icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-user Skip to content

Back in 2007 we built a log home on our property in Patrick County, Virginia. The logs were milled by Southland Log Homes at its mill near Elliston and delivered on a cold rainy day in May '07. They gave us plenty of materials — including about 10 percent more logs than we would need, just to make sure there was enough in case some were ruined during construction.

 The house went up pretty fast during construction, but not as fast as it went up three years later after it was struck by lightning. The house burned to the ground in June of 2010. We rebuilt with Hardy Plank siding — tough to burn, or so we are told — and never got around to using the left over logs.

Not until the other day, that is, when our son John was visiting. I had rounded up some stone and a fire ring, and we pulled back the tarps on the unused eight-tear-old logs and brought a few of them into the little patch of woods east of our house. Had a bunch of Ollie Screws — the long skinny screws log home companies use to torque down on the logs — and we screwed them into some leftover six by sixes that we had trimmed down to size. Burned up one drill before we borrowed a heavier duty driver from a friend to get those long screws down into the wood. 

You see the result here — along with my kindling cart, converted from an old baby carriage that once belonged to our neighbor Leslie Bevacqua's daughter in Raleigh and tossed out on the trash heap one morning. Helps keep us warm up here at nearly 3,200 feet of elevation in the Blue Ridge.

Jack Betts

Jack Betts is retired associate editor of The Charlotte Observer.

Learn More

Latest Stories

Choosing Senior Living

Stay Up to Date

Sign up for articles by Jack Betts and other Senior Correspondents.

Latest Stories

Choosing Senior Living
Love Old Journalists

Our Mission

To amplify the voices of older adults for the good of society

Learn More

News & Opinion from Senior Correspondents Across the Globe