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Snow Days coming

Guess what? 70 degrees this weekend at the farm and today we have predictions of snow in Chicago. Do I want snow? no. Ever? well not today certainly. Plus I'm sorta stove up inside today. May be a stomach flu, who knows. The highly ironic thing was I took a sick day on Friday. And now I get sick. I just love my karma. It's no secret, I don't like Chicago all that much, but sometimes, working on the 4th floor of and good sized building with big windows, gives you some really nice views of the sunset. Like this one from last Thursday.

Deb and I rode the train down together this weekend. I slept through quite a bit of Saturday. I must have needed it. The Rob and Gwen drama was kept to a minimum. Deb got her hair cut on Saturday morning and then we did some shopping and hit the area produce stands for the probably the last of the fall produce, except for pumpkins and gourds. I'm really not ready for it to be getting this close to winter yet.

But next Thursday, I leave for the East Coast. Virginia and North Carolina specifically and I'll likely rent a car and drive. My car needs a bit of work and I just don't want to screw around with getting it fixed before I go. I'll be taking it to AZ for Xmas so I want to have it ready by then. Basically just replacing the rear struts and the timing belt. I could do it myself but I can get the parts fairly cheap and I've got a guy who will install it all for me for not much money.

So, East Coast. I'll be making Manassas, VA and the home of my good friends, Eric and Karen, home base. Anybody want me to visit them while I'm there? I'll be out there about 8 days and plan to head down to NC at some point. Let me know and I'll try to fit a visit into my plans.

I spent much of the weekend that I wasn't being lazy, in the pursuit of a project I'm working on. I'm trying to document all the abandoned houses and farms in my county. I'm working on an interactive website with each of the townships as an image map and people can pull up galleries of all the sites I've shot. Then they can leave comments about the history of the places if they know it. The local genealogy and history society has agreed to link it to their site as they will likely be pulling in some of the info that I get for their own projects. I've shot over 40 sites so far and I know there are 100 or more. The next phase after the website will be a book. Nice big coffee table book. So anyway, I shot 5 more sites this weekend. Probably the best one is this great big wreck about a mile down the road from me. I've been wanting to shoot it for years.



And just look at the inside!



I seriously think the entire house is now being held up by the chimney. Nearly all the lode bearing beams have rotted and fallen. I'd bet that it will fall completely this winter if we get much wind. The house can only be shot in the Fall or Winter as there is so much vegetation around, it completely obscures it from view. As I drove around the county, I noticed a couple of the houses I've shot in the past are completely gone now. Good thing I documented them already. Makes me wonder how many more have fallen before I ever started this.

I also got this great Fall color shot at the Chapel of a nearby cemetery.



And this was kind of morbidly funny. In the same cemetery, someone decorated a grave for Halloween.

I also found this 2 story log house. And this little falling down shack.

Plus I got a really nice sunset over someone's soy bean field. That was all Saturday. Saturday night, Deb and I played pool in a bar in town during the day, drank a couple beers and went for a romantic drive in the country.

Sunday, I did some yard work. More landscaping and mowing. And I got out exploring in the county some more. I went to the far reaches of the county to Birmingham Township, in search of a steam powered tractor that went off a bridge there and into a creek several decades ago. Supposedly the wreckage was so heavy that it was too expensive to get out, so they left it. Well, I drove all over and didn't find it. But I did find an old one-room schoolhouse.

And I finally got to shoot another house I've been wanting to look at for 15 years. It was a really neat little place. All of these, of course will also be appearing on rural_ruin at some point.

Just an average work week this week. Too much to do and not enough time to do it. Saturday night, we have a dinner at Alexander's Steak House in Peoria. It's a one year reunion of the closing of our old office in Peoria and the laying off of 52 people. Only 4 of us actually work for the same company now. We all had to move to do it. About 20 of us total are employed doing something. Some are still living off their severance and waiting for retirement to kick in. I couldn't wait, I had to make sure I was covered before my severance ran out.

Then Sunday, if I can swing it, I'm heading up to Iowa City, to visit with the fair sextanica. Hopefully it will work out.

Peace,

Wander

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
ryl
Nov. 5th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
My dad's coming here for Thanksgiving, so I'll be around. If you manage to swing by this way, that is. ;)

I thought you were going to NM for Christmas? Dare we hope for double Wander in the Kakalaks?
wander
Nov. 5th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
reflex action I guess. Nope, going to AZ for Xmas.

W
ryl
Nov. 6th, 2007 12:06 am (UTC)
You mistyped because NC will eat your soul. One of us! One of us!
wander
Nov. 6th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
My thanksgiving trip to NC will have to suffice for this year. My brother got to pick the Xmas location and he picked AZ. Can't say I blame him as it will be warmer in the desert.

W
lauramander
Nov. 5th, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a cool project!
wander
Nov. 5th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
It's fun anyway. You get to learn a lot of local history along the way.

W
lauramander
Nov. 5th, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
Btw, did you get the honey?
wander
Nov. 5th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
I did and I thanked you for it in an entry last month some time. I ate most of it the first week. Thanks!

W
lauramander
Nov. 5th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
Oh good! I musta just forgot.
gracegiver
Nov. 6th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC)
I think your interactive site is an inspired idea. Having a central (digital) location for others to read and comment, sharing their knowledge, is the perfect way to build a library of information regarding these places you shoot. Will you be using that information in the book? I suppose that could be a challenge because you’d want to verify their comments first. Believe it or not, people on the internet actually lie sometimes.

Great sunset photos you have here. (not a lie)
wander
Nov. 6th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
I actually put out a ruined barn calendar last year and it was received well. I could actually get most of the info for the book from the courthouse and the local historical research library. But I think the stories would make a nice touch. Maybe I'll even try for a grant to keep the project going.

And yes, I know people lie on the Internet. Had far too many personal experiences with that.

and thanks on the sunset photos.

W
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )