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It turned out to be a very lucky thing that we brought our battery powered circular saw to West Virginia. We almost didn’t bring it because there is a mostly operable plug in circular saw there, but the fact that the trigger sticks totally sketches me out so I insisted on bringing our 20 volt DeWalt saw and it saved the day. Or, more accurately, it saved us from driving back and forth to the neighbor’s ten zillion times to use the plug in saw.
Actually, on second thought, these boots and water-shedding 5.11 pants saved my day because it was 43 and drizzling when we showed up on our second morning to WV to start working on the house! My husband was pretty happy to have the saw, though.
As I wrote on Tuesday, we arrived in West Virginia to find the we had a lot more work ahead of us than we’d realized because we needed to find a way to repair a doorframe and a window! I didn’t mention it before, but the window that was used to enter the house didn’t actually have glass in the lower portion and hadn’t, as far as I know, for decades. This means we didn’t replace any glass, which was nice, but we still needed to formulate a plan of attack to repair the doorframe and window, as well as figure out where to stay. We’d picked up a couple of portable indoor propane heaters in Pittsburg and were planning to stay in the house. Without a way to inflate our air mattress (which had been drug to the back porch and then abandon), our generator and batteries, or, more importantly, a back door (!), staying in the house suddenly wasn’t as appealing!
The house is in the kind of place where neighbors will simply stop by if they notice you’re home, so we talked to several people over the course of our first full day in WV and quickly found ourselves with knowledge of how to find two neighbor’s spare keys; invitations to say at two different houses; an offer to borrow a propane grill; permission to just show up and cook, if we needed to, at one family’s house; and an invite to simply stop by for anything at any time from an elderly couple. At least we had our ‘where will we sleep?!’ problem solved pretty quickly!
I was cold our first day (okay, and on other days, too…), but we decided we should return the propane heaters and didn’t want to open their boxes. My solution? Building a camp fire…in what appeared to be an old laundry cauldron. It wasn’t exactly a rip-roaring bonfire, but it did give me an excuse not to haul a lot of sticks quite as far.
Breaking sticks to put in the fire was a pretty good way to warm up! Honestly…hauling deadfall to the fire and breaking it up was more warming than our pitiful fire. Overall mission ‘don’t freeze’ was accomplished!
While I hauled off sticks, my husband got out his tape measure and started taking measurements. Luckily, we already had a piece of 1″ oak plywood that was almost the perfect size for the window. It only needed a few alterations and it would be good to go! An inch of oak seems like way better protection than old MDF, so we felt good about our plan. Measurements revealed that a 2×6 would work well as a replacement for the damaged portion of the door frame. We had to get accurate measurements the first time because we’d have to get it cut at the store in order to fit the board in our rental vehicle!
After hauling off sticks and doing a bit of mowing until later afternoon, we drove about an hour to the nearest Lowes to return our propane heaters and pick up lumber, which netted us about a $100 return to our bank account. Yay! With a warm bed at the neighbor’s to return to and a plan for rebuilding the damaged doorframe and window, going to sleep Saturday was far easier than it had been Friday. =)