Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Here Old House

It has been a cold and wet spring in Oklahoma.
It has been punctuated with warm dry days that are cruel in their promise.
The kind of spring that freezes fledglings in their nest.
A Spring like the ones that used to fattened the buffalo wolves on the dead veal of early calves from the herds that lived on these plains.

"April is the cruelest month" has a different meaning when it is an April like this one.

It is the kind of spring where the carpenters and roofers and painters of houses sporadically work at their task. It makes for a maddenly slow process, especially for the marginally insane.
For those of us who are too of this or too of that to any longer climb and bend and lift and carry to do our own work and must rely on others outside our control, such a spring is a mindbender.
When I combine my acute territorial imperative, with my self pity, my physical regret and well aged case of PTSD I come unglued when skilled craftsmen demonstrate neither skill nor craft.

My home was built in 1916. From its second story, when it was new, you could see the Epworth University three miles away and past that, all the way to downtown Oklahoma City. The trolley line was a block west of the house. Shepherd's lake was seven blocks north. They cut the wood for the framing of this home on site from oaks to the west of it. The siding they brought from the redwood forest of the west coast. It is a strong old house and I have lived in it for 32 years. Soon after we moved in child number three was born and all our resources went to the kids and just living. The house began its 30 years of deferred maintenance.

Old houses are alive.
There's not one thing level, square, or straight anywhere in this place. It moves and twists with the seasons. Shrinking wood, weather, and bugs have pushed, pulled, and shaped my home into a unique configuration. Those who approach her with rule and level and pre-cut lumber are true malevolents of the 21st century.

So when the madness of this spring combines with the madness of seeing my house violated with standard procedures they are too much for me.
I am going to have to stay away for the duration of the repairs and insults to my home from the Philistines to which I have intrusted her. My wife, well she agrees,much to her relief.

Maybe it will all come together and it will emerge renewed and ready for her centennial. God I hope so.


TStockmann said...

Mine's 1922, so you have all my sympathy and I wish you, your wife, and that old house well. On my own behalf: fingers crossed that the new furnace and switch from oil to gas goes well - roof for another year

drlobojo said...

They have removed a large piece, no a chunk, of my lower roof and subframe. I'm going in and take some extra meds and leave again.
Theres this hole in my home!

TStockmann said...

It's not a hole - it's a sun roof!