A Memorial Day Poem


Nantucket 101

I found the following poem online for all to read.

Also, please click this link to read a story about Belgium during WWII (Growing up in the Wake of World War II). I have traveled throughout Belgium, and to this day, Belgians are extremely thankful toward Americans as well as friendly. If you’re planning a summer trip to Europe, add Belgium to your list.


Here’s to those who paid the price

And stood atop the wall,

Who didn’t call it sacrifice,

But duty to a call.

Beyond our power to add, detract,

Or honor with parade, Or praise with words all copper-plaqued, In public squares displayed,

They held the line, they took the brunt Directed at our flank. From general to lowly grunt Now “hero” is their rank.

For some – unknown – the laurel wreaths Must rest on unnamed graves. For others still, their God bequeaths No slabs or architraves.

For other heroes, living hearts Still speak aloud their name. Their daughters, sons, and better-parts – To memories lay claim.

Some met the foe with angry eye; Some trembled at the fray; Some grieved for wife and family; Some paused to kneel and pray.

Yet, as their hour approached its mark And minutes became rare, All gazed into the dreaded dark, And stood – where we weren’t – there.

We praise with words their bravery, Their steadfast soldiers’ hands, That shielded us from slavery And wrack from foreign lands.

Now pause awhile, and think on them. Let recollection stir To memory, through this artless hymn, Of those and who they were.
Dean C. Broome, MD JD http://www.usmemorialday.org


The Dead Oak is Now Firewood

IMGP3177The 200ft rope was put on the top of the tree to pull it down when we were ready.

IMGP3184John cut a notch on the east side of the tree so we could pull it down with the rope wrapped around another tree.

IMGP3181IMGP3185IMGP3186IMGP3188IMGP3189IMGP3190The top of the tree about 10ft from the ground. When it hit, we could feel the ground shake.IMGP3197IMGP3213IMGP3217IMGP3232IMGP3231The tree trunk would make a great table; John needs two people to help him roll it to the backyard…maybe.

Inspirational Dutch Design Ideas

During our 5 1/2 month stint in Maine, we drove along the southern coast  taking photos of houses for inspiration. When we were planning to build a house, Dutch and Cape Cod designs were both at the top of our list.

IMGP2027This Dutch had just been built in York, Maine when I took this photo in January 2014. Our favorite siding is cedar shakes and we’re considering it for our new  design. I wish this house didn’t have an underneath 2-car garage; it would have been so much better if it had a detached garage.

IMGP1870IMGP1868This Dutch is right on the ocean with a fabulous view, and is more than likely a second home.

IMGP1869This high-priced Dutch is located in Kennebunkport on Ocean Drive and is strictly used as a summer home. It faces the ocean and is near the Bush Compound.

IMGP2014This isn’t a Dutch design, but it’s my idea of a detached garage with a separate entrance leading up to an apartment. It’s more like a carriage house.



A Draftsman Designed our House Plans at Brick House 319

Last week, Ron, our draftsman at Here’s The Plan, dropped off our final set of plans. We met with Ron several times over the winter and spring. He came to the house about four times and we went to his home office once.

We decided to hire a draftsman with extensive building experience because an architect was substantially more, more than double.

John found out about Ron from a framer who had worked with him. We initially contacted Ron last August before we had a key to Brick House 319 and he came over to take a look, measure the exterior, and give us a quote for drawing up plans as well as a price for permits.

Without a key, we weren’t able to show him the hoard in the house but he did see the 1000 bins/buckets in the backyard along with the hoard hidden under tarps behind the house. While he was walking around the property he was probably thinking, “What did you two get yourselves into.” If he had seen the inside, he probably would have run for his life. At least everyone who stopped by the house would comment on the fact that it’s a nice area.

At our first meeting, John and I had in mind that we wanted to turn the split level design into a classic colonial. John expressed that he wanted to raise the pitch of the roof to include a shed dormer in front. Ron said that in raising the roof, it would create a third floor on the west side of the house (the higher side). He said it would look like a big box and not to scale. At this early stage, we explained to Ron that we had a lot of work ahead of us with removing the colossal volume of hoarded stuff and that we would get back to him when we were ready.

It was February when we called Ron back. By this time 75% of the hoard was gone and Ron could now get inside the house to measure and see the layout. He chuckled at seeing the last remnants of junk, wires, and the remaining bin hoard in the backyard.

I had gone on the Houzz website and printed some ideas out on how we would like the exterior to look. It was actually difficult to find split level houses that had been transformed into classic colonials. I found only three. By now I really wanted the attic on the west side of the house to be a loft master bedroom with a full bath and walk-in closets, but Ron was against it for design reasons. He reiterated what he said during our first meeting–that it would create a third floor and be too high, boxy, and not to scale. John and I thought a shed dormer would offset it, but Ron still advised against it. The existing windows would be an issue as well.

In the meantime, in March, a modest brick ranch house about three miles from brick house 319 had been bought and a builder transformed it into a pretty Dutch colonial with shed dormers. The moment I saw it, I told John about it and we looked at it together. We both have always liked Dutch colonials so the next time Ron came over, we showed him the newly renovated house as well.

We now knew that we wanted a Dutch design.