After stripping off 150 years of crap, we finally made it down to the stone walls of my bunker. More than three feet thick, inlaid with thick horizontal pine nailing boards every four feet, they were in astonishing shape. A few holes had been bashed through over the decades for pipes and wires, but nothing we couldnâ€™t repair with stones from the fields.
Of course, the stones were black â€“ not only from a century and a half of air flowing behind the lath and plaster, but also from the effects of a major fire which, at some point, had clearly threatened the entire structure. It added to the intrigue of this rural relic which I bought as a POS â€“ a one-time hotel where reno discoveries have included walled-in windows and an unknown secret staircase.
So for eleven hours Friday, the entire area was shrouded in billowing clouds of fine white dust. Yellow compressor hoses snaked through the gaping holes were windows should be, as a man in an outfit that looked like a space suit from Wal-Mart, fired a screaming stream of abrasive at the rocks. When it was over, Thomas told me he had catapulted more than 1,000 pounds of a soda-sand mix at the walls, as evidenced by the ankle-deep carpet of debris which buried the new subflooring.
Thomas also told me he wasnâ€™t always a sandblasting guy, but had spent 18 years as a stockbroker. Now heâ€™s his own boss, restoring buildings, refurbishing heavy equipment and fabricating.
I asked him why, of course.
â€œBecause now I can go home at night and feel I accomplished something,â€ he said, leaning on the hood of my tractor. â€œBesides, where I am now, there is no recession. I can get all the work I need just by knocking on doors. I make things last.â€
I thought of him when I went back to my laptop, and read this:
Okay, I have my act together.Â Paid off the house in less then 8 years, made the necessary sacrifices to do so.Â Lived below my means.Â I am in need of help here bud.Â My friends have the Mcmasions, granite countertops, marble bathroom, etc. we have a 1200 sq. foot home – ie. reality.Â Problem is where should a person like meÂ that has not beenÂ greedy, tried to save for our retirement no pension,Â we drive our vehicles for 10 years – whereÂ should we put the money.Â Just saw the newspaper some of the banks have had losses.Â Other then the mattress, or in a safe where do we lost sheep go and put our money now.Â Â Could you do a blog on this please?
And I will, Ann. Tomorrow I will give you seven simple answers to your question about where to keep your money relatively safe in these turbulent times.
In the meantime Iâ€™m going to enjoy my pristine stones, and think about the horses that hauled them and the hands that lifted them. Simple, naive times. Simple walls. Still here a century and a half later, enduring, holding up the roof, giving shelter.
The guys who built them accomplished something. As did the man who cleansed.