Thanks to you all, I really appreciate the wishes.
We had a family gathering over the weekend and they build me a patio area out of stuff laying around the place. First they built-up the barren ground with a few railroad ties, then filled it with dirt and set a hundred or so miniature railroad ties as a deck set in small rocks. An old wood stove and a few benches created a great fireplace area that we'll improve over the next few weeks. We ended the night with burgers, beer and a Monte Cristo Cubana. A good day.