Monday, June 23, 2014

Grand Central Station

Shared space
Now that we're living in our new home
I'll admit that it's still a work in process.
The past days we've been unpacking,
reorganizing, and refining. This never
ending process is tough enough but the
endless stream of people coming in and
out of our "home" is unnerving at best.
There's work to be done and therefore
those doing it must come and go as they
please. We never know who's going to
walk in and embarrassing encounters
aside, we must welcome our "visitors"
because without them, we're lost.
A unique creation
What seems like a simple task often
becomes monumental. The Passion
Pit is a melange of historic elements,
Rube Goldberg contraptions, plus
state of the art technology. There is
no doubt that the most recent owner
saved this house. Virtually abandoned,
it was a shell of it's former self. Sold
off for next to nothing to the only man
brave enough to transform it. During
his tenure, this gentleman rebuilt the
ruins of Jericho. While not perfect,
what remained peaked our interest!
Memories of times past
However, cash was tight. Therefore he
jury-rigged much of his repairs. While
most of those monstrosities have been
removed during renovation, occasionally
what's left challenges us all. Yesterday
our electrician hung a beautiful antique
Biedemeier silver and alabaster light
fixture over the landing of our stairway.
This lovely housewarming gift from my
bestie "T" was purchased in the eighties
in London. Converted to proper voltage,
it proudly hung in several of her homes.
Fortunately she downsized it to us...
Two by two
Our problem was not a difference
in voltage. Nor the delicacy of this
bit of antiquity. Rather it was the
not so basic electrical junction box.
Instead of purchasing one off the
shelf for about five dollars, the prior
owner built is own out of flotsam and
jetsam. While he saved some bucks,
we more than paid for the difference.
Two expensive experts had to rework
said mount in order to hang our new
(old) fixture. What should have taken
fifteen minutes took five hours.
Join the party
Don't get me wrong, I like people.
But having several acquaintances
lurking around your home daily
is intrusive to say the least. Our
painter is a great guy yet I hardly
enjoy greeting him every morning
as I wander about in my pajamas.
There's no doubt that he is more
than a necessary evil. I hate to paint
therefore truly value and appreciate
his talents. However all I crave is
the day when our new home will
truly be OURS... ALONE!
Bits and pieces
Meanwhile our esteemed master carpenter
is finishing up the restoration of multiple
sets of french doors. While most of that
work is done off site, constant tweaking
requires frequent visits. Plus Frank's
talented brother "B" just installed the
new (old) marble surround and hearth
for our living room fireplace. Now our
carpenter "M" must build the balance
of the mantel which will take a week
or more. While in a rush to finally move
in, I must admit that the daily rush of
extra bodies is most certainly tiresome.
Team effort
That said, all of this is worth any
related hassle. Our new home is
all that we dreamed of and more.
The same people who traipse in
and out are responsible for all of
the magic and transformation that
now surrounds us. Partners in the
process, their expertise and talent
enabled all of this to happen. So
while in some ways I want them
out of "our" house, in reality it's
their's also. Once they're finished
and gone, I'm going to miss them!