils everywhere. There are two incredible wisteria, both getting ready to bloom. I’m moving lots of iris and there are large patches of day lilies that appear to be specialty types as opposed to your basic orange (they have lots of different leaf formations).
I had worked hard to locate a load of really good garden loam full of compost and when that arrived late afternoon I was delighted to see that it was, well, full of shit. Because really, nothing turns me on like good dirt.
I’m missing Rich a lot this trip, despite my friend’s good company and assistance. As things take shape I want to share our new view and my excitement over our future life here. I think we will be back here together in a couple weeks- maybe the windows will even be in!
The hotel internet is hopelessly slow, taking forever to upload and open pages so it’s difficult for me to share all I would like and to get around to visit (and to beat Kenju Judy at Lexulous). I’m looking forward to posting lots of photos when I get home on Friday. Tomorrow is garden planting day so I’ll be up bright and early before the sun gets too high. This is the last time I will stay in a hotel while working on the home remodel; next time the HVAC and all systems will be up and running and even if finishes aren’t done or kitchen installed, we’ll stay at the house on an air mattress. I’ve been lucky that Abby’s college barista and catering job at the Hilton have gotten us rock bottom hotel rates. We’ve joked that no matter what else she does, she has to keeping catering at the Hilton so we can travel in the manner to which we’ve become accustomed. But as of today, I’m guessing her catering days are behind her because…
Abby was accepted to the PhD program in Marine Science and Conservation at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment with a full five year financial support package, including all expenses, travel and health insurance. She will spend her first year in Durham beginning this fall ( a mere 225 miles from Asheville) and then she will be off to the lab on Pivers Island in Beaufort, NC, right next to the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve. Really, she will undoubtedly be spending much of her time continuing her research in sustainable coastal ecology in the Yucatan and elsewhere. Misha will join her as soon as he finishes his degree in business next December; in the meantime we will be sure to have him to dinner several times a week while we’re in Florida and we’ll look forward to frequent visits in NC.
Duke’s program is highly competitive and she was so focused on going to Duke and only Duke, that in true Abby style she didn’t bother applying anywhere else. I thought this was risky business; she was determined. We are absolutely delighted for her and with her. But then, I thought she was pretty great in the old days when she was working for Student Painters and jello wrestling…