Big Creek: A Year of Improvements

A Year of Improvements

We’ve been at Big Creek for a year!  I can hardly believe that. In some respects it seems like it’s only been a short time, but mostly it seems like I’ve been here forever, like I never left.  Coach and I have been talking a lot lately about everything we’ve accomplished here in one year, and we’re pretty proud of ourselves!  We said we were going to take it slowly; do things a little bit at a time.  I guess we forgot that, because a year is not that long, and we’ve done A LOT!  Here’s the tour of a year of improvements:

We cleaned out Papa’s shop, plus the other 4 storage rooms, and Coach painted the outside of it all.before shop

after shop

We had a handful of trees cut down that were too close for comfort (don’t worry, there are plenty more).

sycamore down

We had the roof replaced.

before/after rood

We had new vinyl siding installed.


Repaired the sunroom by removing the leaky glass wall/ceiling, having it reframed, and adding new windows. newsunroom

Coach repaired the wood stove, and kept us warm last winter.

wood stove

We painted the entire upstairs and installed new carpet.newcarpet

And, most recently, Coach and Grandaddy insulated the entire attic (since it hadn’t been done since the 60’s), installed a new, bigger water heater (praise the Lord!), and re-floored the hallway!  Apparently, I’m not much help with things like this, and I obviously ask too many questions, so Coach likes to take on these kinds of projects when I’m not home.  This means I wasn’t lurking around with my camera, snapping pictures of their progress between my questions…so no “during” pics of any of that.  I’ll share the progress on all of that very soon.

Everything is not easy to improve…

There’ve been some surprises along the way, as well.  We knew when we moved here that we had lots of work to do, but some things were not on the original list.  Actually, the roof was not on the original list, but we discovered that little oversight very quickly.  We also didn’t think we’d have to replace the central heat/air unit this quickly, but we did.  After having the repairman out 3 times and going without air conditioning several times in the heat of summer, we knew we did not want to have that problem when we needed heat.  Winters around here can be brutal.

Also, sometime around the end of June, first of July, we started leaking water somewhere.  It wasn’t under the house, at Madre’s, or anywhere visible, but the water bill told us it was pretty significant.  We realized it was somewhere in the underground water lines, and our only affordable solution was to replace the whole kit and kaboodle.

Papa laid the original water lines in 1985, before we even had city water.  I grew up on creek water, which Papa pumped from the creek, up to what is now Madre’s house, and ran it through his own filtration system.  There were three or four tanks in a little room up there, with all kinds of pipes and gadgets. What he built it to do made the coldest, best-tasting water in the world. City water sucks in comparison, but I’m still thankful for it. Coach and I certainly wouldn’t have a clue how to run Papa’s intricate filtration system.

The good thing is, now we have cut-offs in various places to make it much easier to detect leaks in the future, and to detect the location of the water lines, should we ever have another problem.  Dear Lord, please don’t let us have another problem.

more home improvements to come

I’m sure I’ve left out some things, but I’m tired just from the list I’ve shared!  Living here in the midst of all of this has been trying, at times. But, we’ve had so much fun along the way, and made so many memories, that it has been totally worth it.  There’s just nowhere else I’d like to be.  We have plenty left to do, too!  The living room floor is still waiting for its repairs (my Christmas tree just dances around in its spot every time we walk through), as is the little train-car part of my kitchen and spots in the dining room.  Those are warm-weather projects, so it will be a little while before we go to ripping up floors.

Hopefully, though, we won’t have to wait too much longer to repair the floor in our tiny master bath.  The floor and the baseboards have become very distant relatives over the years, and that can make for a very chilly loo….

Stick around for the transformations yet to come in this year of improvements!

X,O,X,O,   Martie