July 25, 2019

Stage 2 Flood Recovery: Making lemonade

My niece Katrina and her son, Nile. He loves Uncle Bern's trains!

I will be hosting the last op session on PoLA at 1300 on Sunday, 28 July. After the session, we will begin to box up the freight cars for storage and or sale. Once the cars are removed, I will prep the layout for removal. A local guy is planning on buying the PoLA layout for use in his basement.  He may backdate it and change it to Philly or Baltimore to better suit his rolling stock. But it will survive, which is a good thing.

We will not operate the Aquia Line this time as we are still doing recovery from the flood. Here is an update on that.

We have not been able to find a contractor that is willing to work under the Aquia Line benchwork to install tile. They don’t want the liability of damaging an “irreplaceable asset.” However, we did find a painter that is willing to paint the floor and walls. So we plan to have them paint the floor, walls and baseboards. Then we will use area rugs for accents. In my workbench area we will install foam floor tiles that can be removed if they get wet or stained.  If I wanted to have a contractor tile the whole basement, I would have had to remove all the layouts.  I may want to start over on building a layout at some point, but not under these conditions.  So I am going with paint

There must be no shortage of work for contractors in this area, because we also tried to get contractors to do some remodeling work upstairs with no luck. They show up, look at the job, and never call back.

In the process of clearing out flood damage, we removed the teak veneer book shelves from my office. Without the bookshelves, the room feels much bigger. It makes the possibility of layout expansion into the office more feasible. The opportunity to expand the Aquia Line into the crew lounge and perhaps the office is very tempting. I also purged about 15 linear feet of books and magazines from my collection. My garbage pick up this week was quite full, even after a trip to the dump.
My nephews both have "jobs" that need attention. Kevin
is a music composer and producer for Hollywood, while Nick
is a HVAC engineer and salesman.  I call it, "taking a break."
They were a BIG Help! Thanks guys.

The past two weeks have been very demoralizing as we try to sort through the aftermath of  the flood. I was lucky that my niece and nephews were visiting the past few days. They were a big help, plus we got to play with my grand-nephew, Nile. He is an adorable toddler, who loved Uncle Bern’s trains.  My niece is an interior decorator and she gave us some good ideas for colors etc.

Amongst the chaos, Mat Thompson, Pete LaGuardia, and John Paganoni came over on Tuesday to judge the layouts for NMRA AP certificates. I wanted them to look at certain parts of PoLA for the Electrical AP. But, when I did the paperwork, I realized I had all the requirements covered with items on the Aquia Line. So the three of them looked at the layouts and examined my paperwork. All was in order so that I should be getting the civil, electrical and scenery AP Achievement Awards. Mat advised me to pursue the Car and Prototype AP certificates next and that should complete my Master Model Railroader certification.

Thanks to family and good friends, we are making lemonade from the unwelcome lemons.

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