Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

So my triceps are aching and my hands tingled with “pins and needles” all last night.

Actually, I like shoveling snow. But I’ve had enough of it for the time being. Some young muscle-y young fellow showed up this afternoon and finished shoveling my driveway for the best $15 I’ve ever spent. “Where were you yesterday???”… I was thinking, while being ever grateful that he had spared me this last insult of having to clear a path just enough wider to squeeze the car out onto the street. The Car. Which I stupidly parked way back by the garage, about a mile and a half from the street, in the spot that I know is prone to drifting. By the way, my car is black.


My first words, Saturday morning, were reiterated a few hours later, by my Puerto Rican neighbor, who, upon opening her front door to discover  snow nearly up to her waist, simply exclaimed, “Oh my God!”

The nice thing about this kind of weather event is that it brings people out. I have noticed, in my neighborhood, a spectacular showing of men and machines. In fact, being the newcomer in these parts, it still surprises me that they all seem to know one another, having attended school together apparently, some time before the middle aged paunch and grey whiskers happened. Then there is the other slice of neighborhood, the one that says all with a keyboard post and shout out (it could be from anywhere in the world, but it’s) from around the corner.

One is concerned about the elder woman that lives across the street. Another is grateful for the refuge offered by a neighbor during a CO scare. Another is trying to find the owner of a trash can gone AWOL. We watch out for each other, and I like this about this multi-layered community. I like getting the (albeit) recorded message from my beloved Mayor, stating the parking updates and a reminder to stay safe and check up on neighbors.

Someone decided to call this snowstorm Nemo, which I think is both preposterous and endearing. Preposterous because Nemo is a name that’s been appropriated by  Disney, and endearing because,… well…! I’ve neglected thus far to mention that my own twenty-five year old daughter hightailed it from Boston, hound dog riding shotgun, to arrive here in Holyoke just before the storm hit. And speaking of Disney, it was this same 25 year old, who at age 5 would not eat flounder unless we called it salmon. Whatever.

It’s been Weekend Interruptus by all accounts. One more day of school is cancelled and with the good graces of our stellar DPW, all should up to speed by Tuesday. With the driveway cleared (and why this seems to me a marker of some sort, I don’t know, since I really don’t go out much!) it will be business as usual. DSCN0218

Oh, and I promise, the next post will be more about serious violin restorer stuff. I may just get out that “Heap of Cello Bits”. I have one more snow day to think about it.

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Owning an older home reminds me of raising my daughter. It also reminds me of running my business. It also reminds me of why I no longer work on double basses (even though I LOVE bass players) and small instruments (even though I LOVE kids)! It reminds me of everything and anything that requires serious prioritizing.

I have been criticized for “wiping up” instead of Cleaning, and power vacuuming the most trafficked areas rather than moving the furniture and creating a completely pet hair and dust free zone, which really only lasts for five minutes, but in my opinion, is still a good thing to do now and then.

Let’s face it. I am one person and I cannot do everything.

This weekend I painted the front door, even though I’d prefer to paint the whole house, which is an adequate, but excruciatingly BORING gray. I removed old, cheesy curtain rod hardware in the upstairs bedrooms, along with the errant THUMBTACK that the previous painters had simply painted over (sin against my very being!)  and then what did I do? Thankfully remembered the can of paint left in the basement by said hosers (painters) and proceeded to slap it on the damage I had created removing said crappy hardware and thumbtacks (even though there is serious adhesion issues at play here)! Hallelujia!  Am I happy about that? NO!

But, I am happy about finding a door in my garage (that’s another topic)  that clearly used to fit at the bottom of the attic stairs. Well, it’s there again (the attic door), even though it meant pilfering hinges from somewhere else. This is important because the attic door opens into an alcove adjacent to the room that WILL be my new workshop. The alcove is to provide light and a needed storage area. I’m imagining  secondary jigs, forms and less frequently used tools and materials. Yes, I have plans.

If you are a person like me, there aren’t too many things that you don’t notice at all. Sometimes this is a great asset. I am a good violin restorer. I was a lousy carpenter. To be kind, I guess I’d say I’m “detail oriented”. So the challenge is always to keep the big picture in mind and allocate limited resources to affect the greatest benefit while  ever moving in the direction of a larger goal. Which means some things must get short shrift, as much as it goes against my nature.

In parent-speak, I think the phrase is “pick your battles” – about the best advice I was ever given (thank you Liz). I asked myself constantly, “is this a big thing or a little thing”? Which meant that plenty of little things worked themselves out, or not, to some degree or other. The daughter has not only become a fantastic adult, but is also my role model in terms of learning to prioritize within seemingly overwhelming circumstances and, btw, making it all happen ahead of schedule. Clearly she didn’t get that from me. She’s 25, and it’s not that she has it all wrapped up. Hardly, but her mo is admirable. I have learned that what I might be inclined to call “cutting corners” is not intrinsically bad, if the corners are well chosen.

To be fair – about the front door? I also admit to having removed the mail slot hardware a few weeks ago, and painstakingly stripping it of a gazillion years worth of paint. Oh and then re-antiqued it – black in the recessed areas. Pretty sweet huh?

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