Sunday, April 15, 2012

Liberating thoughts

I started doing some repair work around the house yesterday. We have a lot of cracks in our 1933-era walls, most of which I'm capable of fixing, but haven't. There's one spot where the underlying plaster has totally disintegrated, so I'm going to have to use more than joint compound and tape there. But I'm pleased that the other areas are being so cooperative. They often aren't.

Of course, now we'll have to prime and paint the entire living room, the dining room, and the entry. I've told Little Guy that this week he's going to learn how to paint a wall. Life skills, you know. Stuff you need to know.

My dad is 'handy'. Basically that means he grew up in the Depression and learned that when things are broken you figure out how to fix them. It takes a certain mindset. When I was growing up, my dad installed the washer, re-did the bathroom, repaired the car -- everything. I do not have a single childhood recollection of having a workman called in. I don't know how to do anywhere near all the things my dad does, but at some point he didn't know, either.

Andrew grew up in an apartment. His idea of what to do when something breaks is to call the super. So the handy person here is me. And I'm finally realizing that now that the kids are older, I can probably fix things without finding small handprints in the plaster or special drawings on the fresh paint. It's a liberating thought.

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A neighborhood friend called yesterday to see if I could go with her to the Philharmonic in the evening. Unbelievably, I had nothing on the calendar. and there were no crises brewing. So we met at seven and took the train down, catching up on family news on the way.

We heard a dazzling Prokofiev piano concerto and Mahler's 1st Symphony. Both pieces got standing ovations, but I thought the Mahler would have been substantially better if the composer had edited out about a third of each movement. Just my opinion.

I don't get to go to the symphony often. Eldest liked going and sometimes got student tickets, so we'd go together. I thought about her a bit while I listened; Dancer is visiting her this weekend. Then I thought about a time when I came to a concert with Dancer when she was nine or ten; a friend had given us tickets. And then I wondered if Snuggler had ever been to the symphony. I don't think she has. I was kind of bummed about that, knowing I don't have the budget to take her. Then I thought, Oh shut up, Julia. There's got to be a way!

This morning I checked online and found out that school groups can go to open rehearsals for $6/student. I think I'm going to form a school group.

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We slept with the windows open last night. It was an accident; I didn't get home until nearly midnight, and didn't think to close them.

Life smells nicer with fresh air.


  1. Being a school group was my favourite bit of homeschooling I've threatened to take Princess out of school so we can be one again if a really cool exhibition or event comes along.

    Been thinking of you and your last post a lot, keeping you in my thoughts and in the light.

  2. I, too, have been thinking of you often since your last post, and I am glad to know that your air has gotten swept, and the music has been heard... freshness and Light...however temporarily seen and heard, always waiting to be seen again...

  3. My dad is handy with electricity, plaster, and paint, but somehow plumbing repairs frequently seemed to end up with a lot of leakage and a call to a professional.

    Glad you got to a show, and more importantly glad that you had an evening out. (Did you ever see the movie Amadeus? There's a scene in which some royal or other hears a first performance of something, and responds, "too many notes!")

  4. > I think I'm going to form a school group.

    Yes, do that! An on-line friend did this for a professional ballet company. DancerDaughter and I got to see a number of dress rehearsals of shows we'd never have gone to otherwise. She loved it, although not as much as going to a regular show, and I finally learned to enjoy (well done) ballet. Additional advantage is that I finally got to meet my on-line friend.

    I miss going to the shows now that I no longer have a homeschooling child at home.