Living in Ohio teaches the practicality of caution. Yes. The sun is shining and the weatherman says maybe 77 degrees today. But hey, it’s still morning. Things could, and likely will, change. While it appears to be stabilized I’ll trek to the supermarket and the bagel store and leave the umbrella at home.
Yesterday, relying on the ancient GPS to get me to my destination, it didn’t, and I ended up in Amherst twice, while praying for North Ridgeville. My destination, 37 minutes from my house, took 2 hours. Yes. I swore a lot.
Undaunted, I arrived with bucket in hand, to pick daffodils. A heavy dozen ( I cheated) of beautiful yellow daffs on sturdy green stems after many pickers did the same. The rows and rows were still full of thousands of daffs. The sun was warm, the company was good, and the progress made on the renovation of a farm house built in 1860 or so is impressive.
The first time I saw the property I recognized its potential, pleased that my friends have such a good eye for strong bones and pastoral location. Slowly, with lots of elbow grease, they are resurrecting a prize. learning their limits and capabilities, and after the initial heavy lifting, wear their newfound skills with quiet pride. They are both fast studies and meticulous in their efforts. No slap dash here. Like making a quilt, one stitch at a time will get them to the simple pleasure of doing something very well, from somewhere deep in their souls. They dialogue well with their house.
Such a thing takes time and won’t be rushed. It has a time frame, where waiting to know the next necessary thing will be revealed and they will make the correct response. It’s long term. Sure. They could contract all of it out. But then they’d miss all the goodies that come with DIY. The bonding in the work. The bone deep weariness shared. The discovery of interests they didn’t even know they had together. What it takes, always, is shared vision. Watching them reveal their efforts and the ensuing results allows for a quiet pride. Having walked this long road in a period restoration of a high Victorian house, I know whereof I speak, and recognize how partnering in physical labor over a new and enduring treasure tightens bonds. Heh. I tightened my bonds for three years with a personal contractor. John put me in touch with my treasure.
Transformation brings awareness of potential. Redoing gorgeous floors, repairing plaster and applying paint reveal the possibilities. The house seems to stretch and unfurl itself like a dowager who discovers that with help, and lots of loving appreciation, true beauty endures.
While my treasure was an uptown girl with lots of gilding, impossibly beautiful stained glass and cast brass fixtures, my friends own a country girl with a warm heart, lovely in her plain dress, with little embellishment, looking to be a healthy addition to the new and gentrified properties around her. Plain-faced but gorgeous in her natural unpretentious honesty, she is comfortable, down-to-earth and welcoming. You just know high tea will not be her forte, but chocolate chip cookies, apple pie and a hearty stew when the snow flies will herald to the neighborhood that the sturdy house by the side of the road is where you’d rather be, with a tidy fire and a glass of good scotch on a comfy sofa as the daylight dies.