Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mathews = Mayberry, and I mean that in a good way

I finally left Hagerstown today for the Chesapeake Bay. I grew up in Maryland, near DC, but I’m sorry, Hagerstown seems gloomy. Mom can drive and go upstairs and care for herself. I’m taking a week to meet repairmen (frozen/burst pipes last week, glass guys, gutter guys, dish tv guys) and decompress before going home.

We have a place in Mathews County, VA, a few hundred yards of marsh in from the Bay. The house was a simple old 1930 bungalow. But it had been flooded by Hurricane Isabel, bought from the old folks who built it, raised up, and gutted by the time we bought it.

Before Photos, September 2004
My husband is a ham radio operator, and the salt water helps the radio waves. And there’s a lot of development going on around us in Charlottesville. In Mathews, it’s quiet and undeveloped and slow. He wanted a place for radio in Mathews. Who am I to argue?

Our “front yard”, now a marsh used to be a soybean field. It’s considered by the US Army Corps of Engineers to be a Non-Tidal Wetland. We have seen at times herons, egrets, osprey, bluebirds, many songbirds, and FOUR bald eagles (two parents, two juveniles!) After the Nor’easters this fall, we had fish next to the house.
During Hurricane Isabel the water was several feet deep in the house. If this house ever gets wet again, the whole County will be under water.
It was raining inside the house the first time we saw it.
Yeah, I know. We walked away too. But we came back five months later.

Things had changed.

That’s the big Sunroom framed in. We hadn’t found anything else that would work for the Radio, and after completely taking leave of our senses, we bought it.
Many construction trials and travails ensued. I’ll spare you the gory details of firing the builder and becoming the GC to finish the house myself.
And the After of those Before interior shots?

And so, here we are part of the time.
Welcome to Heron Haven.

There’s a little yarn shop over in Gloucester. And, I’m going to find Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg on Friday.

Tomorrow, blocking the Pi Shawl.