First, I apologize for yet another extended absence from these spaces. Each time I think I have the time to type out a few words, something comes up and I’m taken in God-knows-what direction, usually involving physical labor. I actually set out on a real post yesterday, and then the phone rang all hell broke loose (I’ll explain later) when I was mid-way through it and I had to quit. I looked back at it again just now and realized it was just a meandering recount of all the work we’ve done since we moved in March 19. Not to minimize things, it was a lot of work. The retrieval from Delaware of all the things we had left there meant another whole moving-in, this time of well-loved but admittedly too numerous things we “de-cluttered” from the house in Arlington as we readied it for market, not to mention all the things we had collected for the Delaware trailer itself over the four summers we enjoyed it. In a nutshell, we consolidated three dwellings into this one, and in the process filled thrift stores and giveaway bins with several trips’ worth of usable but extraneous stuff, both here and in Delaware. I think we can safely say all the jigsaw pieces that had been scattered around the mid-Atlantic are under one roof. We’re moved in, and now we can start on the list of projects that will lend completion to the home. That list is endless, of course, and it’s just the things we know about and can plan on! (People have told us that the house looks so complete they’d think we’ve been living here for years. The truth is, we’d imagined most settings for months and it was a mere case of putting things where we knew they belonged. The hardest part of the job was hauling it all in.)

The hell that broke loose yesterday concerns a home equity line of credit we are applying for. We want to take advantage of our excellent credit ratings and of the fact that we own house free and clear. The application process, however, has taken on the potential to turn into a nightmare because a very sizable lien was found on the property–a lien that supposedly has existed since 2005 but did not show up in the title search when we made our purchase in March, 2009. Some title company, either the one that did the original search for our purchase or the one working for our lending bank, has made a big mistake. There are myriad things to ponder and worry about in such a situation–my initial inquiries following yesterday’s phone call from the bank led me to inexplicable dealings in the next county. All we can do is wait for the thing to play itself out, and that’s frustrating for a born “fixer” like me. We should have more details, and maybe a resolution (for good or ill) next week. At least one thing has come out of this: now we know what title insurance is for!

The house may be looking lovely on the inside (today’s photo is of my favorite vista) but outside we’re still all dust or mud, depending on the weather. Dwayne, the landscaper, doesn’t want to do anything until Joe, the the bulkhead guy, puts in a retaining wall next to the wetlands on the side of the house. Joe can’t start on our project until he’s done with the job he’s on now, and of course last night’s soaking rain didn’t help matters anywhere heavy machinery is needed. Landscaping will be an ongoing saga, given the continuing rains and our distance from commercial centers. I did plant a couple of trees yesterday where no machines will have to go.

The pollen you have either been reading about or contending with personally over the past few days hit us like a yellow nor’easter. It’s record-breaking in these parts (we seem to have arrived here during a time when records were scheduled to be broken)–the air itself was a greenish-yellow fog as we drove on US 17 yesterday. We left the cars outside the garage last night for the express purpose of allowing the rain to relieve them of their dusty burdens. According to local authorities, most of the pollen we’re seeing here is from loblolly pines, which the wooded part of our property is full of. We thought the oak and maple pollen in Arlington were bad, but we’ve never seen anything like this.

We got the boat running yesterday for the first time this season. Took about a half-hour of repeated attempts, but the old bucket of bolts finally kicked into life and purred like a kitten. We saw on our short boat ride that here in early April the Little River is already an obstacle course of crab pots. I bought some crab bait yesterday. Can’t wait to start hauling in a few of my own!

More later….