The alternative title could be “How I Got Poison Ivy from Hell.”
Our log cabin rests on the east side of a gentle hill. HH originally built it that way to take advantage of the lakeside views from our French doors. It also has something to do with keeping us safe from tornadoes, but that I don’t really understand so I asked him.
“Tornadoes run from southwest to northeast generally in Oklahoma. By being on the east side of the hill, we are down low, and tornadoes skip over us,” he says. Umm, O.K. That’s why he’s the scientific engineering type, and I’m the writer.
We have a simple deck in back and then the large garden. Beyond the garden is the spring fed pond/lake. We own a portion of it as does everyone else bordering it in our neighborhood. You can just see it on the right in the above photo, but I need to do some more whacking away at ‘New Dawn’ to really see the lake.
Two years ago this summer, we finished remodeling and expanding our house, originally built in 1981. We spent four years doing most of the work ourselves. In the middle of the experience, one friend said we would have such pride in our accomplishment once we finished. I guess so. We became reluctant carpenters, sheetrockers, painters, etc., due to a money shortage, but we did finish.
In the meantime, the flora and mostly fauna grew up along the shoreline, and we no longer had our view. As I’ve written before, the native plants in Oklahoma consistently want to produce an impenetrable thicket. We could barely get to our dock to fish.
HH, ASW and I worked for two weeks to produce this:
These are two different views of the same area. To accomplish this feat, we used three sets of loppers, two weed eaters (one which has a nifty chainsaw attachment,) a chainsaw, shears, a tractor and a riding lawn mower. Whew! Hey, landscape tool manufacturers, want me to give your tools a workout?
Remember how I said I was immune to poison ivy? You know what they say about famous last words. I am no longer. Unfortunately, all three of us have some degree of rash, but mine is the worst. I was going to take a photo, but I decided to spare you the disgusting details. If you want to see what nasty poison ivy looks like, you can peruse the Skin Rash Hall of Fame.
When HH and I walked into the doctor’s office (a friend,) he took one look at us and started laughing. I had to laugh too as I scratched my arms and legs. The only thing I’ve had which itches more than poison ivy is chicken pox (which I had as an adult when the kids were small.) The doctor asked if we’d been clearing land at our house. I was a little offended that he didn’t even consider whether we’d been rolling around in the bushes. It must be our ages.
I’m now on steroids, and the rash seems to be abating somewhat, but I’m not wanting any heat or sunlight soon. I think I’ll go read a book instead.
Was it worth it? I don’t know. Ask me again in a couple of weeks. The bad part is we’re not finished. There’s still more shoreline to do.