Up today at 4:45, astonished to see the sky light.  The days are lengthening quickly in these higher latitudes.

The big story the last few days is that the crusty ex-cop painter has finished the living room.  The lugubrious blue is gone, and the room dazzles.  I'm coming to have a lot of respect for Diana's decorating instincts.  This was totally what the room needed, and I probably would have gone for months if not years before realizing it.

We have to wait a week before putting things on shelves.  Today the electrician is coming to replace all the electric sockets (they are so old, or maybe cheap, that the plugs fall out on the floor when you plug things in), hang a lamp in the kitchen, and hopefully unsnarl the mess I made with the kitchen lights.  I attempted to replace a dimmer switch that was broken, and when I pulled it out the wires came off, leaving me totally confused as to what was connected to what.  I even bought a cheap voltmeter to try to figure out what was going on, and concluded that something was amiss or else there had been some changes in the laws of physics since I last worked on electricity.

Next step is the dining room.  The previous owners really loved earth tones.  The walls and molding are a kind of duck-shit green that makes you want to slit your wrists.  There is some nice wall decoration, but the surrounding stuff brings us down.  We need to decide whether to build a bay window in the dining room to open it up--I'm pretty much in favor of this, if we can do so and still avoid bankruptcy.

The infrastructure of this house is quite strange.  For example, the wiring.  The sockets and switches are cheap and many are broken.  The wiring itself is honking thick copper wire that looks strong enough to hold the house up.  The plumbing looks original, but seems to be functioning well.  The telephone wires were a disaster, totally replaced by Verizon to the tune of many hundred dollars.  Roof and outside seem OK.  A strange mixture...

It's strange to look back at the journal as it was several months ago.  Now I'm writing about (and thinking about) paint and telephone wires and electric sockets.  My metaphysical side is shelved for a while until I get my boxes unpacked and my taxes paid...  Full time life with Diana and the boys is very good.  There is a richness in my life that I hadn't had, and hadn't missed, having her and the boys "in my face" all the time.  But I need to (and I'm sure I will) make time for the silences that I so loved when living alone.  Diana has been good about giving me space--I think she understands my needs better than I do sometimes.

In a sense, it is like the house.  My life is getting a coat of paint on it, and I'm replacing some sockets.  And definitely working on the communication fabric.  And arranging for the trash collection and paying the energy bill.  Yes, and even paying some taxes.  And all of this is to enable the rich inner life, without which none of this makes sense.

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2002 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.