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'cause it's easier being a green sinner than a green saint . . .

Salvaged lumber

3 Vendémiaire: Châtaigne (Chestnut)

The eastern part of what is now the United States used to be full of the American chestnut tree. It largely died out due to a fungus known as chestnut blight  but there are a few places you can still find them growing. (I read in the Wikipedia article that there are a few "untainted" groves of chestnut in Alabama and a few other places.)

House near Bedford, PA, parts built in the 1750sAlthough it's now very rare to find chestnut trees or wood (and the nuts are imported from Europe, where they have a different variety of chestnut tree), it used to be common. In fact, in the house Jimmy grew up in in central Pennsylvania, parts of which were built as early as the 1750s, had foot-wide chestnut floorboards in the attic.

No one lives there any more, and we decided those boards shouldn't go to waste. Foot-wide lumber of any kind is hard to come by, and being eco-conscious (and frugal!) we knew we couldn't just let it go, even though we don't have an immediate use for it.

Jimmy with a truckful of doors, windows, and lumberSo we drove a truck up this spring and did a board rescue. We got the majority of those that were in good shape, but there are still a few wedged in, so we may make another trip.

While we were there, we also discovered a treasure trove of old wooden windows and doors in the attic of the barn. We couldn't pass those up either -- call us packrats. :)

Windows and doors piled by the barnA few of the windows are going to turn into a fancy shed for Jimmy's back yard (probably a project for next summer, after the deck is finished). The chestnut boards are currently stacked in the garage, and someday they're going to turn into something -- a beautiful kitchen floor, maybe. We're content to keep them until a use presents itself, because they'll be unlike any other lumber we could lay our hands on, for any price, and they come with history and memories.