Friday Firesmith – Fixer Upper Firesmith

Someone told me once I got the house painted, the project would morph into something else, and they were right. But first, let’s revisit the painting project, which my neighbor, a wise man who seemed to know better than to visit in the middle of everything, waited until the finished product until he stopped by. 

“Your mama picked out those colors, didn’t she?” he asked with a laugh.

“Sure did, how’d you know?”

“Looks too good for a man to have picked’em out,” and we both laughed at that one, but he’s right. 

Mom and I talked about it, and I mentioned the colors were the same of the house she lived in when she was a little girl, the house I remember from my childhood, when her mother, my grandma, was still alive and kicking. Mom had forgotten the green house with the white trim, or at least the colors, but I’m betting deep down inside that was what she thought home ought to look like, and I fully agree. That house burned down in the mid 1970’s, and there’s no greater loss I can remember. 

But the paint project has now turned into what are we going to paint the deck and the porch, and we have to cut down an oak tree that is pushing against the deck. I would build around it, have a nice oak tree inside the deck, but it’s a water oak, and they are short lived creatures sometimes. This one was small when I got here and is thirty feet tall now. If it falls, the new roof is going to take a beating, and I rather not risk that. So first the tree comes down, the deck gets a new board or two, then new paint. 

Wait! There’s more! 

I’m considering building a wooden platform, maybe eight by eight feet, twelve feet high, and having the top be a place I could write. A writer’s nook, with a view of the woods.

Anyone out there, maybe, who has done this sort of thing before? 

One of the things I heard from retirees, is that there are only so many things you can do around the house before it all gets done. I can’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel of such a thought! How can a person possibly run out of things to do? There’s a water tower for the compost complex to build, and there’s an elevated garden for the deck, and there’s a rock waterwall, and there’s the pump house to work on. 

People, when they retire, do not run out of things to do. They run out of ideas on how to live. 

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

12 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – Fixer Upper Firesmith”

  1. Oh yeah it seems things to do around the house becomes an even longer list after retirement ,best wishes enjoy

  2. They run out of money and energy, aka sh!ts to give. Then pare the list things they dream up down to what has to be done or else.

    Is the 8×8 platform 12 feet high the ceiling or the floor? If it’s the floor I guess you’ll need a ladder or better yet stairs so the dogs can visit.
    A table and chair would have to be nailed down so they don’t blow away. Maybe an umbrella for shade. A light would draw every insect in town.

    On the up side you’ll really be in shape when you get to use that kayak in a couple years.

  3. Run out of things to do? Impossible! DIY’ers NEVER run out of projects…at least none that I know of. It’s a wonderful retirement, caring for your chosen spot on this earth.

  4. Of course, once you are done with the projects, you may have to start repairing/replacing the first projects.

    But you are keeping busy, so that is good.

    • Tim, I’m hitting Yoga classes three or four times a week, running, lifting weights and that sort of thing. I’m also writing every day. I’m doing more with my life now than I ever had when I was working.

  5. This the season for spring cleaning. It takes me now until Fall to get the Spring cleaning done. It then takes me from Fall until Spring to get ready for Winter. What about Summer? Easy one day it is Spring weather, and then BAM, SUMMER; and the heat lasts until late fall.

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