Since my last trip to the cabin I have logged ten international flights that have taken me to Israel, Turkey, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Somaliland. I absolutely love being out among the nations, but I don’t mind telling you that spending so much time in airports can make me long for windshield time in my Tundra.
This past week I borrowed a trailer from my friend James to haul cedar posts and rain barrels to the cabin and hit the open road. Ten hours later I pulled up to my gate and breathed in the welcoming view of Nine Point Mesa and Black Hill to the East.
Knowing I only had a few days at the cabin, I planned my time well so that I could complete my projects while enjoying the views that make my heart happy. And, of course, I always look forward to reconnecting with good neighbors and friends who live here year round.
My first project was to utilize all of the scrap wood in our container to build some comfortable Texas-themed chairs for the fire ring adjacent to our shade structure. These chairs are fun to build, comfortable, and look great. I built three of them on the first day and a fourth on Sunday afternoon. They came in handy on Saturday evening when all of the neighbors came over for a hot dogs and s’mores cookout.
My second project was to add rain catchment to our new shade structure. I opted to use five rain barrels. I positioned them behind the half wall of the structure so that they would not obstruct our view to the north.
Once I leveled and lined up the barrels I added bulkhead fittings and linked them all together. These barrels will give us an additional 275 gallons of storage, bringing our total catchment capacity to 2075 gallons.
My final project was to set cedar posts on the new five-acre tract that we purchased last year. I managed to get in twenty-two of the fifty posts in the ground. As with our other fence, I am installing a cedar post every fifty feet and t-posts every ten feet. Once I have all of the posts in place I will stretch field fencing topped with a strand of barbed wire.
I did get to enjoy good fellowship with my neighbors. I joined several of them for pizza at Long Draw Pizza in Terlingua. The owners, Andy and Mallory, are gracious hosts and make the best pizza in Brewster County and beyond. On Saturday, everyone came over to the cabin for a cookout. And on Sunday after church I enjoyed a delicious steak lunch with my friends Mark and Michelle. We are blessed with good friends and neighbors here.
An added bonus was a magnificent rain storm on Sunday afternoon. Being in the middle of one of these storms with strong winds accented by thunder and lightening is an amazing experience. After my first desert storm years ago I had a better understanding of John Denver’s lyric, “You fill up my senses like a storm in the desert.”
The storm added lots of water to the new rain barrels and filled the 150-foot swale that I completed last year. We will add more swales in strategic locations to capture and keep more water on the property as part of our permaculture plan. The cherry on top was a beautiful rainbow stretching from Nine Point Mesa to Red Bluff.
And now, it’s time to make the long drive back to the suburbs and back to the office on Tuesday. I will return refreshed after having my senses filled by the beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert and the magnificent night skies in this wide part of Texas. I am really glad to have made this solo trip to cabin.