It’s 11 o’clock here in the north and the sun is past the yardarm

A deckhand standing on both the main footrope ...

A deckhand standing on both the main footrope and the flemish horse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My builders are gone. Phase one of Morning Street:The House! has ended. How many phases–we do not know. But this old house, built in 1894, was in neglect. Every home, like the beings who populate them, needs renovation once in a while. New sills, new windows, and a fresh coat of paint will perhaps help sustain a little more life into this old girl.

Through it all, this first phase, I remained steadfastly, if not naively, optimistic. Some might say I’m a Pangloss; all’s well that ends well…replace that soffit? Sure, what more could we possibly find? A rotting sill along the short expanse. Well, okay, it’s only one. After all, this house has four sides! Take out the rotting sill which is the length of a yardarm on a ginormous schooner? Well, okay! On and on it went.

I finally had to show them the door. (you know, the new one, which sent us over our own fiscal cliff)

I surrender my sanity and my lack of skills. I am a writer, not a builder of houses but of stories meant to inform or entertain. But I will not surrender my optimism. Not when the sun is past the yardarm-even when it’s lying face-down in my driveway.

Pass the Grog & Cheers.

What phase are you in?

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4 Responses to It’s 11 o’clock here in the north and the sun is past the yardarm

  1. Jim says:

    Hi Sally, good read and good point about both houses and people both needing renovation.

    “I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” – Oscar Wilde. I saw this quote a while back, definitely the phase I’m in. Here’s what I wrote about this quote on Facebook back in October:

    Such a keen observation. It’s something I knew in college and especially after college. I forgot about it when I got married and now, nearly four years after my divorce, it’s something I am having to learn anew.

    It seems to me that being a partner and husband for nearly thirteen years shifted my perceptions of myself, where who I was as part of a couple became more important and defining than who I was as an individual.

    As a result, like muscles that weren’t used, the ability to be alone atrophies and makes for a difficult transition to single life. It’s a characteristic of divorce that I wasn’t aware of, the long process of rediscovering and redefining myself; a very different self in my forties than the individual I was in my late twenties.

    Like meeting a stranger, it is taking me time to get comfortable being alone around this new, only partially defined person reawakening inside of me.


  2. mjwright says:

    Personal growth? Never stops. I know, I am sooooo old. Trust me

  3. joan chandler says:

    Owning a home is a constant challenge, especially when you have inherited some basic structural weaknesses. Every new homeowner might as well succumb at the beginning, admitting that the next several or many years, or time into infinity, will be spent budgeting for these little surprises.
    Like you, I am the cockeyed optimist when it comes to such issues. That’s not to say, exactly, that my husband is the pessimist, but he does tend to wear little worry frowns when discussing the house. I’m not sure if there is such a thing as “panic frowns”, but he sometimes develops those, too:
    Rod: “Oh my God, that pine branch is leaning a little. A strong wind will send it right onto the porch roof or maybe careening into the porch itself. What if you are sitting out there reading a book when that happens?”
    Joan: “That tree has been there for fifty years. So far it has survived hurricanes and blizzards. Don’t worry about it.”
    Rod: “Did you hear that? The faucet in the shower is dripping. We’ve had a dry autumn, so what if the well runs dry?”
    Joan: “At the rate the faucet is dripping, we might lose a cup or so per day. I think the well can take it. We could even consider repairing the faucet.”
    Rod: “Look at those leaves! They’ve completely covered the front lawn. What if someone goes by and carelessly tosses a cigarette into the leaves? It could burn the house down. I’d better get the leaf blower out.”
    Joan: (sotto voce) “When have you heard of that happening?”
    I hate to think that I might be callous or uncaring, but the brain can hold just so many worrisome problems that I try to be positive when I can. Less stress, more laugh lines, more fun.
    The sun might be past the yardarm here, and it may be the yardarm of the Titanic, but I plan to be one of the survivors.

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