House for Sale
We’ve been putting a lot of time into getting this house ready to sell. The first step, which didn’t actually affect this house, was getting out house ready for Cathy’s mom to move in with us. Then we she moved in January (with a lot of help from our friends). From them to now there have been many, many days of going through and sorting, trips to the dump, to the thrift store, to our storage units, things brought to our house, two more truck rentals, piano movers, visits from family members, some dot insignificant renovations, lots of cleaning, floor refinishing, painting, yard work, and more. I’ve posted pictures of some of those things (see the list below) but I’ve also posted pictures of some of the many interesting things we’ve found (too many to list below). This week, the house officially went on the market and (as I write this, was open on both Saturday and Sunday, with significant interest). We’re in the home stretch (if you’ll pardon the pun) and really looking forward to turning our attention to the boxes that got moved without really being looked through as well as starting to deal with things like photographs and other documents that need more careful examination.
- Laundry to Bathroom Conversion, Day One – Tuesday, October 31, 2017
- Bathroom Progress, Day 4 – Sunday, November 05, 2017
- Bathroom Progress, Day 7 – Thursday, November 09, 2017
- Bathroom Progress – Friday, November 17, 2017
- Bathroom Progress, Day 19 – Tuesday, November 28, 2017
- Grandma’s Bedroom – Tuesday, December 05, 2017
- Bathroom Progress, Day 28 – Monday, December 11, 2017
- Move, Part 1 – Saturday, January 06, 2018
- Self Storage – Wednesday, May 16, 2018
- Top. Men. – Monday, June 18, 2018
- Furniture Moving – Tuesday, July 24, 2018
- A Little More Furniture – Saturday, September 01, 2018
It’s hard to believe the day has finally arrived. Well, actually it hasn’t. The day is tomorrow but I went over to my mother-in-law’s house today to get the very last thing out (a dehumidifier from the basement) and to take one last set of pictures. I could always stop out front and take pictures but it won’t be the same. As of noon tomorrow this house will belong to new owners. We don’t know a lot about them but they sound like a nice family and they seem really excited to be moving into this house. I certainly served Cathy’s family well and was a good home for 50 years. But time marches on and things change. We’re glad it’s going to a young family and we wish them every happiness. While change can be hard, and getting to this day has been a struggle, this particular change is a blessed relief.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Cathy and I were able to get away for two nights and a day and we drove up to Harpers Ferry. From our hotel we walked into town today and enjoyed the scenery. It was in the low 90s and very humid so we were glad to take a break in the visitor center and museum in town (which was air conditioned) and then stop for lunch part way up High Street in an air conditioned place. We continued up the hill and I took this picture looking east over the cemetery towards the confluence of the Potomac and the Shenandoah Rivers. This was taken while sitting on a bench and catching my breath after the walk up the hill.
Harrison Island from Ball’s Bluff
It was a cool but pleasant day and Cathy and I decided we needed an outing. We drove through Poolesville and crossed the Potomac River on White’s Ferry. From there we drove the short distance to Ball’s Bluff Battlefield. The battle fought here in October, 1961 is not one of the really well known engagements of the war and compared to the likes of Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Antietam, or Shiloh but it was significant nonetheless. Among other things, it marks the only sitting United States senator (Colonel Edward Baker of Oregon) to be killed in action. This photo was taken from below the bluffs. It was a quiet, peaceful place but would have been a really bad place to get caught with your back to the drop of the bluffs.
Potomac River from Blockhouse Point
I took the day off today and spent the morning reading (Rumours of War, by Allan Mallinson). Dorothy is home for Thanksgiving but both she and Cathy worked this morning. In the afternoon we drove to River Road and walked out to Blockhouse Point. It’s a nice walk pretty much any time of year and particularly with the leaves off the trees the view is really nice. We didn’t really have time to walk down the trail to the level of the canal but we will plan on doing that next time.
Potomac River from Turkey Run Park
As I think I’ve mentioned, we’ve been looking for new trails to walk on lately. What with working from home and not being able to go to church or to visit friends much, we really like getting outdoors. Turkey Run Park, on the George Washington Parkway in northern Virginia is one that I’ve seen signs for over the years but we’ve never actually been there. The walk was about 2 miles in total but felt like more than that. Parts of the trail were a bit muddy and slick and there were a few places where we had to scramble over rocks (scramble may be too strong a term, but you had to watch what you were doing, anyway). There were two places where we had to cross a stream on rocks. And coming from the river back up to the Turkey Run Park parking areas was quite a climb. There are wooden stairs where we made that ascent, which helped quite a bit, but it’s fairly steep. Anyway, we had a nice time being out and seeing the river.
