Beauty in simplicity

As I was browsing through the latest This Old House magazine the other night, I saw a suggestion that people write in about their longest-running, never-finished house project. Boy could I relate. And I guess it was a little comforting to know we are not alone in our disheveled state (not really, but I think it’s supposed to be comforting).

My neighbor hit upon a smart, simple solution, though — the same one we had come up with just a few days before.

You see, she knows all about (because she can see) our trail of half-finished works in progress. She looked over at the giant dirt pile in the driveway for more than a year while the retaining wall awaited. She’s seen us transform the back yard from blah and overgrown to a nice little garden — collapsed fire ring notwithstanding. She’s seen us disassemble the front porch and leave it that way for a while now.

All winter long, when she saw Mike out in the garage with the table saw, she knew it was because of the powder room. When she invited us to her St. Paddy’s Day feast, we almost didn’t go because we were working on the powder room. When we were late to emerge in the yard this spring, she asked why and we told her — “It’s the powder room.” (and we’ve been sick).

Sunday, when she walked over (with a beer for Mike) to see what all the commotion on the front porch was about, she had a suggestion…the voice of wisdom from a woman who all but single-handedly refurbished her childhood home when she moved in a few years ago.

Her suggestion: “You’ve lived without the powder room this long, why not just close the door and come back to it next winter?”

You know, I think that’s just what we’re gonna do.

After all, who would know (or care) if what what lies beyond the small door in the front hall… (HA! Just noticed the devil cat lurking on the landing — spooky!)


is this…


or this…?


Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
~ Confucius


  1. Facie said,

    Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 10:05 am

    When friends and I used to debate whether or not we should walk at lunch (this was before we did it pretty much daily, regardless of 0 degree or 90 degree temps), I would make comments like it will be snowing before you know it. I usually said this in August or September, mind you. But the point was, why not walk when we can because before long we would much rather stay inside and hibernate.

    Perhaps what is true of work (no one ever wished he had worked more when looking back on his life) is also true of home improvement projects. 😉

    Enjoy and good luck with all the plants. I am looking forward to our annual trek to Home Depot to uy then plant stuff and see what dies within a few weeks.

  2. WritingbyEar said,

    Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I was happy I saved plant receipts (for a change) and took back 4 dead perennials and a dead shrub to Lowe’s yesterday — $28 credit was great (on top of earlier refund from HD). (Of course, I found really pretty columbine on the clearance rack for $3 and bought 4 of them…) Although, as I said to Mike — anyone could bring back any dead thing with a receipt and claim that was the plant. I’ve been gardening for 10 years, though, and this year is the first year I ever took anything back.

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