The Cross House
While I have zero statistical data to back up the following, I am pretty sure it is a known truth:
Old houses can kill.
There have been countless couples and singles who have enthusiastically purchased a wreck of an old home, started with gusto…and then…lost their minds. Marriages are destroyed by old houses. People are crippled financially over old houses. Lead paint makes you crazy (really). And so on.
Yep, all true.
In a previous post I mentioned how I had sprained my ankle. After limping along for awhile, and in some pain, I turned to Justin (a contractor working on the Cross House, an EMT, and a guy with ankle issues) and asked: “Justin? How long will it take for my ankle to heal?”
Justin looked at me earnestly, put a hand on my shoulder, and replied: “It would have healed by now if you were not so…old.”
As I drove home that night (the Cross House is SO not livable), I reflected upon this and a stunning awareness drifted into my consciousness. And the only way I can explain is by the following story.
Have you ever been driving, not been paying a lot of attention, and suddenly found yourself off the road and on the bumpy shoulder? It is scary! You clutch the wheel, and with great, careful effort try and get back, safely, on the road.
This is what, not quite with full consciousness, I have thought about getting older. It is like I slipped of the Road Of Youth, and onto the Shoulder of Age. But, I had this feeling that if I just somehow gripped the wheel hard enough, and was careful enough, and with some effort, I could get back on the Road Of Youth.
I know. An utterly ridiculous belief. And I did not even realize that this belief had been lurking in the shadows of my mind.
Anyway, after Justin’s smack, I woke up.
I know I will never get back on Road of Youth. Never. Ever. Sigh. And the Shoulder of Age I am on will eventually send me flying off the Cliff Of Decrepitude & Death. Sigh.
I know this.
But….but…I can mitigate the inevitable.
How? My diet is terrible. I will NOT reveal how bad bad is but suffice to say it is disturbing.
However, I suddenly knew that if I immediately improved my diet, that in, say, ten years I will certainly be in a lot better shape than if continue with a disturbing diet. And in twenty years, ditto. As I am going to die at ninety-two, I still have thirty-five years left.
I would like these years to be healthy, vital ones.
And you know why? Would you like to know the thought that really stunned me?
I need to be healthy for the Cross House. I need to be able to get up/down the countless stairs in the four-story house. I need to be vital to direct a restoration which will take, well, longer than I could ever predict. Then I need to be vital so I can polish and burnish the house after all the big work is done.
Crazy, right? But that is how I feel.
That night I started the process of improving my diet.
Thank you, Justin.
NOTE: I have given up a lot, but no house is worth the denial of at least one lunch a week at Bobby D’s BBQ.
It is now January 29, 2015. A little over three months since I wrote the above words.
To my utter astonishment, I have lost 17 pounds. Geez. Wow. Cool!
Yes, I am eating way healthier, but I suspect it is the Cross House making such a dramatic difference. I am up/down ladders and up/down a four-story staircase and bending and sitting and stretching to paint hard-to-reach corners. The house is a work-out!
Before buying the house my life was really sedentary. I basically sat ALL day either restoring vintage lights or listing vintage lights for sale online.
I still do that of course, but no longer ALL the time. About half the week I am getting my Cross House Work-Out.
Hey, should I do a video?