September 27 , 2005
Doo Doo Doo Lookin' Out My Front Door
Just got home from Illinois lock the front door oh boy!...
In the immortal words of CCR: Doo, Doo, Doo, Lookin' Out My "Front" Door. Okay...the title has been slightly modified, but it's my journal. I can do anything I want. So there!
Finally! I'm back to work on the house. Wall number 60 is now history and I am now working on wall number 61. Walls 60 and 61 are really one BIG wall...the last of the 17-footers. I left this wall as one of the last walls for good reason. I wanted to get "log signatures" from the knights of the cordwood round table: Richard Flatau, Rob Roy, Cliff Shockey, Dr. Kris Dick and of course... Jack Henstridge. Since Jack lives in New Brunswick, Canada I decided the best way to have him sign a log was at the Cordwood Conference in Merrill, WI. Although I would love to visit New Brunswick someday, time would not permit it this year. I guess I could have shipped a log to him, but meeting him face-to-face was a much more enjoyable than meeting the UPS driver—not that I have anything against UPS drivers.
Wall number 60 is a quite a special wall. Besides the cordwood knights, there are many other signature logs from others who have built cordwood homes: Bun (Bernice) & Bear (David) Frasier, Ed McAllen, Sandy and Angelika Clidaras, Wayne Higgins, Tom Huber, and Clint & Cindy Cannon. Some of these logs have been in my possession for quite some time. The first signature logs that we ever acquired were from Bun & Bear back in 1997!
It was Bun & Bear's cordwood (stackwall) Bed & Breakfast that was the deal closer for us. After spending a few days with Bernice and David, we were hooked on cordwood and hooked on them! Our trip to Bancroft, Ontario Canada was one of our most enjoyable and memorable vacations. Before we said our good-bye's, I asked them if they would be so kind to sign a few logs for us to put into our own walls. And here it is, now almost eight years later and their logs are finally part of our own home. Their logs along with so many others now grace our front door and what an honor it is to have all of them as part of our own cordwood house.
It's hard to believe that another Applefest has come and gone. We, along with our friends have been celebrating Applefest for quite a few years now. I think 1998 was the first year that we had a camp-out with the gang. It was certainly before any major construction began on the house, so it certainly was a while ago. Originally we used to spend most of our time in La Crescent, Minnesota watching the apple crate races and going to the flea market/crafts fair.
But that all changed one year when one of the kids got hurt after his apple crate race car lost control going down the hill. I believe he ended up breaking an arm and that was the end of that. No more apple crate races.
But out of the ashes of the apple crate race, we decided to have our own Applefest. We considered racing our own apple crate cars down our driveway, but then reality set in and instead we decided to play golf—croquette golf that is. Yes, 18-holes of fun!
Half of the fun is just setting up the course: Using boards, drain tubing, wheel barrows, buckets, old tires, fencing, an old mail box and other donated obstacles, the course is different each year and quite a challenge to play.
Our friends Jim and Karen really outdid themselves this year by presenting us with a very creative gift that we will proudly display at every Applefest and Moonfest. Samples of Jim's previous handiwork have already graced the pages of our journal: First it was the 16-sided, wine-bottle-cork, birdhouse presented to us as a Christmas gift in 2002. Then at last year's Applefest, they made an obstacle entirely made out of wine bottle corks.
So this year I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I tried to calculate how many bottles of wine they could possibly consume in one year's time. Knowing this number might give a clue as to what they were bringing this year. As it ends up, they either stopped drinking wine entirely or they decided to save their corks for another year. Jim really outdid himself by making a road sign to be displayed at all fests. Interestingly, the sign points directions for three fests: Moonfest, Applefest and Chocolatefest. We have never had a Chocolatefest...yet. I think that Jim and Karen might be throwing a subtle hint our way.
Besides our croquette golf outing, six of us participated in the "Run to the Edge" Applefest 5k walk/run in La Crescent on Saturday morning. This was my second year participating in the race and now that I have been running for over a year, I was able to shave a good three minutes off of my race time. This is quite a grueling race. Most of it is uphill and the last hill is a real doozy.
I thought I did pretty good for my age coming in at about 26 minutes. They say to add on two to three minutes over your regular time due to the hills, so I thought maybe there was an outside chance that I could have come in third place for my age bracket (40-49). Hah! What was I thinking?! The winners for my age bracket finished the race about 10 minutes before I did. So what if I was in the age bracket of 50 to 59? Maybe I could have placed there? Keep dreaming. How about if I was over 60? Don't even go there!
Regardless of where we placed, it was a fun race to do with our friends. Hopefully everyone can do it again next year.
At the La Crescent High School Pancake Breakfast...From left to right: Alan, Jo, Leonor, Bob, Nevan, Kirk, Robo, Ahmad, Ron, Treyvea, Ruth, Andy, Eileen, Gordon, Debbie, Karen and Jim.