Life Beyond Boating  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

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Barbara and I live next door to each other, with the maple and stand of arborvitae trees sort of separating our two yards.  Beneath the spreading maple tree is Barbara's hammock, where she spends much of her summer free time while I'm out sailing.  (Oct. 29, 2008)

A shot of "Barbara's Beach," where she can often be found when not in the hammock.  The maple tree provides a dramatic foliage change come autumn, each season quite spectacular.

On the right is her "Mother" pear tree, a gift from family in memory of her mother.  Its twin, her "Father" pear tree, was planted alongside my house in front of where I park Chip Ahoy for the winter.

An industrious spider took up residence just outside the sliding door into my kitchen.  It often had to rebuild its web when the wind swept it away.  Its undaunted persistence over a few weeks became almost an inspiration -- though Barbara put a potted geranium beneath it so we wouldn't step out into it without thinking!

My house, like Barbara's, was originally a vacation camp that's had a number of additions to it over the decades -- rather easily identified.  There's no heat on the second floor, not even radiators, and the small gas furnace in the crawl space in the back corner beneath the first floor and the rock upon which the house sits, hardly keeps even the downstairs rooms comfortable in the winter.  When I moved in about a decade ago, the first thing I did was add a wood-burning stove in the kitchen (thus the chimney).

I just got the picnic table furniture again covered for the winter.  I bought the furniture unfinished then applied many coats of Cetol to it, adding a few more over the seasons.  The storage shed out back is very useful for keeping my boating equipment (outboard motor, rudder, etc.) at least snow-free.  I think of the washed-ashore lobster pot buoys adorning its weathered side as a reminder of the obstacles out there when sailing through the minefields!

Another view (using my new wide-angle lens).

Having a wood stove is only half the game.  Having an adequate supply of wood to burn through the winter -- and getting it into the house -- is the other half.  Without both, I'd find myself awfully cold come January and February!

The wood racks.  I had a cord left over from last winter, so this year only needed to buy two more for the coming cold season.  I hope it's enough to get me through the other side -- but I had to order it in early-July to assure I could get it and have it for the winter ahead!

The full wood racks, finally covered.  Now I just need to cart in firewood as needed.

Around the backside of the house, where the laundry room door opens beneath the remnants of what used to be a full deck, I built a makeshift lean-to.  I keep a stack of emergency firewood on a few pallets under the tarp, for those times when the snow's too deep or the weather's too bad to get out to the wood racks across the parking lot, or if we haven't been plowed out yet.  I have a "police-scanner" radio discone antenna mounted on the deck rail, grounded beneath.

Under the lean-to and tarp is where I also store the snow-thrower.  This photo was taken from the laundry room doorway.


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