Saturday, February 18, 2012


Our renovation is nearly complete. After five months without a refrigerator or a stove, living in conditions that reminded me of when I was a camper living in a bunk, there now is a kitchen, most of the vestiges of carpentry are gone, and the downstairs at least looks finished.

It is not quite as there is a punch list of items that need to be done. We have been blessed to have had contractors who were efficient and as amiable as any people could be. I hear nightmares about contractors who are difficult to find when you need them and contrary when you dont need them to be. These guys we had were and are terrific.

Today, one of the contractors stopped by on Saturday morning to bring over some hardware that he will need to complete the punch list items some time next week. I asked him for his e-mail and he gave me the address which includes his name and his wife's. I asked him how they met.

He told me that he was in Boston staying for a couple of weeks before moving on with a crony to California where they were going to set up their business. While here, he and some friends got together for an evening out, and there he met a woman. When his friend called from California asking when he would be coming out, my contractor told him that he was not so sure he would be making it any time soon. His wife to be had mentioned that she had planned to go home to her family. However, soon she too made a call saying that her return home might be a few weeks away.

He told me that it was the American dream. You meet someone and you fall in love and then nothing else matters. Love is the cohesive and when you respect its importance nothing else matters. It is the only solid foundation upon which to build ones life. The other apparent planks are illusions. Money, job security, short term comfort--they are meaningless.

My contractor is one of the nicest people I have ever met. No need for renovations in his life. When he met his wife to be, he knew that there was no need to make changes to the edifice that was emerging as his foundation. And when his wife met him, she knew that there was no truer home than where she was standing with the man she had just met. Renovations, sure, are important to tune up and modernize now and again. However, one should never forget how important are the floorboards upon which you do the reconstruction.

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