Summertime is just around the corner. Even though summer does not officially start until next Tuesday, we have already had a few opportunities to re-acclimate to summertime’s heat and humidity. Summer also means JustBob and his crew of both volunteer and hired help will be hard at work over the next few months working on all those outdoor projects.

Wintertime and rainy days are for indoor projects, which there are never a shortage of in a house quickly approaching its 103rd birthday. That long list gets put aside in summer, though, to take advantage of the warm and sunny days to take care of all the outdoor chores.

There’s always the annual garden chores. Round two of flower planting begins this Friday, and the vegetable garden is already providing lettuce and radishes, with much more produce to come. Then there is always the task of watering and weeding the gardens throughout the growing season, as well as the constant need for mowing lawn. Most of that work happens because we have willing volunteers who give generously of their time. JustBob could never do it all with all the rest of the to-dos on his list.

One of the big projects on the radar for this year include running electricity to the gazebo and repairing the roof. One of our volunteers put a fresh coat of paint on it two years ago, after JustBob and a helper re-leveled the building and put some lattice work around the base. Now two donors stepped forward, one to pay for the electrical work and another to pay for the roof repairs. The electrician has us on his work list so we just need to be patient until we make it to the top.

Another big project is to do some thinning in the woods. Several years ago we had identified a number of trees that were unhealthy and needed to be removed, and others that were growing too close together to grow up healthy. Unfortunately, at the time, the price of lumber made it impossible to find a willing logger. This past winter we had several reminders of why we need to keep our woods healthy and strong, so it was time to revisit the project. Luckily, JustBob was able to find a willing logger this time, so that project should be taken care of soon and perhaps next winter we will have fewer power outages.

One indoor project that will happen gradually over the summer is relocating the bookstore to the front of the building. We have long felt that the bookstore would be more accessible if it were not tucked away at the far end of the building. So over the next few months, on rainy days, of course, we will be transitioning the Resource Room to the current bookstore, and transitioning the bookstore to the front entry across from the main office. This will enable us to have the bookstore open more often than just weekend retreats. It also means that if you are here over the summer, you may find some great bargains in the bookstore as we also make some changes in our inventory. Our goal is to have the bookstore open and operating in its new location before the retreats and groups start to ramp up in September.

All of these projects and all of the little things that happen all year-round take a lot of dedicated volunteers, a lot of cooperative spirit, and a lot of philanthropic support from our donors. All contributions, in money, in time or in goods, whether great or small, are blessings that make everything we do possible.

For the spirit of cooperation to get the work done, the willingness of our hard-working volunteers, the talents of the workers to do the job well, the generosity of the donors funding the projects, and the blessing of good weather to accomplish all that needs doing during summertime and throughout the year, we say Deo Gratias!