Old Fuzzy’s First Colonoscopy

This past summer, I wrote about a week when we traveled from our home in Atlanta to Hinton, WV to work on the three-story warehouse Don and I purchased last year, a place we dubbed Old Fuzzy because the 110-year-old building was so covered in vines it appeared to have hair.

I wrote about how we used our vacation to give Old Fuzzy his first trim, and how we had such a great time while there that I called it my favorite trip ever.

But I have a new favorite. Except this one also involves Hinton and the warehouse and cutting off even more of Old Fuzzy’s hair.

It was just such a great week. Yeah, there was poison ivy again, but I got to meet some really nice people at Urgent Care.

And yeah, we were dirtier than either of us have been in our life, but we now have an even greater appreciation for soap and water pressure and deodorant than before.

And yeah, our squirrel Rudy got mad at a warehouse door and converted it into a big pile of toothpicks, but we didn’t much like that door anyway.

So, we were exhausted and dirty and itchy and contending with a furious rodent (he’s cute when he’s mad), and yet I can’t recall a time when I was more in my element.

Where I wanted to be.

We did have one problem, though. The weather.

It was too nice.

We initially planned on working inside, preparing the building for winter, but the sunshine and perfect temperatures lured us outdoors, where we took on the weed covered yard beside the warehouse. Earlier this year, we tackled the opposite side, which wasn’t nearly as bad. This section was thick with English ivy, poison ivy, Virginia creeper, and some sort of living steel wire with 20-foot roots and thorns.

Don and I made a considerable dent, and then were aided by my brother Kurt, who came down mid-week from his home in Kent, Ohio and went straight to work.

On Friday, Don continued working outdoors, while Kurt and I got started removing debris on the top floor of the warehouse. Part of this level was once used for storing beef, so had been covered with a thick layer of cork, which a prior owner decided to knock down, but never got around to removing. They had chiseled it off the ceiling and walls yet left a sea of the crumbly brown mess on the floor, mixed with the brick remnants of an interior (non-load bearing) brick wall that had also been knocked down and then abandoned.

Clearing a single 10 x 10 section took six hours. We still have a long, long way to go to clean out Old Fuzzy. (We’re calling this part of the project Old Fuzzy’s first colonoscopy.)

Working alongside my brother was nice. We developed this rhythm of who would do what and once we found that pace, the work went faster and easier.

Kurt, a retired mechanical engineer with experience in the aerospace and defense industries, is also a very skilled carpenter who has taken on most every type of home renovation project over the years. He was full of good ideas for less expensive solutions.

Don’s sister LeeAnn was also in town from Charlotte for a few days and brought over a friend to show off our place. It was fun listening to her friend’s comments as they toured, and I appreciate LeeAnn’s enthusiasm for our occasionally overwhelming project.

On our last night there, our friends Marilyn Wrenn and Stephen Haynes stopped by to see our progress. A few weeks earlier, Stephen had helped Don dismantle an office that had been built in the elevator shaft. My brother is now designing a staircase to go in that shaft.

It was such a full and perfect week.

We managed to have dinner one night with Ted and Cheryl Kula and their kids. Dinner another night with Stephen and Marilyn and their family, following by star gazing at their gorgeous farm.

We even squeezed in a quick trip through Babcock State Park and a few hours watching base jumpers off the New River Gorge Bridge.

Despite having been dirtier and more exhausted than either of us could remember, we were also happier. Our life feels like it is headed the direction it was needing to go.

Toward home.

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Karin Fuller is a newspaper columnist and short fiction writer who resides in both Atlanta, GA, and Hinton, WV.

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Karin Tauscher Fuller

Karin Fuller is a newspaper columnist and short fiction writer who resides in both Atlanta, GA, and Hinton, WV.