Planet Earth is amazing at 40,000 feet. But Steven missed seeing it spin beneath. Everyone with a window shut the shade on this flight out of Chicago, up toward the North Pole, down over Alaska and Russia, over China.
Humans are an odd species …
With help from Jacquela, Steven mounted the mask to its planned place of honor above the fireplace in the family room.
This is the four seasons/four elements mask that we purchased in Taos — as Steven remembers, it was the trip he blew out his knee skiing, so he sat Jacquela on a bench at Taos Pueblo, a stream behind us, the pueblo and courtyard stretching in front of us, unable to bend down to his knee, and he proposed marriage.
She said yes.
Here we are two states, three houses, one dog, one daughter, nearly two decades later.
This mask is our hearth.
Steven continues Garage Therapy. It’s taken about a week, so far, an hour or two each day …
Above, the twin racks are built, screwed to the wall, on the right, and the supply of lumber left over from construction is now off the floor. That allowed Steven to roll the old workshop carts from Sea Eagle over from the west wall of the garage, tucking them under the lumber racks. With that shift, Steven was able to clear the west wall of everything, sweep up shards of linoleum tile that remained from demo, to unroll three of the garage floor mats that we used at Sea Eagle.
It is week three at Emerald House. We evolve toward some kind of usual.
Steven is back to riding his bike. 11 miles Tuesday. 12 miles today. Exploring new routes. Carefully. There’s a lot more traffic in Northwest Austin.
When Jacquela comes home, it is still daylight. Her commute now takes 15 minutes with traffic, vs. 45 minutes if there was no traffic.
Jadin walks to school. Three blocks. And asks every day for Dad to drive her. No.
We went to our first college admissions fair.
Work continues in the garage. Boxes are emptied. Lumber racks are up on the wall and wood is migrating to the racks, off the floor.
We message Ranserve with punch list items.
Sea Eagle is almost ready to list for sale.
A herd of deer strolled through the neighborhood after dinner.
We’ve been in the house for three weeks. Every time Steven needs a tool, he has to go through seven large black and yellow storage containers and five toolboxes. Or the orange bucket that serves as the sixth toolbox. It is frustrating.
And the garage is a minefield of lumber, boxes stacked six high, construction debris that was never really cleaned up, and all sorts of stuff we have no other place to put.
Steven reached the point this day where this has got to end.
Jacquela chose this day to escape to the Renaissance Faire with Bridget from work. Good for them.
Steven stepped into the garage to claim the house and begin to take control of the garage.
Boxes of CDs, photos, artwork, fragile items were culled from the garage and transported into the bedroom upstairs that is intended to become the model trainroom.
Jadin was coerced into helping to transport boxes upstairs. Reluctantly.
Boxes designated by Jacquela for the bedroom that will become her craft room — Steven hoisted those up the ladder to the storage attic over the new third bay of the garage. What will be the craft room is crammed with the shelves and carts and table that we need to organize into a configuration that works. Shelving will be screwed to walls. Carts will be rolled against walls. The worktable will go wherever Jacquela points it.
Back and forth. Up and down.
Steven reached the back wall of the third bay, where the workshop and power tools will eventually go, vacuumed up the construction debris, shifted one metal shelving rack into position below the window on the side wall — and started to relocate cartons of books and magazines off the plastic shelving to the metal racks. Then there was space to move a second metal rack into place. Then a third.
Back and forth. Box by box.
When the metal racks filled the workshop space, Steven shifted the black-and-yellow containers to the top of each rack. All he needs to do now is pop the lids to get to what he needs. Progress.
Behind him, a huge expanse of garage floor is beginning to clear.
For extra credit, Steven put tools and supplies left behind by Ranserve on a plastic shelving unit near one garage door, and cans of paint and grout up on a second shelving unit near the back door of the garage.
There’s still a long way to go, but … we can now walk on bare feet on bare concrete across all three parking bays of the garage.
In photo above, the space between the bicycles and middle ceiling light was filled with boxes before Steven set to work — with some stacks six boxes high. Now we can see floor. At rear, the yellow lids are the storage containers with Steven’s tools, screws, nails, parts — the stuff he needs to get the family moved into the house. At right is a pile of lumber that Steven is putting on the schedule to tackle.
Third Saturday living in the house.
Steven spent Saturday afternoon working on Jadin’s closets — completing assembly of the twin Ikea Pax towers, powering up the stud finders, leveling the track rail for the Rubbermaid closet standards, brackets and shelves, screwing everything into place and snapping components together.
Jacquela lent two hands when Steven pulled out the metal shears to cut the shelves to length.
Jadin was reminded to say thank you.
Steven observes: Watching Ron Dahlke and Cris work on the house during the remodel proved a lesson that Steven applied. Think about the work to be done. Lay out the tools you need. Measure twice. Rehearse the cuts, twice. Take your time. Do it right. What would Ron and Cris do?