June-August 2013

There wasn’t much left of June by the time I put Elena on the plane back to Newfoundland, and it took a few days before I got back into my rhythm of doing “stuff”. Among first things to get at was finish of the window trim and stain and varnish of the same in the workshop area and the window framing in the garage.


I also set about installing aluminum fascia in the exterior door frames, on the beams and posts of the breezeway and to instal the final set of exterior trim on door frames and the windows in the screen porch. When I got the original Hardie Board cement board trim I could get factory painted battens only if I bought a whole pallet of the same. Unfortunately I needed more than a whole pallet, and so the remainder to finish the trim was just primed and I had to paint it. These jobs were at the top my agenda beginning in late June.

Another project being done in parallel was the final finishing of a table I had acquired at an auction sale in Iowa in 2007. I had stripped the old finish when staying to take care of my mother while my sis and her husband flew off for their daughter’s wedding in Hawaii. Now I finally got round to doing the oil rubbed finish to replace the old varnish which I had removed. It is a lovely simple drop-leaf table made of cherry with three additional leaves that can be inserted to give a length to seat a substantial gathering.

While I was chugging away at these things I had communications from my sis in Iowa that my Mom was having some health issues and was in hospital for a few days to deal with a bout of aspiration pneumonia. After a bit of back and forth and deciding it was time for a visit I scheduled my trip to see Gladys and Paul and my Mom, but also to catch the annual Hoekman family reunuion another day’s drive west from there in Monroe SD. By the time I got to Iowa my Mom was back in the Cresco Senior’s home and again pretty chipper. As usual we played Scrabble. It is pretty sad, my siblings and I brag when we manage to beat our 95 year-old mother at Scrabble; usually she whips us 🙂

So I had a little more than a week away from duties to visit family and trek across the midwest in the States. I must comment that the family reunion, while still a significant gathering is a shadow of its former size. The older generation is disappearing, and the younger generations are much more widely scattered and less connected to the old center of family history.

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