Text Box: May 1st thru 5th, 2012 - Time to Power Up!

Early in May, Walt called me up and said “we have power”.  Although I was busy in the office, I dropped everything and drove out to the airport to see the lights on for the first time.

It was very nice to see the lights working when I got there.  We still had a few small problems to knock out in the electrical panel, but we were able to quickly figure out what wasn’t connected properly.  After checking each circuit with a multimeter, we started buttoning up the panels.

We even pulled a wire out to the glade and installed an outlet (GFCI) out by the trees.  I tried to think of everything that we could possibly need.

I wanted a stand-by generator system in case of a power outage.  When we wired the panel, I’d bought a small sub-panel/switch that allowed us to wire in a generator.  This would allow me to swap from the public utility line over to a generator with the flip of a switch.  Four main circuits in the house (heating/AC, fridge, bedroom lights, microwave) were wired through the sub-panel and could be run off of the stand-by generator.

After the wiring was closed up, we started back outside.  We’d purchased a junction box where the two pieces of buried electrical cable were joined.  We mounted it, ran some smaller conduits which were stubbed out for future use and then poured concrete around it to set it.

While the excavator was here, Walt L. had dug the trench for the water line.  We were kind of taking it easy on the 5th when I said “Let’s get the water tank finished”.  It was a quick job and we’d bought the parts needed over a year earlier.  We ran some PVC up the side of the tank, drilled a hole through the top and installed an automatic cut-off valve on the end.  Then, I wrapped everything up in insulation and turned the water on to watch the water tank *finally* fill up.  I will now have a 5,000 gallon reservoir of water if the well ever goes dry during a hot summer.

On the previous Friday, Walt L. had gone into town and picked up the A/C unit and enough ready-mix cement to pour a couple of pads – one for the A/C unit and one for the pump/generator house.  He framed out and poured the two pads while I was in the office.  When it had dried, we pulled the unit off of the trailer and placed it on the pad.

May 13 thru 17, 2012

 

This was a VERY busy weekend.  I went to pick out paint for the new airport home.  I couldn’t figure out what color to get, so I just chose a color that I felt wouldn’t show dirt very well - green (NOT my favorite color).  It worked pretty well, however.  With the purchase of a new airless paint gun, I was able to make quick work of it.  It actually took me longer to paint the trim than it did the rest of the house!

 

While I was working on painting, Walt L. started installing the bathroom fixtures.  After he was finished, I painted the inside of the bathroom.  We also installed the generator, water filter system and aux. water pump in the generator house.  In addition to all of this house work, we also took the time to start knocking down the rest of the second grove of trees that were right next to the runway.  Although I had originally figured on leaving the trees there for shade, I realized that they presented a potential hazard to landing airplanes.  They had to go!

May 19th - Taking a breather!

 

I took a small breather this weekend and spent most of the day on Saturday as a fly-in at another private airpark community out near Sherman (about 50 miles north).  I flew the Stinson up there and enjoyed the Spring temperatures.  As I flew over the airport, I took a picture of the progress that we’d made.  After landing, however, we went right back to work.

 

When I first purchased the property, we had pushed up a huge pile of dirt and concrete pieces.  The pile had sat just west of the house for 2 years.  It was like a small “Mount Taylor”, except that it wasn’t very pretty.  Because of the large chunks of concrete (and the failing hydraulics on the loader of my Masey), we hadn’t done anything with it.  With a borrowed skid steer and the dozer, however, we were able to easily move the pile out to where it could one day do some good - over by the draw/ditch separating the runway from the future hangar.  After a couple hours of work, the house area was finally looking more presentable.

Text Box: The Rest of May and early June - Time to finish up and get ready for a Fly-In!

The rest of May was almost a blur.  On the weekend of the 24th/25th, we put in the garbage disposal and the rest of the kitchen appliances.  Installing the new refrigerator was a chore!  We almost had a very expensive “Ooopsie!”, but were able to catch it in time.

I had been looking at online sale sites and found a couple of porta-potties for sale - except that they were waaay out in Mineral Wells.  So… on the weekend of the 28th/29th, I drove all the way to Mineral Wells, purchased the two outdoor bathrooms and then drove back to the airport.  The next day was spent giving them a deep cleaning.  We were preparing for what would become the “big” fly-in of the year.  This year, we called it the “Start the Summer Flying Fly-In”.  Walt L. and I finished all of the interior paint and I hurriedly moved in some living room and bedroom furniture to give it a “homey” feel.  It would be the first time that anyone else had seen the new home.  The septic system wasn’t installed yet, but I could take a shower and let the water drain out under the house - but I was ready to throw a party!  We mowed, edged, trimmed and set up the party tents for the summer.