Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 3, 2014

The last few days have actually been hot and humid here, but nothing like some of my friends south of the border have been enduring for weeks, now. This year you could almost say we are the frozen north, as we have had a much cooler than normal summer.

This past long weekend found Mr. Ashbury with not just the usual three days off, but four. They had an equipment malfunction at his place of employment late Thursday afternoon, one that would not be repaired before Tuesday morning.

He was glad for the extra time off. While he still loves what he does, he’s looking forward to retirement. He’ll be sixty-two this November. In addition, he has COPD. The latter is the reason we’re looking at heading south for at least a month this coming winter. We’ll try to do two months the year after that. Cold weather is not great for his breathing, because the colder the air, the smaller the oxygen molecules.

But then, neither is the hot and humid weather of a normal summer good for him, either.

This past weekend, since he had four days off, he decided he needed to do something by way of house repairs. Our old, worn out hardwood floor in our entrance hallway finally “sprang”. With the wear and tear, and the humidity over the many years, the nails holding the hardwood in place, over time, rusted out to the point of disintegration, and we had a bouncy little popup near the door that happened about a week ago.

So early Friday morning we headed to the local hardware store where he purchased the aspenite sheeting, the very thin mahogany sheeting to go on top of that, and a box of tiles to finish the job.

My beloved had replaced the kitchen floor a couple of years ago, a vastly larger project, with not that much difficulty. This smaller job was a bit more taxing, not only because of the progression of the COPD, but mostly because it was such a small, awkward space in which to work. Being by the front door, he couldn’t set up his saw and work table in the back yard—that would be too far to carry the heavy wood. So he had to manage it all on the front porch, a cramped work area to be sure.

But over the course of the four days, he prevailed, and we now have a nice tiled floor right inside our front door.

 It was interesting, as always, listening to him as he tackled this project. He can sometimes come up with very colorful phrases, especially if things don’t go quite the way he wants them to. This house of ours is old, and nothing is square, or even close to level. Each new job is a challenge for him. But he has more patience than he had in his younger days which just might balance out the lack of stamina.

Of course, there are some things in this house of ours that likely never will be repaired. We have an upstairs that he and our late son created when it was time to replace the roof. Up until then, the upstairs was essentially an attic, but finished to make a bit of a living area – long and narrow and only about five foot high. When we first moved in, two of our kids had their bedroom up there. A few years later, it became our bedroom.

When it came time to do the roof, by adding just a couple of feet to the existing wall, they were able to create a place that in fact doubles our living area. But it still needs gypsum sheeting on the walls, and the flooring there is just sub-floor. But in the summer, with fans in the windows, it was sufficient to hold what was needed to make temporary bedrooms for our grandchildren.

They no longer need to come here overnight, and that area has become mainly storage space. It was originally designed to give us a large master bedroom area, but that just isn’t ever going to happen.

But that’s okay. Having enough room to store the accumulated minutia of four decades worth of marriage cannot be overrated.


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