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a miraculous day

Dear friends, some of you have followed this renovation journey. So now, tonight, I have to tell you the big news: my house is reborn. After one of the most exhausting days of my entire life, I am going to sleep above ground tonight, in an actual bed, in a clean room. It’s astounding. Every bone in my body aches; I went up and down the stairs a million times today. But what a finale.

Up at 7.30 to be ready for the cleaners and Mr. Wu the electrician, here to meet the city electrical inspector, who, when he came, I informed that Mr. Wu is the best electrician in the world. And he is. We passed our inspection. Meanwhile Judit and her friend were vacuuming and scrubbing. Meanwhile Kevin arrived, finally with both Ed and Jake who’ve been on another work site, and off we went, with a long list of things to do, almost all of which were accomplished today. Yesterday the house was filthy, the floors still covered with dusty paper and rubble everywhere. Today the paper’s gone, the doors are hung and they all – yes all – have knobs, yes knobs. And they close.

The small washer and dryer are connected. The bannisters are finished. The beds are sort of assembled – the Ikea one K. and I found on the street is unfortunately missing a few very small parts, so Anna went to Ikea to order them today; I can’t sleep in my own bed till they get here, but Jake assembled the bed for the third floor, they struggled up with the foam mattress, and I made my bed and will lie in it. K and I went to Home Depot with a long list and I ordered new blinds to fit the new windows. Oh yes, Viktor the window guy from Russia arrived in the midst of all this with the one window that didn’t get installed before. The bathroom, which was beyond filthy, got cleaned and a new shower curtain pole installed. New words I learned today: ball closers and flanges, all installed.

Oh yes, and William the furnace repair guy from Jamaica came and told me there’s no carbon monoxide, good news, but there’s a crack in the furnace and it will need to be replaced before long, bad news.

Finally they carted a ton of garbage out to leave it in the front yard and went home and I had the house to myself. I ran a hot bath for my trembling legs. There’s no blind in the bathroom so I found a piece of drywall to stick in the window for privacy and lay in the hot water in my own bathroom for the first time in more than four months. And then my dearest Annie came for dinner, and I got to share this moment with her, give her a tour. My heart runneth over.

Still more to do, believe it or not, before the place is set up for the tenants who are moving in – and then at some point I have to start to think about packing. Hard to wrap my head around, that after all this, I’m going to be leaving home.

Tomorrow, another busy day. Dear Ken is taking me to brunch as a farewell/housewarming present, and then in the afternoon, my son-in-law Thomas and various others, I hope, are coming over to move some furniture, set up the other rooms and beds. It will be 10 degrees on Sunday. Yes. Yes yes yes.

And with all this – my daughter has a really interesting job possibility, good news, and bad news, I found out my first cousin once removed, the dare-devil New York photographer Peter B. Kaplan, famous for his shot “Moon over Manhattan” from the top of the World Trade Centre, died a few days ago.
Peter B. was one of a kind, a lunatic and an artist. Here’s a short film his brother David just sent me, called “High Rise Photographer.”

Life is more full than full today. Photos at some point, when my arms can lift that heavy phone.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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