Saturday, May 03, 2008

free advice, my specialty

Almost twenty years ago, a good friend of Joe's from college told us that his grandfather had given him two pieces of advice. This conversation has really stuck in my head, because even in the inexperience of my early twenties, it seemed like really sound advice, and it still seems so now. Anyway, here's the advice.

1. Always have a project.

2. The most important decision you'll ever make is who you marry.

See? Isn't that brilliant advice? There may have been a third thing, I don't remember. But it doesn't matter, because I'm about to add a third thing of my own:

3. If you have the urge to fix up an old house, purchase it and fix it up before you have children.

This is our wedding anniversary, and as is traditional, my parents have both kids for the weekend. As is not traditional, we are not away at the beach. Rather, we are at home, working on the house. And let me tell you, we have made outrageous progress on several long-standing projects, made possible only by the removal of the two short people who live here.

Here's what Joe did:
That's the corner of our porch, and unfortunately I don't have a before picture, but the length of fancy cut-outs that hasn't been painted yet was missing. The other three railings of the porch have also been secured, so I can relax when kids are climbing around the outside edge of the porch. Yahoo! I might paint this tomorrow, or I might continue working on inside projects.

Here's what I did today:
This is before. The treads have been refinished, and the stringers and risers have been sanded and are ready to paint. They'd been ready to paint for, oh I don't know, months. More than just a few months. Way too many months.
Here's how they look now, after two coats of primer, some spackle in the nail holes, and a finish coat of trim paint. We got all this done even though we took lots of breaks for hanging out, eating, watching the new LOST episode, and going to two garage sales!

We're having a great time together, and it is sheer bliss to be uninterrupted as we go about our day. The house is quiet. Nobody complained when we decided to walk to the garage sales. Nobody fought over the latest Lego magazine. Nobody asked for a snack sixteen thousand times.

Next we're going to go grocery shopping, just the two of us. Isn't that a romantic thing to do on the evening of our 12th wedding anniversary? We can hardly wait.


Anonymous said...

You clearly chose the right person to marry. You can paint and do house projects together and not argue? Very good. Sounds like a fun day. A romantic take-out pizza dinner seems like the perfect way to top it off.

Maria said...

Happy Annie!
What wonderful advice. Sadly I choose to remodel several years ago while my child was a toddler. I have vowed to never remodel again. period.

Anyway, a job well done at the Deluxe household, I'd say! Enjoy your time together is important, no matter what you do...

Anonymous said...

Considering that we haven't celebrated our anniversary in...I don't know how long, that sounds like a wonderfully romantic weekend. Even in comparison with the beach. We made a huge tactical error in moving 3,000 miles away from the grandparents.

Joe went to Deep Springs? No wonder you guys are all alternative-schooly with your kids. That's an amazing college.

elsie deluxe said...

Yep, he did. Didn't think anyone would click on that. DS is certainly a place like no other. I visited for the first time last summer, and it was very interesting. There's a kid who was homeschooled in the student body there now, and Big One wants to go there for school.

How do you know about DS, anthromama? It doesn't tend to come up much unless you're directly involved in some way.

Anonymous said...

Deep Springs is one of those unusual and compelling things that has just stuck in my brain! And I guess we've had an interest in alternative colleges for a while now, since we've -- the husband and I, not the royal we :) -- been attending, living in, and working at a few over the last 10 years (anthroposophical colleges).

Tara said...

Happy Anniversary! It is totally romantic. We're coming up on 17 years and I'd love nothing more than to have similar before and after pictures of our bathroom to show for it. In fact, maybe I'll have to "accidentally" leave your post up on hub's computer screen...