December 27, 2020

Terrace wall repair

There's never a lack of projects to do here at the manor.  One we've put off, for one reason or another, is repairing the west terrace wall. 

This wall has a bit of a sad story. It was constructed near the end of 2004 after Himself was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. The prognosis was pretty grim. It was colon cancer that had metastasized to his liver and the doctor at Johns Hopkins deemed it to be "inoperable," and therefore terminal. 

Doctors CAN be wrong. 

It was under this dark cloud that he took on the project, firmly believing it would be the last thing he ever did to improve the manor. 

The wall lasted over a decade, but time and water will always win. The last section built has collapsed. Last summer it was only a small collapse and close inspection showed a larger one was imminent. We determined it would be better to allow the hostas to bloom another year, wait for the collapse, and then effect a more substantial repair. 

And so here we are. When the weather improves and the ground dries and firms up, we have a job to do. It's not as difficult as it may appear. The remnants of the old wall will get scooped up in the bucket of the John Deere and dropped on the lower stone fence. Using the backhoe, we'll dig out some soil and prepare level ground for the foundation. After that is finished, it will be time to select some substantial stones from the upper stone fence and rebuild the wall. 

With any luck, it will only take us a weekend. Like everything here at the manor, the weather is the key factor. No matter how many Saturday afternoons it may take, we'll both be glad to have it done. 

That wall is like a metaphor for his life. If a section crumbles, it's time to pick yourself up, fix it, and keep going. And that's how we do it at Holly Tree Manor.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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