Twas the night before new years.
Single digits and blowing,
The plow trucks were out straight.
I was working every spare moment on the westford house at the time and new years eve was no exception. It was about 9pm and I was sanding sheetrock plaster overhead, wearing a hat, a dust mask, and a trench coat I’d originally bought in college when I went trick or treating as a flasher. And I was smothered in white dust.
There was a knock on the door and I answered it.
It was a nubile maiden, dressed to party. “Uh … hi. Is this where the party is,” she said?
I looked behind me, back at her, and shook my hat off, getting dust on her shoes. “Uh … no party here, I’m afraid. Can I help you out?”
“Uh! … No! Thank you! Bye!” And she ran back to her car.
“Happy new year,” I called, and shut the door.
‘Wow. That was cool!,’ I thought, and I went back to my sanding, using longer, more rhythmic strokes than before.
The door knocked again, and it was the same girl. Their car was stuck in a drift in the driveway, and can I help? It must have taken balls to knock on my door that second time, but what are you going to do out in the middle of nowhere, before cell phones? You can’t push a stuck car in high heels.
So I grabbed a shovel and went out to the car, which had two more nervous, but festive girls in it, I dug it out, pointed the wheels and showed the driver where to drive, while I and the first girl pushed on the back end. It moved, gathered traction, and rolled up the driveway, with me and the girl watching it go.
Then the girl ran after it, waving her arms and yelling. It stopped and she got in, and I watched them drive off. “Happy new year,” I said to myself.
I stood in the wind for a bit, leaning on my shovel, and then I went back inside and sanded.
Sadly, nothing quite that exciting has happened at this house, but this true story came to mind last week as I was sanding plaster. Every day, I walk next door to work, unsure what, exactly, I’ll work on. There is plenty to do, but the sequencing is tricky. “I can’t do A until I’ve done B. I can’t do B until I’ve done C. …” And always, it comes down to: I can’t do the fun stuff until I’ve painted, and I can’t paint until the (damned) plaster is sanded.
So the plaster is sanded and the paint is almost done. Let the fun begin.