Day 266 (February 23, 2016)

266 Stairs Sign

I was up at 4am or 4:30.  I cleaned, blogged, and got ready for the day.  I got Jessie up at 6:30 to start the day early since it was to be a wiring day.  Breakfast was the fabled FT&M breakfast (French Toast and Mandarin, a European meal with an Asian twist).  There was a new concept in math that we’ll need to add.  We reviewed 60 spelling words.  The last two times we reviewed spelling, Jessie could remember the words from the lesson before I gave them.  I would say “ready?” and she would give the next word.  These word lists were done months ago. Jessie put her dress on backwards.  She wore it all day that way until we saw it in the mid-afternoon (whoops).  Another Jessie story.  So, last Saturday, Jessie and friend were raking leaves out of the garage doorway.  Friend encouraged Jessie to help.  Jessie said she didn’t want to help.  Her excuse was that she wanted the leaves to be “free” to blow wherever they wanted.  The friend responded that the leaves could be free on the other side of the driveway, their intended destination.  Jessie said, “These are American leaves.  They should be free.”  (By the way, anyone who wants Jessie as their spokesperson, I’m now accepting bids.  So far, we’ve heard from the Arbor Day Society, Smokey Bear, and the Lorax . . . I’m holding out for Nike).

Wiring kicked off with the completion of the living room outlets.  I busted out some plaster, so that’ll need repair.  I heard from the flooring guy and he said he’ll be here Monday.  He had expressed the hope we’d have the dining room ceiling light done.  So, I plumb-bobbed the ceiling to the floor, right-angled the point with the hardwood floor, measured from the doorframe, and used a hand sledgehammer to put a large hole in the ceiling in the kitchen inside the top cabinet above the refrigerator.  Eureka.  I had the chase to the dining room without putting a hole in that room.  We fished the hot wire from the basement.  We fished the switch wire to the ceiling box.  Voila.  I had expected that light to be a nightmare.  Instead it was a 45 minute walk in the park.  We finished the last switch in the front hallway.  I’m amazed to say it, but with only a minor wrinkle, the second and first floors are completely re-wired (except for the kitchen).  It’s been a Herculean effort, at least from my perspective (and if you’d seen wiring in the chopped house last Sunday, you’d understand).

We walked across the street to talk to the elderly neighbor to whom we hadn’t heretofore spoken.  He was an engaging, spritely man who was through and through Irish.  He told us even more stories about the house and former residents.  Our new friend has lived here thirty-eight years.

So, in the mid-afternoon, we took off to go light fixture shopping.  For good measure, we took Jessie’s grandfather.  We went to the neighborhood where Jessie’s great-grandmother and her siblings used to live.  (Spell correct wrote that sentence as “used to love”).  We returned a scaffolding board to the guys who tuck-pointed the house.  We’d borrowed it to paint the walls and ceiling in the stairwell.  We went to the first second-hand place.  In the past we’d donated such large things as our British-made gas fireplace.  We found a light fixture we liked for the kitchen for 25 bucks.  We drove past our homeless friend and shouted a conversation back and forth from across four lanes of traffic (his hip is bothering him).  We went to the second second-hand place and their selection was amazing.  We picked a traditional dining room brass fixture with a dozen candelabra base lights.  It was 25 bucks also.  We returned to the house, navigated supper, and started installing the dining room light.  I had to re-do the wire nuts in the basement j-box, but that accomplished, the light looked stunning.  We went outside to look at it from the front sidewalk.  It looked stunning from there, too.  We celebrated the new light by using the empty dining room for our evening dancing session.  In addition to other dances, Jessie and I danced the waltz to her favorite, “A River Flows in You.”

We talked to four siblings.

I asked Jessie if she’d like some ice cream.  She said no.  So, I offered Cheez-its.  She said yes.  We read Bible.  We read Anne.  We prayed for the other children at the orthopedic hospital.  Jessie chose to have a third night of sleepover as we ended day 266.

Blessings:  The completely unexpected dining room light looks wow.  Having the first floor wiring (except kitchen) done.  Having light in formerly dark places (Isaiah 9:2; John 1:5; John 3:19).  Looking across the room and seeing Jessie asleep . . . her innocent, beautiful face . . . and hearing her soft whiffle of breathing and hearing the soft patter of rain on the roof and knowing that, in spite of international and domestic turmoil, God is still on the throne.  Cheez-its (from a friend) after a waltz in a room with a new brass chandelier (and all but two of the used lightbulbs work!)

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