"He bellowed, 'Who are we?' We all waited for the answer. Then he whispered, 'We are our stories.' "

Monday, November 22, 2021

The Old House at 1410 Oakwood

Our home began life in 1907 as a 12' x 16' hunting shack. The town grew out and eventually ate Oakwood Park. Duck hunting and pan fishing were replaced by water skiing, wave runners and other cursed petroleum powered water sports.

Over time at least five one room additions were made to the old shack at 1410 - and it is still a small roomed modest home. Even the stairs down to the lower walkout level are in their third location. 1410 is drafty, wobbly and wonky, but we love it and continuing the tradition, we continue to pour money into remodeling and keeping it dry and upright.


By chance, my close friend Chesterman grew up at 1410 and he sent me this photograph of his childhood home. It is barely
recognizable. Even the terrain has changed with stone retaining walls and such (and a growlery and water feature).
Over the years the house has had walls moved and removed, a new kitchen and bathrooms, new mechanicals - been re-sided with cedar tongue-in-groove and shakes, all the windows replaced, a couple with doors accessing a lattice covered 16' x 42' deck. In hindsight, moneywise, little of this made sense, but it has been our home for 35 years and it is where our heart is.


Circles and cycles - far end, John Chesterman heading the table at his childhood home. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Rocks and Water

Likely last warm day of the year ... so like most sane people, I moved rocks. 

As I said in my previous posting, wild rocks can be hard to herd - difficult to make them behave. I placed, replaced, adjusted, readjusted the rocks ... then stepped back to look and did it all over again maybe 47 times.

This is what I finally ended up with - sketched in the potential waterfall. I have the water shut off and the reservoir tank drained for the season so we will have to wait for Spring to see what it actually looks like functioning.

Is it a river flowing out of the northern boreal forest dropping off the Precambrian bedrock escarpment into a deep eroded runnel stream, falling off a spectacular shoreline cliff into the cold waters of Gitchigumi over centuries to seep deep into a subterranean aquifer?

Or is it a rinky-dink rock garden rivulet draining into a concealed 40 gallon galvanized cow tank with a plastic lift pump? 

Either way - circles and cycles. 


Next, black landscape foam adhesive to anchor the smaller rocks, hard pack a mix of wet dirt and moss into the cracks. Then plant a low growing grassy carex, Pennsylvania Sedge, and maybe some Blue-eyed Grass on the "headlands." 

"Give me a lever long enough, a place to stand, and I will move the world."  - Archie Medes
"Moving rocks so you don't have to," - Gunnar Berg

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Waterfall - After Spring Migration?

I have been looking for low, flat weathered rocks of the correct color while at our other home in Lanesboro. Not much luck. I then realized I have enough rocks although they are 6" thick. I was imagining a 6" waterfall as it is now. Hell, why not a 12" waterfall - more of a statement instead of a trickle. 

Here is a sketch of my planned upper falls. Of course it will only vaguely resemble this. It is tough herding wild rocks because they tend to have a mind of their own.