Flashback — Waterfront

First, an introduction.  We are a middle-aged couple in our mid-50’s, with three children ranging in age from almost 20 to 26.  I’ve been working as a NASA contractor in Greenbelt, MD for over 30 years.  My wife has worked as an administrator for another government contractor for several years.  We have lived in our current house in a nearby suburb for more than 20 years.

We did not start out with any specific plans to move.  However, I think that we have always felt that at some time in our lives, we would live somewhere that has a waterfront.  My wife and I have always been attracted to the water.  Most of our vacation have been at beach areas, in such places as Rhode Island and the Outer Banks.  This goes back to my wife’s childhood and her family’s vacations in Point Judith, RI.  She and I went on several of those vacations, along with our children when they arrived.  We discovered the OBX some years back.

We have enjoyed being near the Chesapeake Bay as long as we have lived in Maryland.  We regularly visit Annapolis to wander down around the harbor.  When our children were old enough to be left alone, we starting “running away” to explore Bay-front communities, mainly on the Western Shore.

We also enjoy being out on boats — on reasonably calm water, that is.  I’ve never actually owned a boat (except for a canoe), but find the idea of sailing to be very appealing.  We took a ride on the skipjack Rebecca T. Ruark out of Tilghman, MD about 10 years ago.  Our good friends recently bought a lakefront house and have a ski boat on Lake Gaston in NC, and we have spent some delightful weekends there.


Yesterday the builder told me that they would pour the footers today, and next week the foundation walls will go up.  Today he confirmed the footers by E-mail.  The downpour we got at home last night apparently missed Chestertown.  I want to try to get pictures this weekend.  My wife said “It’s just concrete in the ground.”  Maybe, but right now every step is a big one.


Today the builder broke ground for our new house in Chestertown, MD.  This is a momentous occasion for us, the culmination of over four years of planning.

Almost every man has an attraction to heavy equipment in operation, but nothing beats the thrill of watching them excavate for your own house.  I was ecstatic!  They were a bit late getting started; it was stinking hot, a sweltering day at the end of a string of them, unusual even by late May/early June norms; and I was sweating like a pig; but nothing could spoil the mood this morning.

It was also wonderful watching the teamwork: the builder, the excavator, his helper, and the backhoe operator, all carefully choreographed, every one knowing his part and enough about everyone else’s to keep the whole process moving forward, seemingly without a hitch.

We had just signed the papers for the construction loan yesterday afternoon, and celebrated by driving out to the lot and photographing the layout stakes newly set by the builder.

I’m taking lots of pictures, of course, but I have also decided to capture the progress in this blog.  Good or bad, setbacks and all, it’s going in.  As I said, we’ve been working on this project for over four years, with roots going back even farther, so in between the real-time updates I’m going to recount the past steps that led us to this point.