The Cross House
Today, save some touch-ups, I finished the upper upper NE corner.
And today, and during the last two afternoons working on the upper upper NE corner, I experienced a Zen-like calm about the work. Arriving at the house each day, I clambered out onto the scaffolding, got to work, but all the while listening to: The Day the World Came to Town.
The Audible book is about:
When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill. As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.
Listening to book was a reminder at how fabulous humanity can be. During these dark political days, I have been nourished by this. And, not for the first time, I have been reminded, too, that working on the house is not really about working on the house, not always, but rather about enjoying a good book.
Thank goodness for technology for I am honesty convinced that I could not be restoring the Cross House without Audible books.
Today, and during the last two afternoons, while working on the house, time flew by as I fussed with 1894 shingles and fussed with replacing shingles as required and fussed with filling holes and fussed with sanding and fussed with caulking and fussed with priming and fussed with painting.
But…all the while my energy was being expended on restoring the upper corner, my mind and soul were engaged with an intense event from seventeen years ago and my heart was touched and moved. Today, and the last last two afternoons, were, well, tranquil and emotionally intense and deeply satisfying.
During these hours, I was detached from my normal concerns and worries as I became engrossed in a story beyond me. Yet somehow, like magic, actual work got done. And somehow, like magic, a big old house was incrementally improved.
After finishing today, I left the house and drove home, stopping to get groceries. After getting out of the car, I decided to step into the adjacent thrift store. While there, I found a lovely 1920 bathroom ceiling fixture for $16. I purchasing it, and then did my grocery shopping,
As I was checking out, a women approached me.
Then she said: “Didn’t you just buy an old light fixture next door?
Oh! I recognized her as the cashier. I replied yes.
She said: “I am soooooo sorry. Today was half-price day. I forget.” And she handed me $8 in cash.
My eyes ever so slightly watered up and I replied: “You are a treasure. Thank you.”
And in the moment, I was not just reading about how fabulous humanity can be.
I was offered real-time proof.