This photo is a double entendre. Rough, rocky, bumpy, crumbly as all get out. Our life at the moment. A wee glimpse: the one mostly working sink (the cold water doesn’t always turn off) in the house is in the basement bathroom. It is too small to put dishes in, so we fill cups with water to wash in a giant bowl in the shower that doesn’t work. The refrigerator is in the dining room, but our makeshift kitchen is in the guest room in the basement, so we have to cart everything down stairs and from our pantry in the laundry to make any semblance of a meal. Not all of our necessities are unpacked because we lack space, so I must improvise – glasses as bowls, paper as coasters and trivets, plates as lids. The window in the living room is boarded over until the new one gets installed later this week (we hope!). The plug nearest to the television is broken, so we have to snake an extension cord from the dining room and hope we don’t trip because there isn’t any light from the window being boarded over and the fact that there isn’t a fixture in the dining room (soon!).

But, getting to that double entendre, there IS light, too. The oak floors are refinished and positively beautiful. The bedroom is painted, and we have the luxury of sleeping there! After more than a month of having clothes in the basement and the garage (cold underpants!), they are all in the bedroom. My shoes are lovingly organized on a rack the hubster installed and not in a jumble on the floor. The hubster’s office, the absolute winner in the gross category, is painted. It took me three days of prep and two days of actual painting to get that job done, filling with spackle, I kid you not, more than a hundred nail holes, washing the walls, and covering some very disgusting stains with four coats of primer. The plumber comes tomorrow to install a basin in the laundry room and move the pipe for the sink under the soon-to-be window (also boarded up). The drywall gets installed at the end of the week. Fingers crossed for kitchen flooring the following Monday, then cabinets after that! A real kitchen! A fully functional sink! Stove and dishwasher to follow!

Oof, that’s a lot, but I could not be more grateful. I could be a refugee wondering about my next meal. I could be in a rotten marriage. I could be sick. But I’m not. I’m in a city filled with kind strangers and natural beauty of such exquisiteness that I shout near daily, “I live here!” I have the best man I know by my side. Life is good.

And fear not, I am taking lots of pictures and will share them when all is finished and looking lovely and fine.

 

One

You are not separate from the whole. You are one with the sun, the earth, the air. You don’t have a life. You are a life.

Eckhart Tolle

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Hello

Hello, sun in my face. Hello, you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.

Mary Oliver

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Freely

Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.

Annie Dillard

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Holes

Happy Wednesday, dear reader! A little peek at our work in progress. Dave our window guy takes the final boards from what once was a bay window in the living room. It didn’t really fit with the house, a 1950s brick ranch, and even if I had liked it, the base was almost entirely rotten under the fascia. I’m just glad no one really heavy made their self at home on the window seat, as it likely would have collapsed. Dodged a bullet with that one, whew!

The second photo is Walter the mason adding courses of bricks to a too low window, which will give us better functionality in the kitchen. It kept anything of normal height from being installed on an entire wall. After all is said and done, the kitchen sink will be under the window, and I’ll be happy as a clam gazing into our lovely yard whenever I wash up.

And finally, the hubster, champion of my heart! I took this photo after he spent about an hour crawling like a caterpillar in the attic, tracing and rewiring circuits for the kitchen. This was our dinner break, and as we sat on the floor eating green chile, I thanked him profusely for doing what I can’t and don’t want to do.

This is where it gets really cool and I feel even more grateful for this partner of mine. He thanked me profusely for doing what he can’t and doesn’t want to do, like running errands, making breakfast, lunch, and dinner, buying his clothes, decorating, gardening, painting, finding and hiring people to install windows and floors, grocery shopping, the list goes on.

The truth is, I get a lot of flack from a lot of people (but NEVER from him) about my lack of paying work. When are you going to apply for a job? When are you finally going to contribute? I tell them, shamefaced and ears burning, about how damn hard I have tried. How, over the past six years, I’ve applied for more than five hundred, got hired for one, and made about twenty-five cents an hour. Twenty-five measly cents. What I will now say, after finally hearing it (because he’s said it a million times) from the man of my dreams, is, “It’s none of your business.” Because it isn’t. Our life is our business. We’ve been together for twenty-five years (huzzah!), love each other well, sweetly, and heartily, and have our own good and great thing. Its beautiful and messy and oh, so right. He does wonderful work that turns on lights, makes money, and pays bills. I do wonderful work that doesn’t (like this blog). But together, we have it all.

 

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