Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘wagon wheels

Freshly Sealed

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At long last, the logs of our home have a fresh seal from the elements. Last year there were two primary maintenance projects that were both reaching burdensome levels of urgency against the elements: our deck and the walls of the house. We ended up doing the deck ourselves and hiring out the sealing of our logs.

The contract was accepted last year, but they weren’t able to get to us before winter arrived and so the work was rescheduled to first thing after the weather warmed this spring. That didn’t play out as we expected. It took until mid-July, but now the job is finally done.

Over the weekend, we got the resealed wagon wheels remounted on the front steps to cap off the completion of the weatherization of the house.

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The house looks good as new.

I’m very pleased over the professional opinion of the contractor who told us that our deck project looked well done and didn’t warrant any additional seal coat of its own.

That suits me just fine.

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Written by johnwhays

August 3, 2020 at 6:00 am

Wagon Wheels

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All these years, I’ve been walking past them. Mounted as handrails on either side of the steps to our front door are two wagon wheels.

They don’t actually make for great handrails, so I’ve never been all that enamored with them. In fact, I suspected they were simply replicas. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I’ve never really looked at these wheels closely, despite shoveling snow around them every winter.

Last week, when Matthew was here sealing the logs of our house, he pointed out that the wheels deserved some attention, too, and that they were simply screwed into the steps with three lag bolts each. He advised I remove them to sand each one down and put a couple coats of sealer on them myself.

So, I removed them.

It didn’t take long for me to discover these are REAL wagon wheels. Given the fantastic discoveries this past February that three families of my ancestors lived just about ten miles south of here in the 1860s-70s, and that my 2nd-great-grandfather, Stephen W. Hays was a wagon maker who managed a factory that manufactured wheels… having my hands on these beautiful relics is synchronous to an exponential degree for me.

I doubt it would be possible to verify the provenance of these wagon wheels, but I’m happy to just marvel over the weird coincidence of my working on these genuine wheels, given all I’ve learned about what was happening here 150-years ago that my ancestors’ hands were involved in creating.

I’ve got a second coat of sealer to apply and then I will remount these two to the front steps, and I will never walk past them again with the same cavalier regard as I had before.

Of all the features to find mounted on the front steps of a house we bought while entirely clueless about the history of the region and my ancestors’ contributions to it… It just boggles my mind.

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Written by johnwhays

July 22, 2020 at 6:00 am