Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Some Setbacks

The good news is that we made it to Mehama around 3 PM or thereabouts yesterday, a little tired but otherwise okay. The trailer is in one piece. The bad news is the storm damage around the property from the January snowstorm, pictures of which are behind the cut:

Lisa built this lean-to awning from PVC pipe, plastic tarp, and rope. It protected the side of the old family homestead from rain in place of the original porch, which collapsed years ago, and prevented water from getting under the foundation in this area. Unfortunately, the structure collapsed under the weight of accumulated snow while Lisa was gone.

Looking at it from the other end, Lisa diagnosed the problem as not just the weight of the snow, but the fact that the tarp (which was folded over on itself) had gotten too much water inside it, and the drain holes she'd created in the lower edge had become plugged with debris. She was kicking herself for having gone away for a week. She points out that had she stayed home, this would not have happened, because she would have gone out under the awning periodically and checked the drains and also knocked accumulated snow off the shelter.

The shelter lasted five years. The design was such that most of the time, the cable-ties would break rather than the supporting pipes themselves, in a circuit-breaker fashion. (This happed now and then when it got windy.) Unfortunately, this time it looks like the whole shelter is a write-off. Lisa says getting a new tarp of the same type will be the most difficult thing here, because the previous manufacturer is out of business, and the theoretical equivalent size is made in China and is of lower quality in her opinion. About the only thing we're likely going to be able to salvage here are the metal anchor posts at the foot of the supports, the eye-bolts in the house from which the rigging hangs, and sundry metal fittings. This will be a lot of work.

Less catastrophic, but almost as annoying, was the collapse of many of the branches of the tree that sits astride the path between the east and west sides of Lisa's father's land, connecting the old house (where her trailer is) with the new house (where her father lives). Many of the upper branches obviously picked up too much snow and cracked loose, falling across the path.

Here you see me contemplating how much work it will be to clean up the mess. And her father's chainsaw is broken as well, and I wouldn't want to operate the chainsaw without steel-toed boots and other protective gear anyway. On the brighter side, Lisa points out that the branches that collapsed are large enough that once we've trimmed the small bits off, they can be sawn into convenient lengths for use in her father's wood stove.

After surveying the storm damage and putting Lisa's little pickup away in the work shop, we went into Salem, had lunch, and bought groceries. We also took stock of all of the parts that Lisa's truck needs: headlights, back-up light, heater core, distributor, and a fuel pump. We bought new headlights; the rest will come later. If Lisa is going to drive this pickup to MARCon at Memorial Day, as she currently plans to do, she needs to do a lot of work on it.

Returning to Mehama, Lisa continued working on getting the trailer fit for habitation again. As she started to take some things from the trailer to the old house (which is mainly used for storage), I heard her cry out in pain. She'd slipped on the trailer steps and lay sprawled in the dirt. I quickly ran out and helped her up. She's twisted her ankle painfully. She limped into the bathroom and cleaned up. Shortly thereafter, at her direction, I retrieved a pair of crutches that are stored in the old house. She was hobbling around last night, and refused my offer to take her to the emergency room, because she says she doesn't think anything is broken. We'll see today how well she recovers.

One of the points of having me up here this week was to get some work done around the property with her, at least to the extent I can do so around my actual job (for which I do have work to do this week). Still, it's not impossible for me to take a few hours out during daylight and get the day job done at night, assuming I don't have meetings or deadlines that conflict. And work I will have -- it's probably just not what we originally planned. And if Lisa's on the Disabled List, then it may be somewhat more challenging, although of course she can still direct traffic while on crutches.
Tags: lisa, mehama, travel

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