Sunday, April 6, 2014


I spent the day working on the semi-massive project that is cleaning out my attic. I have a plan, a master plan that I’m motivated to finally pursue since opening last months heating bill. I have a drafty old house sans shred of insulation. I’ll never replace the beauful, old, thick glass windows, but some changes need to be made. I have two nice finished rooms in the attic, but they’re not usable at all in summer because it becomes an inferno that is no match for any fan or air conditioning unit. First I need to have three spots rewired to eliminate the knob and tube wiring. I’ll put a ceiling fan in each room and then insulate up there. I’ve talked to countless people who’ve insulated their attics and they say they can feel the difference the first day and that it’s cooler in the summer and the whole house stays warmer in the winter. I’m down for that.

To prepare, the crawl space closets need to be cleaned out and since I’m doing that, I’ve decided to clear out the space entirely. After that work is done, one room can be a guest room and the other can house a ping-pong table because it’s come to my attention that they’re available in four pieces instead of two and hence the parts will fit up the narrow staircase. Either the tall one can move up to the third floor entirely, or I can use the bedroom as an Air BnB room and make some extra money. I live quite near a hospital, so I think that’s my niche. Out of towners visiting loved ones in the hospital, they can pay me and I’ll take wonderful care of them.

It makes no sense to pay property taxes on a house that I’m not fully using and I am making peace with the fact that I can’t move because logistics are everything, and if I want boy to come home on school vacations and bring friends with him, I need to preserve his familiar space.

Despite there being exactly zero documented cases of house fires caused by knob and tube wiring and insulation, it is illegal to insulate while it’s there. So unfortunately, the knob and tube up there finally has to go.

While dragging things about, I found two boxes filled with letters received over twenty five years. People used to write long letters because of course, there wasn’t email and long distance calls were expensive. Anyone else remember those itemized phone bills that room-mates would have to go through line by line, to see who’s calls were who’s? I was reading a letter from a friend that referenced our mutual friend Susan and another woman Erika. I have no recollection of an Erika so I figured that was someone they both knew. But the next letter I pulled out was to me, from Erika. Apparently I’d just stayed with her in a basement somewhere. I have no recollection of Erika. Then I pulled out a typed note from a guy who I was clearly good friends with at a job. He mentioned the name of the company and a co-worker that we apparently both detested. He was respponding, it appeared to a letter from me, and clearly we were close. His full name was on the envelope and it rings not a single bell. We trust our brains to be the repository of our story, the guardian of our history, our reality. This might be a mistake, I know that my brain, at least, is keeping inferior track of things.

At first I wanted to throw the boxes straight into the trash, nothing has been added to those boxes in many, many years, but ultimately, I couldn’t do it and now I have puzzle after puzzle and many more letters to go through. Nonetheless, I filled my trash and recycling bin, as well as my neighbors and took several bags to Savers. Progress was made, but there is still much to be done.

Dinner has been eaten, red wine consumed, and there is chocolate cake in the fridge for the stroke of 9:00p.m. and the premier of Game of Thrones, be still my heart. I can’t believe that next season boy will be watching at college and I’ll be watching at home. We’ll have to touch base afterwards, we’ve watched every episode together and he won’t let anyone come over and watch with us, it’s our thing. He might have to take a leave of absence from college for GoT season (not). Recapping episodes might be the only reason he calls home, thank you HBO. I never thought I could be this excited about a t.v. show. I've missed you mother of dragons and it will be nice to see you too Jon Snow and of course I wonder what Arya's been up to... valor morghulis.

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