The Cross House

Small Victories

Over a two-year period I made a concentrated effort to dismantle the Aladdin’s Cave in the basement, a room full of bits & pieces removed from the house over many decades.

This effort proved successful and all over the house (interior and exterior) long “lost” bits were re-installed.

But two inside window stops — just two — proved maddening (inside stops are a thin piece of trim surrounding wood sashes on the inside).




The maddening stops were maddening because they fit no window. Over and over I would walk through the whole HUGE house with these two friggin’ stops in hand…but…over and over I could find no match.


So I would, yet again, return the stops to the basement. It was possible, of course, that they were not from the Cross House but had managed to migrate into the house from some other place.


Anyway, today I re-installed a set of restored sashes to the west window in the sewing room! Squee!

The last thing to do was re-install the interior stops. The two stops were in the adjacent corner, where they had been ever since I purchased the house in 2014. Many many many times I had picked them up to vacuum and then always placed them back in the corner as they were obviously part of the west window (the two south windows in the sewing room had their interior stops still in place).

But…today…when I went to, at last, re-install the stops…they did not fit. They were way too long.

Huh? What?

It was belatedly obvious that the two stops next to the west window all these years did not belong to the west window. But why, why, had they been placed there? I had no idea.

Then, in a flash, I realized: Oh! I know where the right stops are!

I ran down to the basement and grabbed the two maddening stops, and raced back up the stairs and into the sewing room.

And the maddening stops?


They fit…perfectly.


I stood there radiant with happiness. V I C T O R Y !

Of course, then I wondered: WHERE did the stops which had been in the corner of the sewing room all these years belong? I looked at the two stops. They had been partially stripped but retained a distinctive dark brown paint. And there was only one place in the whole house with that dark brown awful paint.

Excited, I scurried over to the triple stained-glass windows in the upper stair-hall.


For, not only did the triple-set have ghastly dark brown paint on all the wood, but I recalled that the center window was missing its interior stops!


Today though, after who knows how long, the center stops were reunited with their proper window. (At some point the triple windows were partially stripped. This unfinished effort pre-dates me.)


In the grand scheme of the Universe, getting two pairs of interior sash stops back to their correct place after an absence of time is not, likely, a big deal.

But it felt like a big deal to me.

For, the Universe was just a tiny tiny tiny bit better.

And I had proof.


17 Responses to Small Victories

  1. The Cross House inventory of tiny bits and pieces and your endless puzzling to get the parts set to rights amazes me. A master puzzle indeed!

    • Me too. I’d go completely insane. Ross has struck a nice balance between being motivated by love to get it done and… well, NOT going insane!

  2. Yea – that had to feel good. Putting things in their just-right place can be the most satisfying part of putting a puzzle together. 🌻

  3. Small victory?, I think not.

    It makes me think of completing a jigsaw puzzle and finding a piece missing. The missing piece is nowhere to be found until one sees it out on the porch. It must have stuck to a piece of clothing during the puzzle’s assembly and dropped off there, but finding it is a triumph.

    A TRIUMPH!!!!!!!!!

  4. Yesterday must have been the day for discoveries; I found the original exterior facings for my front door, along with the two plinth blocks and rosettes! They had been missing for at least 30 years, but were found last evening in a previously inaccessible crawl space beneath the side porch. I had no choice but to get my infrared stripper and remove all of the caked on paint, and then reinstall them around 11PM last night. I will paint them this weekend, and can’t wait to see the difference they make. So, I understand the satisfaction from small victories! Well done us!

  5. I continue to be fascinated by the ongoing puzzle that is the Cross house, and your adventures in reassembling said puzzle. It seems an absolute miracle, the things you’ve found in the Aladdin’s cave!

  6. You were put in the Cross house to put it back the way it was. There is no doubt in my mind about that. And what an awesome feeling to know things are put back where they should be! One small victory at a time. But a huge difference to the Cross house. Well done!

  7. Isn’t it amazing how you feel when you are finally putting all the little bits and pieces together. Every bit, every little bit feels like a giant victory. You are winning the giant conundrum of putting this huge lady all back together again. I bet you feel you could talk to her and she could talk back to you with every little piece you put back. One day she will be all dressed in her finery with all the silk and bobbles and look like a grand lady she is. We are waiting and watching and thankful for all your sharing.

  8. Miracles never cease, small but large victory. Good for Lady Cross and Ross (sorry, couldn’t resist the rhyme).

  9. I love to read all your updates, but the ones where long lost bits and pieces end up back where they belong are my favorites!

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