So…I was looking at the calendar and realized that I had not made ONE SINGLE ENTRY for the month of JUNE 2020. I am shocked. I am chagrined. I’m getting this one in right under the wire. It’s now 9:03 local time on 30 June. Here’s why the six week pause.
I did not want to write about the bad news. There will be a long and thorough history of this time offered and recorded by thousands of different witnesses to all of it. I’ve witnessed too much myself. It makes me sad to think of all the suffering and strife going on here right now. Since I can’t stop thinking about it so much, I end up feeling very sad and trying to get out of my head. Luckily, I have a nephew who is willing to try and humor me. We both talk a great deal about what is happening in this old world, and we try to think of ways to put it into greased groves. When that fails, we work on home improvement.
The first project this year was my mother’s closet door. I will not get into how hard I had to work to get my mother’s closet door to function. Let me just say that I used language that probably made the angels cry. I thought it would be an afternoon project. It lasted at least three days, and I still shudder when I think about it. That was the mere preview.
The real summer of COVID-19, the summer of 2020, the summer of quarantine started with the shop. A few years after I moved into this house, I had a contractor named Jake Sides replace the fire trap and stray cat haven behind my house that we referred to as the shed. It was made of found items and many of those items were old antique doors. It had two whole walls made of antique doors. It also had weirdly executed flying splices and a concrete floor that looked like it was poured and finished by someone with two sprained wrists and an odd sense of timing. I do not have pictures of this because it was before I really got into photography of this house.
Anyway, Jake replaced the shed with a well made building on a new commercial grade concrete slab. We called this new building the shop. However, at the time I did not have the money to afford insulation for the shop. Flash forward about twenty years to this sweltering summer, and I finally had the funds to buy insulation for the building, and my nephew was willing to work on it with me.
First, we had to move everything into the yard. Once we had that place cleared we got to work insulating the place. (Later we may try dry wall. I’ve never done drywall, but how hard can it be?)
It took us a little over a week to finish with that project. We then turned to painting the guest room upstairs. About ten years ago, I painted my bedroom during the winter months. I love that room, but painting it and dragging the equipment up and down the stairs for days and days really wrecked me. (I have stairs that look like stairs, but they climb more like a ladder.)
Painting the guest room took us about three days, but we also had to shift all the furniture and books, books, books from both rooms into MY room. After we got the room painted, I decided I wanted to get new carpeting for the bedrooms upstairs. In between the time of the painting and the carpet, my second brother John showed up for a visit. That meant more cooking and whiskey tasting than actual home improvement.
When John went back home to California, the carpet installers called. They came to the house yesterday and put in one room’s carpet, but they had to stop because the end of the carpet role they had was shredded, so they couldn’t do both rooms.
In the midst of all this, I’ve been working with my contractor, Randy Bowen, and planning the ultimate challenge for the home improvement junkie–a kitchen remodel. I will not even begin to discuss what that has been like, because there is so much still to go before that gets totally GOD-AWFUL.
So…here it is. After seventeen days of 100 degree heat in June, I am finally blogging about a summer that has become a journey into the past twenty-five years of my life. Here I am at a standstill, trying to keep my mother well, trying to stay well myself. Trying not to bather on about my broken teeth and the great spasms of history happening all around me.
I’m including links here, to images of this Summer. Here’s to sharing a struggle that turns out and in, and will change everything.
This second link is to a flower show. I hope you find it soothing.