More Storms and More Work

The view from above….


Hi and welcome to the blog.  It’s been an interesting week, to say the least … but a fun one.  I was planning to go fishing but Mother Nature really threw a monkey wrench (more like a ladder and hammer) into those plans.

On Friday I went to friend Dan’s house to borrow a ladder.  Dan and his wife are regular restaurant customers, along with Edde, the Corgi dog.  When they come through in the morning, I will often slip Edde a strip of bacon.  Then at lunch time I order a bacon burger and have omit the bacon to pay for Edde’s treat.  The bosses are cool with it.. Look at that face.  Edde (pronounced as “Eddie”) turns on the charm and who can resist feeding him??  He is a hugger and licker, too!


Edde, the lovable Corgi friend.

Saturday the 5th was quite a day.  There was a severe thunderstorm watch out for this area.  Using Dan’s ladder in the morning, I added 1×3 boards to the tarps and bricks on the roof, returned the ladder and played with Edde, and worked at the restaurant till late that evening. Then the body crashed…


Neighbors Lavonne (right) and poodle “Griffin” (Jenny’s buddy) watching from below.


A severe thunderstorm storm hit around 1 AM Sunday morning and we got 2-3 inches of rain and 60 MPH winds in this area.  The thunder sent kitty Duke under the covers.  Small portions of the tarps worked loose but the worst of the damage was mitigated, thankfully.  But more work on the roof was badly needed.  Uggg.  Not wanting to bother Dan, on Sunday afternoon I ended up going the 45 minutes to Dubuque to get a ladder.


Slow down on the back road to Dubuque… I saw a police cruiser near the Hillside Event Center… 🙂


Once in Dubuque, I found a fiberglass ladder that would do the trick… but learned a lesson.  If the ladder says 16 feet, that doesn’t mean you can climb 16 feet.  A 20 footer would have been a better choice to do things safely… but the ladder worked for the small amount I needed to climb.  It was tied to the gutter with some twine.

On Monday there was yet another large storm on the way so I worked on the roof again in the morning despite the doctors’ warnings to stay off ladders… Humpty Dumpty and all that.   🙂


The front end of the roof.


The storm came in as planned on Monday night and it brought a lot of rain.  I still got a little water on the ceiling but for such a large volume of precipitation, the work was worth it.  Tuesday brought a settlement payment and some re-assurance from the homeowner’s insurance company.  Now it’s a matter of getting the contractor in here.

This has been one of the most stressful periods I can remember in these 54 (almost 55) years… but at the same time, it is not that bad!  On Monday afternoon while working on the roof and seeing the distant storm clouds approaching, I laid down on the warm shingles and took a break – partly because the asthma was acting up.  It was a terrific time to pray to God and thank Him for the blessings: life, health, good food, friends, work, nature, and the list goes on.  Every day really is a gift if we can just remember that… Suddenly everything else just wasn’t as important.  PEACE is a good thing.  🙂

Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.

— Ronald Reagan


That old Express van comes in handy for a lot of reasons. 🙂


So will there be some outdoor fun soon?  Of course!  I’m not sure where or when but without a doubt the weather is looking great and Jenny sure would enjoy getting out for a bit. With Autumn almost here (the word “fall” is one to avoid right now with all the roof work), I’d like to grab some bluegills to put in the freezer for winter to go with all the end-of-season sweet corn that was processed tonight.


When packaging corn for the freezer, I like to put a couple tablespoons of butter in there with the kernels.


Thanks for visiting.  Take care and happy camping and fishing!  Safe and happy travels.

Brad and Jenny and Duke
Jones County, Iowa

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

4 Responses to More Storms and More Work

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    So glad you finally recieve the money to get the roof repaired. Hate knowing you go up there. This has been such a perfect week to go camping here the weather is great, but alas as always something gets in the way. I had some contracters come to give me estimates to repair the dry rot on the west side of my house and clean out the gutters. I picked one today and they will start on the 21st. Maybe if the weather holds I can go next week.
    You take care and stay safe

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Yeah, it’s kinda scary going up there when the breathing isn’t the best. We’ve had a lot of asthma issues in Iowa lately. Some of it is related to the storm here as well as the massive fires out west. I am glad that you can get the contractors out there to get your house fixed up. We’re looking at even more rain here today… After that, I should be able to get some help. It’s frustrating and every day is closer to winter. Oh well. Hopefully you can go camping soon! Take care — VT

  2. my_vantasy says:

    Aww… I love how you have a treat for Edde. Sacrificing the bacon from your cheeseburger is thinking outside of the box. Seeing you up on your roof startled me, so I am glad you made it down safely. Lying down up there was a really good time to be at peace, reflect, and praise God for all of the blessings you have. I count our virtual friendship as one of my many blessings!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi and thanks for the kind words! I’ve back on the ladder many, many times since then but it should be mostly over till spring. I’m worn out but reached a milestone that means some really good healthy meals (LOTS of fruits and veggies), fun camping, and maybe Jenny will come along for the ride. That should happen on Monday coming up. Take care! — VT

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