Saturday, November 02, 2013


I got a call from my mother this morning.  She wanted to know where I was.  Not in the physical sense - she wanted to know why I had not been writing on this blog.  (I could ask her the same thing: she used to write, and now she does not.  But that mother doesn't necessarily listen to this daughter when it comes to her writing and her painting...)

But I listen to her, and so I am back at the desk, writing as I begin dinner preparations, as has been my practice for many, many evenings.

I am happy to report that the leaves have begun to fall, and the exterior house painting is being seen to completion.  My goal at the beginning of this exercise in home husbandry was to have the painting DONE by the time the leaves fell.  And, we only have the final dormer to finish.  As soon as the rain stops long enough to let the roof shingles dry, we two (that Spouse o' Mine and I) can don our mountain climbing harnesses (last used when that Spouse o' Mine and College Boy Graham summited Mt. Rainier) and climb out on the roof (are you reading this, Mom?) and finish.  He, on the final wood dormers, and me, completing the artfully-applied trim work.  So happy to see this months-long task in the rear view mirror.

But now, ah!  We seem to have begun another fun chapter in House Husbandry.  Mind you, painting the exterior of this old house was not on my 2013TheBigYear list I wrote this list somewhere on this blog last year.  (And now I cannot find it.)  Suffice to say, I told that Spouse o' Mine last December that this old house was in dire need of attention (built back in the 1880's).  And my theory was, twelve months ago, that if we accomplished one measly thing each week this year, well, then, we were on the merry road to this wife being happy.  Something like that...

We're so far off course now, I suppose anything goes.  Apparently we are tackling windows and storm windows and repairs and replacements.  Yes, yes, this is good.  But it's not on my 2013TheBigYear list! We're supposed to be installing porch handrails and railings.   Addressing the front walk.  Putting a new light fixture upstairs in the Commons.  French doors in the old living room...

Well.  We have done lots to the interior.  Pretty glass doorknobs all around.

This was/is my project: first, acquiring antique glass doorknobs and locksets and plates.  And then, installing them.  I have most of them in, but there are a couple that still do not function as well as I would like.  (I was explaining to my Dad the other day how I had managed to shut myself up in an upstairs bedroom multiple times one afternoon, each time necessitating completely disassembling the doorknobs and lockset.  Ugh.)

There are many, many, MANY things yet to do to see 2013TheBigYear to completion.  Honestly, it's going to be a sequel: 2013/2014/201?  TheBigYear   But we have begun.

And so, yes:  I am here, we are hale and hearty, and we are having tilapia and baked potatoes for dinner.



Louise Plummer said...

So what is it that has you stop writing? Is it the house painting? And I'm very curious why your mother has stopped writing and painting. Is this an aging thing?

I've probably already said this but people who "resuscitate" houses go straight to heaven.

twebsterarmstrong said...

I am laughing about going straight to heaven. I think I will, but not by virtue of resuscitating This Old House.

I think I had a weeks-long pause in writing because I could not get past the every-day here in Rural Kansas. How much can writer and a reader enjoy about beef and tall grass prairie and wind and the elements? For me:time to change the stage. I am reading Alice Munro's short stories. Maybe they will kick-start me.

My Mom's talents? She is so talented, and yet, i do think it is an aging thing. And we keep after her. She is wise and artistic - all the thing to which we aspire.

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