Missing the sun

Missing the long days when it’s still light after business hours. The days are already getting longer and lighter though, so we’ll spend these darker days planning. I hate winter. Weather like this, I miss NOLA. Actually – lots of days make me miss NOLA. Cold makes me whiny – apologies.

Good things happening though. Business plans are coming together for the front and the back. We thought the front concrete block section would be the first to be productive, but now it may be the back. Hope to have a usable phone (and thus camera) by the weekend. Hate not being able to take photos.

Hope to get our quote for the front upstairs windows this week. Fred from Caldwell Sash came and measured last week. He does nice work. M and I argue all the time on what we have to compromise on – he won this one. Anxious to have these done. Nothing moves fast enough. And – at the same time – everything moves too fast.

Finally mulched the planting bed in the back. Moving old straw from our chicken house (now empty thanks to the predator that picked off our chickens at the rate of one a day) onto the garden bed this weekend, then will work it into the soil probably in March. It would be nice to have chickens at the building, but the soil is contaminated in many areas (lead) so probably not the best idea. They are relaxing to watch. Like a poultry aquarium.

Over the levee

This has nothing to do with the work on our building. But, it is about the neighborhood –  interesting to us nonetheless.

We’re a little late to the game in reading about things going on in Portland. But, picked up the August Louisville magazine the other day and read the article “The Portland Puzzle”. The last paragraph said, “‘You don’t go over the floodwall.'”  I don’t doubt that’s good advice, but it made me laugh a little. Twice last summer we were near that spot (32nd and Rudd). The first time we were on the right side of the floodwall. The second time – we went over. Both times were memorable.

The first time,  we were looking at a building at 32nd and Rudd – where the cobblestone street ends at the levee and Rudd dead-ends. (Very cool building – it used to be a saloon). The beams supporting the floor (or maybe they’re called joists) are huge and spaced a little more closely than typical. We were wondering if that’s because the place housed kegs/barrels. Anyway – very cool.

It is afternoon, warm, and late spring. We’re standing there counting the number of boarded up windows – there are kids walking on the bike path and riding a dirt-bike up and down that stretch of path. The bike path is closed there, but it’s green space and car-free so it attracts kids. School was still in session. The girls are walking together and skinny, shirtless boys are on bikes and dirt bikes. They are all chatting, etc.

We aren’t paying attention to them until we hear yelling. We look up. We think maybe there is a fight so we watch for a second. But, the kids are all gathered in a circle looking down at something and it soon is apparent there’s a kid on the ground. So we run up the levee to see if everyone is okay.

One of the boys on a dirt bike collided head-on with one of the girls walking. She is flat on her back and kind of quietly moaning on the grass next to the bike path. The kids are all looking at her, but not touching her. Just looking at her. She is there with her brother who is a little older and obviously feels responsible for her because he is pacing back and forth wailing, “It’s all my fault.” The older boy, probably 13 or 14 on the dirt bike just keeps saying, “I’m sorry. I told her to move. I’m sorry.” We question him to see how they collided and it seems neither could decide on a lane. They each feinted in different directions. And he drove straight over her. They’re scared and have no idea what to do. We don’t either, really.

Her side and forearms are completely scraped and covered in black from the asphalt. She isn’t speaking words or answering questions. Just moaning. We don’t know if she might have internal injuries or a head wound. She’s not talking or opening her eyes so we can’t tell how seriously she is injured. We elevate her feet and cover her (all we can remember from ancient first-aid classes). We debate a split-second because calling 911 would mean the parents will be billed for the services.

The police arrive first, then her dad. Her brother has run home to get him. He’s kind of a big guy, he climbs the hill fast. He starts yelling at the boys on the dirt bikes, “I told you all not to be riding those things up here”. The boys look a little terrified and keep mumbling apologies. Then the fire department arrives, then the mom. It seems like maybe she lives in a different place from the dad. When she arrives, he tries to keep her from being hysterical and out of the way of the EMTs. He’s obviously worried. He seems worried, but not too thrilled with all the police, fire and medical personnel. It starts to feel a little dramatic. We slip back down the levee as they are putting her on a stretcher.

The second time – we’re thinking someone was running from the cops. It felt a little like something from a television crime show. I’ll have to finish this later.

Hap-py New Year!

2015 is going to be great. I just know.

Months ago our neighbor down the street came over in the middle of the night and made a rustic bench from the stumps we had in front of the window. He used to make rustic furniture and sell it in front of his house – the one on the corner with the antlers over the door. He’s a hoot and a good neighbor. I promised I’d post a picture of it….here it is festooned with greenery (also provided by another good neighbor).

A couple of these would be great at the 22nd & Portland bus stop. Anything would be an improvement over nothing – really. There is always someone waiting for a bus there and nowhere to sit, or place grocery bags, or kids.

 

Geno's Bench

 

With the really cold weather, we’ll be focusing on the inside for a bit. Planning a bigger garden and flower bed for the back. Hoping to put in a couple of fig trees. Our neighbor behind us has a tree service and gives me free mulch – very convenient. Thank you, Turner Tree Service. Still have some trees to plant, but need to rent a gas saw on a nice day. We’ll get to that when it warms up a bit.

At any rate – really psyched for a good year. Anxious to get the Italianate windows in the front – that’s a next step and coming soon.

So – happy new year – here’s to it!