Thursday, September 26, 2013


Finally, after many many questions, consults, measurements, remeasurements, the order is in: sixteen panels of glass for the porch roof. Three of them trapezoids, the rest - long rectangles. 

 So I am surprised when Ed tells me -- so, the glass people just called. A nice older woman. Works there to earn extra money so she can visit her grandchildren. Really sweet person.
I put down my books. I see a story coming.
She tells me they didn't quite catch that the strips were all 122 inches long. The price is actually higher for anything over 120 inches.
They can't add that on now!
She proposed we split the difference. I finally agreed.
So we're set?
Well no. She had to clear it with the manager and he came on and told me -- don't worry, we'll take care of it. Not sure what that means...
There's more?
Well, the guy says that actually, now that he has me on the line, he needs to tell me that they can't do the two end strips. They're too narrow.
So now what?
I'll combine them with the neighbor strips. But then he said as long as I'm changing things, I should up the thickness all around. To a quarter inch (it had been at 3/16).
Ed, where are we with the glass?
Well now, I think we're set!
Okay! We're set!
Just one small issue: combining the panels and upping the thickness means that the panels are going to be heavier...
How much heavier?
Not bad. I think the largest one comes in at around 80 pounds.
You're going to carry an 80 pound strip of glass up the ladder by yourself and precisely install it on the beams??
No. I have a better plan.
I bet you do...
We'll both carry it inside, up the stairs and pass it through the bathroom window.
You'll trust me to help you carry a plank of glass up onto the roof?
I'm going to get glass suction cups with handles. We can do this!
I'll drop it or bang it against the wall!
I'll get an extra grip. We'll be fine.

I write this because the porch roof project has had, all along, a certain bravado behind it. And the more we became convinced that it could move forward, the bigger came the taunt. The spacing turned out to be uneven. The roof nails were impossible to pry. On and on, the obstacles mounted and Ed shot them down. And now, this next one depends on me and wouldn't it be ironic that it should fail now because I crash the glass or move it in the wrong direction.

At the same time, ever since last week, my youthful default position -- the "I can do this!" that has, in the past, pushed me to move across oceans and race down mountains -- is nudging at me again. In recent years I've let Ed do the bold projects. Despite the big talk here, on Ocean, the "mustn't grow soft!" -- maybe I've grown just a tad, okay, more than a tad soft?

2014. The year of change for me.

For now, I'm reading hard and working harder. No pauses to water flowers. A quick walk through the garden...


...A look up to smile at these two (both of whom have grown softer, and that's a good thing)...


...then off to my office, where I stay until the long shadows fall.

(Looking out my window -- my, aren't they starting college at a young age these days!)

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Evening. Back at the farmhouse, I see that Ed has plunged into making grape jam.

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Another reason to smile.

I cut up the last of this season's tomatoes and make chili again.

And in the morning, we wake up to a misty sky...


...followed by a warming sun. Breakfast on the porch. For sure.