Cathy and Jean at Scott’s Run Falls
We met up with Jean today for a walk. I found a new place that we’ve drive by without noticing up until now. It’s just into Virginia and right off the Capitol Beltway on Georgetown Pike. The hike was pleasant, although there’s a significant climb both ways down to the river. This waterfall is where Scott’s Run empties into the Potomac River. We also walked a little way down the river before retracing our steps back to the parking area. It’s a nice, quiet place and we really enjoyed it. Of course, that may have been the company, as much as the location. It’s always good to be with Jean.
Categories: People, Travel
Tags: Friends, Hike, Informal Portraits, Park, Potomac, Potomac River, Scott's Run Falls, Summer, Virginia, Waterfall
C&O Canal, near White’s Ford
We took an outing to a new stretch of the C&O Canal today. Not that it’s really new and we’ve actually been there before but it’s been a long time. White’s Ford is a little ways upstream from White’s Ferry. We found out way to the parking area and walked downstream on the tow path, stopping to enjoy the large, old maple tree growing at Lock 26. We also ran into a coworker (and her husband) that Cathy knows. We headed off of the towpath and down to the river shortly after passing the marker for White’s Ford. We saw two barred owls (Strix varia), one of whom flew from tree to tree and gave us a really nice view. This photo is the view of the C&O Canal looking upstream from the bridge near the parking area.
We went to the C&O Canal today, walking southeast from Pennyfield Lock. We took a detour out to the river and saw quite a few different songbirds, enjoying them flitting about in the trees. Shortly after we returned to the towpath I spotted this raccoon at the top of a hollow tree. It went up the tree and into the hole and we didn’t expect to see it again. Then it popped its head back out and looked around before climbing around and generally putting on a nice show for us. I’ve seen raccoons before but this is the first I’ve seen on the canal. What fun.
Great Falls, Virginia
After church and also after running a few errands today we drove to McLean, Virginia and took a nice walk at Riverbend Park. We went northwest on the Potomac Heritage Trail about a mile and a quarter. The view of the river isn’t all that good for most of the way, but there were a few good spots for seeing out of the trees. There is a nice bit of trail where it climbs about 50 feet over a knoll into a beech and oak wood before coming back down to the river.
From there we drove to Great Falls Park and walked to overlooks 2 and 3 (where this photo was taken). Because I now have a lifetime senior pass, short trips to parks that we would normally not do to avoid the $20 entrance fee are basically free. As you can see in this photo, the river is quite low right now. We’ve seen it when most of the rocks in this photo are totally covered.
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
Cathy and I went out to Poolesville to drop off a publication that we’ve had since I was in college. I had forgotten that the person we were taking it to was a classmate of mine since elementary school. From there we went to the C&O Canal at Riley’s Lock, where Seneca Creek empties into the Potomac River. We parked on the other side of the creek from the lock and lock house, near the old, ruined stone mill. It’s a shame it’s defaced by so much graffiti, but I suppose that’s something that’s just going to happen. When we got onto the towpath we walked west for a little over a mile. We didn’t expect to see much but I brought my long lens, just in case. Towards the end of the walk we spotted that particular green of the leaves of Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica). It’s a little early for them to be in full bloom but they were starting to open and I got a few nice photos. We love bluebells.
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
In addition to the bluebells, there were spring beauties (Claytonia virginica), cutleaved toothwort (Cardamine concatenata), and Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria). There were Trillium leaves but they were not in bloom yet. In the turning basin there was a great blue heron (Ardea herodias) on the far shore and two pairs of hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus). These are lovely birds and I never get tired of seeing them. The females are a bit less noticeable but are also pretty birds. The turtles were also out in numbers, at least in a few spots. What a beautiful day for a walk.
Categories: Creatures, Flowers and Plants
Tags: Bluebells, C&O Canal, Canal, Hooded Merganser, Lophodytes, Lophodytes cucullatus, Merganser, Mertensia, Mertensia virginica, Potomac, Seneca
Great Falls, Maryland (from Virginia)
We met our good friend Jean today and went to the Virginia side of Great Falls (which are in Maryland, because the state boundary is the Virginia shore line). It was a chilly day but beautifully clear. Most photos were taken with my long lens, including one of a heron across the river and an immature bald eagle flying overhead. I almost got a good photo of a turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) fairly close overhead but it’s only about 60% in the frame. Tracking and focusing such a large, heavy lens on a moving subject is still more than I can do reliably. I switched to my 100mm, which I carried in a pouch on my belt, for two sets of images that I stitched into panoramas. This is one of those two, which I’ve also cropped down and will use as my site’s banner image for a while. The previous banner, of Portland Head Light in Maine has been the banner since late 2015 so I thought it was time for a change.