Sunday, April 10, 2011

seasonal blooms

Big heat wave. Eighty degrees in the afternoon. So odd, so wonderful, all at the same time.

It’s the day to push things forward at the farmhouse. Really make a dent, so that the crew can move rapidly toward the finale in the next few days.

Stain doors, build closet storage, vacuum off weeks of construction dust.

And I’m also starting to move things in. Welcome! Flowers, let’s start with flowers. (Wouldn’t you start with flowers in a move?)

DSC06600 - Version 2

On the odd, random shelf in the foyer, the one I painted yesterday (in the unfinished vestibule), I place my Polish carvings. The little ones. As if intended for a farmhouse.

DSC06608 - Version 2

We continue. Hauling the Craigs List armoire up the stairs... (Can you lift your end?  No... Try using your foot to help... Okay, I think... Okay...)


Sweeping off the bugs from the windows. Using the air compressor to blast construction dust off of tables and chairs that for some reason we hadn't cleared out before this all began. Buried now under construction grime.

In the middle of the afternoon we pause. Call it a coffee break (espresso from EVP – now the closest, and most wonderful cafĂ© for me). With some baked goods. Shared with Isis, the cat who is absolutely thrilled to have us there for such long stretches of the day.


But the break can't last long. In the afternoon, we're furiously at it again. And I think – there’s a good side to doing so much of this yourself. You look forward not just to the end of it all, but also to the incremental stages along the way. To your efforts at creating something different. Fresh. It takes time, all of it takes so much time -- but it's not downtime for you. Time means that you have a chance to fix details, to change things. To do it well. Time becomes your friend.

Outside, the clouds are coming in. Stormy clouds. No matter, we did a lion’s share of work today. A final little piece --  I plant some pansies outside the entrance. The big clay pots that lined my condo balcony are at the farmhouse. It's time to fill them with seasonal flowers.


house, continued

Oh, you old farmhouse! How long have we been chiseling away, nailing, sanding, staining, sealing? Since December? You’re not nearly finished! Who takes so long to get ready to show her face in public??

DSC06584 - Version 2

Weekend: Home Depot. Return this, buy that. Wrong adhesive, new whatever, can’t even remember. I have pages and pages of notes on what we purchased and when and another set on what we returned and why.

At the house, we check for leaks, carry in crates of books (last load of those! So now I have rows and rows of books spread over the basement floor...). I inspect yesterday’s painting job, Ed attacks the door to the basement. Really attacks. He’s already ripped out the old frame. Time to start fitting in the new (on sale!) pine door. To be prepped, stained and sealed by me. Someday soon.

I paint window frames. I know – that’s a new one! Don’t you dare think that this house has uniform anything. The downstairs sun room windows are white framed. Where they’re finished. So I paint the parts that, for same reason have been left bare.

It’s as if there was a life interrupted here. Take the front door (which we do not use as the real entrance has long ago collapsed to become mere fragments of a front porch – another project for another time) – it’s prepped for painting, but it’s not painted. Stroked with a ghostly white brush, looking naked and exposed.

Tomorrow I’ll paint it. Today, I quit in the early afternoon as I’m to meet my daughter and her friend for a brief hike along a nearby segment of the Ice Age Trail. They want the walk, I need the pause.

It’s not exactly gorgeous out just yet. Give the trees another week or so and they’ll start sprouting green buds. Now, they’re still sullen and unadorned. And there’s a mist in the air. So that the landscape looks translucent and somewhat distant. Is this Wisconsin? Is it Asia, Poland, Colorado?


The mist burns away. The late afternoon sky is blue now, but a cornflower blue. It’s almost hot outside. Nearly 60. Surely the warmest day of the year?


Back at the condo, I do another visual sweep of the place. What can I give away? Sell? Throw away?

Tomorrow I’ll spend all the daylight hours at the farmhouse. But tonight I'm going back for an evening in my old neighborhood – the place where I once lived in a house, raised a family, had neighborhood friends. It’s a chance to catch up, while it’s still easy to hop over and then back again, while I still live close enough to walk there (41 minutes at a brisk pace). Before I move to the country.