The Sweet Loveliness of the Human Spirit…amidst Scaffolding



The great north wall, a few weeks ago. Note the triple-arched windows.



The triple-arched windows. The blank panels of glass are temporary. When all the painting is done, the gloriously restored stained-glass windows will be reinstalled.



Unseen in the above images is an intermediate level of scaffolding. This level allows me to sit quite comfortably while working on this section. And, because it was HOT today, and windless, I brought out a fan. The Cross House is a lot of work, but is there any reason, dahlink, that I should not be AS comfortable as possible?



And, whoee, after! Until I began working on this area, I was only dimly aware of how amazing all this detail was. I mean, geez!


While working, I heard a yell. I turned, looked down, and saw Eric in the yard.

I waved, and invited him to join me. Eric climbed up the scaffolding tower, sat down, and we began a conversation as if we were sitting in the parlor having high tea, rather than sitting, visually precarious, several stories up in the air.

Eric lives a block away, in a home designed by the same architect as the Cross house, Charles Squires. Eric is a husband, father, fireman, and old house lover. His spouse, Lesley, is a wife, mother, nurse, and old house lover. And you will not be surprised that I just adore Eric and Lesley.

So, Eric and I sat up high above the ground and caught up on our respective restoration stories. He told me about X and I told him about Y, all the while I painted away at the elaborate tin detailing surrounding the triple-arched windows.

After a while, Eric departed to work on another house he and Lesley are restoring. I finished my painting for the day, and smiled thinking how much I enjoyed our brief visit.

Then, as I gathered my stuff, turned off the fan, and crawled back through a window, I also thought: A terrible tragedy happened in Florida this morning, but this afternoon, for a brief twenty minutes, I was blessed with a reminder about how wonderful and beautiful human interactions can be.





  1. Betsy on June 13, 2016 at 2:11 am

    You have to hang on to them all, each and every one. We are daily in danger of losing our focus, overcome by the faraway ugliness and not seeing the loveliness in front of us.

    Greetings from the Australian Outback

  2. Cindi M on June 13, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Yes, Betsy. Yes, Ross.

  3. Barb Sanford on June 13, 2016 at 12:50 pm


  4. Andi on June 13, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Beautifully said.

  5. Melody Dawn on June 19, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Hi there,

    My name is Melody Dawn. In the south people call me Miss Melody (don’t know why;) ) but I am originally from New England and have resettled here in Florida not far from where the most recent horrible event just took place.

    I like thus post a lot…I have long been a fan of old homes and I cannot believe the jewel you have on your hands. Just out of curiosity how did you get started on restorations ….? So far you guys have done a beautiful job!!! 🙂

    • Ross on January 15, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Melody!

      I have always been interested in old house and architecture. My favorite toy as a child was Lego Blocks! Mostly, I built houses! A great many houses over the years!

      When I was in high school my mom, at last, at last, allowed me to paint my bedroom any color I wished! To this day I still recall what a thrill that was!

      So, I think, think, that a restoration urge is something perhaps genetic. I mean, why do some people grow up be gymnasts and others to restore old houses? I doubt it is environment as my three siblings all could care less about restoration.

  6. djd_fr on January 15, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Yes, we are capable of the best and the worst. How can we get ourselves to choose the best or at least the better?

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