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  • Writer's pictureSusan Byers

Marking and Making

As you know, we are hunkering, waiting out the virus, a few miles outside Floyd, Virginia. We will be in this campground until mid-June, when we will help our son move to Jacksonville, Florida, where he has a job waiting. After that ... we'll just have to wait and see if it's safe to resume traveling. If not, maybe we'll head north for another extended stay in cooler climes. Meanwhile, it's a lovely place to quarantine.

And while we wait, there are numerous projects to get done, and a major milestone to mark: our 30th anniversary.

I'm not sure how 30 years have slipped past, but they have. We are, I must say, very lucky, because we get along so well. We laugh a lot. After three decades, being confined to a little over 300 square feet could be really hard if we didn't. But we do; in fact, we are perfectly content in our tiny home.

Still, a big anniversary needed to be noted. We decided that April 21st would be a play day; no projects, and we'd get OUT OF THE HOUSE.

While driving through Floyd, we had noticed a hardware store and an antique shop that were open, so those became our destinations. We spent a happy hour in the hardware store, finding a number of things we needed.

Then we walked around town a bit--with our masks, of course--looking for someplace we could get lunch, but only one restaurant was open on Tuesdays, and we decided to order pizza from there that night. We had heard a lot about Floyd, but it's a hollow version of itself right now. It was sad to see music venues, that we knew would normally be filled with people and musicians, empty. We hope to visit again someday when the pandemic is a thing of the past.

We whiled away another two hours or so at the antique emporium, and scored an old glass juicer and four lovely little glasses, perfect for an after-dinner Bailey's ...

On the way home, we went grocery shopping (how exciting is that?!), and I picked up some flank steak juuuuust in case the pizza didn't pan out.

It didn't.

Although they were supposed to be open until 9, when Len called at 8 to order, they'd already shut down the kitchen. So, I made a lovely--if late--dinner for us, including a fruit tart for dessert. It was a lovely day, just getting out and doing ordinary things together.

I have been occasionally trying to get things done these last couple of weeks. I have reorganized kitchen cabinets, made a perch for a birdcage in which two dear little wooden parakeets now reside ...

... and put shelves in the laundry closet. First, Len painted the back wall (I wanted to paint everything, but that would require emptying the closet, sanding and priming ... and it's a laundry closet, for goodness' sake. Just covering up the ugly wallpaper made a huge difference.

Meanwhile, I cut two boards and two pieces of lathing the width of the closet, then marked where cutouts for the vent, drain and water hoses needed to be. I used the scroll saw to cut those out. The bottom shelf would rest on the washer/dryer and keep things from dropping behind it (there are three dryer balls that will just have to stay there ...).

Len painted those and another shelf from the kitchen while I put up support brackets for the upper shelf.

When everything was dry, we put the shelves in place and tacked on the lathing strips to keep things in place when we travel. And I put up the laundry room sign I ordered months ago. What a difference! There's even room for the vacuum, which used to live in the clothes closet. (If you think I'm posting a before picture ... fuggetaboudit!)

Next project!

When we moved into the camper, we threw curtains that were far too long up on some of the windows, just to have something up for privacy and insulation. But I always planned to remake them. A few days after we got here, I took them all down and dug out the ones that had yet to be hung. I opened up the dining table almost as far as it would go (it seats 8), and laid out all of the curtains, lining up the pattern (which whoever made them hadn't done).

I cut them off at top and bottom, and made them up to the correct length (except, mathematician that I am not, I made them a tad too long and had to raise the rods ...). I did occasionally have to refuse offers of "help" from McTavish ...

It took a few days to get curtain rings from Amazon, but now the curtains are up the way they should be. The next step is to make Roman shades for the windows over the daybed. Things are shaping up.

There are still tiling and caulking to do in the bathroom and kitchen, wallpaper to put up in the bath, bits of trim to nail on, a bit of painting and a couple of other odds and ends to do. I'd like to replace the massive microwave/fan with something smaller. But what happens if I run out of projects before it's safe to be out and about?! Oh, wait. We live in a camper.

There are ALWAYS projects.

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