Living on a Prayer

A colorful rendition of a soon to fail, or perhaps failed, tub faucet kit.

So here’s what happens when you’ve been planning to do an upgrade for like, I don’t know–let’s just say, maybe like–twenty five years? Like literally since you bought the house that you walked into and it took your heart into it’s wood floors and interconnected rooms that made you feel like a child. The house that has windows that speak to you in tongues. Those windows that refract the light that streaks across those shiny wood floors that have been dulled over years of the tredding of sneakers and boots and paws and slippers and cleats and high heels and loafers. The house that you moved into and told The Spouse that this was your final resting ground. Like throw my corpse in the backyard when I die resting.

The house with the unacceptable kitchen that you ended up cooking for seventy revelers–actually between 55 and 100–for the past twenty five Christmases. The kitchen with the stove that your Dad saw when he met his four-week-old, Big Guy grandson and immediately took you to Sears to replace the 1940s stove. Really it looked super retro-cool, but was a disaster for cooking. And those few forties cabinets that you impossibly stuffed your goods in. But the door to that great back deck!

And now, we’re going to do that modernization thing. Including that bathroom.

Yes. That bathroom.

There is just that one. The one that was clearly very cheaply revamped to sell the house. You knew that when you saw the wallpaper trim tacked onto the subway tile that surrounded the tiny vanity with the door that you couldn’t open fully because the toilet bowl was an obstruction. Yes. That one.

The house that I love.

And, now, I am crossing my fingers and making the sign of the cross and maybe lighting candles with herbal essenses that are healing, so that the tub fixtures will allow us to take the number of showers we need until–well, until we move to the interim space.

Frankly, I know we are on borrowed time. Both the hot water and the cold water faucets are stripped. This is pretty recent–like two weeks. So there’s the most awesome pliers that we are using to deliver and adjust the water for showers. It rests on the edge of the tub, in case someone needs to adjust the water temperature. Actually, in order to get the water flowing. Currently, it’s just that essential.

When you’ve been planning to gut the bathroom for twenty-five years, and you are close to doing it, you just don’t want to invest in a new tub faucet system. Especially because you are living in a dream world. Where the tub is on the other wall. And there is room for your legs when you are doing your morning constitution.

And then, you look at the plans and realize that everything will be somewhere else. But not today. Not, yet.

Pray for showers. Just need a few more months. Just. A. Few. More.

What Rhymes With Bucket?

Stonehenge at vernal equinox.

People come out in droves for must see annual events. The running of the Bulls in Paloma. Carnival in Rio. Octoberfest in Munich.

There are lists and lists of things that people want to do before they die. Yes. I said it. This is someone sitting down with pen or keyboard saying that before they die they’d like to accomplish Thing X, Thing Y and Thing Z. That’s what a bucket list is, a marker of mortality.

And, I mean, what happens if you do it all? Do you die right then? Or do you just add more? If you run out of Things, are you unhappy for the rest of your dull days? And if you don’t complete your list, do you die unhappy? Is a bucket list just an organizing tool for planning weekend activities (skydiving-ugh!) or vacations (Machu Picchu-yay!)? Maybe it’s just something for the list-obsessed to do. I couldn’t tell you, since I don’t have a list.

Actually, I do have a list. Things that make it to my list just stall. It’s more like a list of guilt rather than a list of to-dos. But that’s just me.

To get items checked off your bucket list you need to figure out the when–a calendar works here. Then you have to try and figure out the how. How to get there, where to stay, and, I would recommend, a quick primer on local laws and the location of the American Consulate.

Just to be safe.

Anyway, some things on a bucket list are harder to navigate. They are more ephemeral. Like seeing a whale breach. Timing and good luck are everything. Or catching the winter monster waves off Maui’s Pe’hai North Shore. Unless you live there, you could miss them.  The vernal equinox at Stonehenge–you can calculate it, but can you get there? Then there’s seeing the cherry trees in D.C.

Wait. How’d the cherry blossoms make this list?

I am clueless for that one. They are both hard to predict (they were 16 days earlier in 2016 than in 2015) and a mess. They are in peak bloom for a few days, then “poof!” Literally. (Okay, not really literally, but work with me.) Literally the trees look like poofs of barely pink cotton candy floating in a robin eggs’ blue sky.

Anyway, I don’t have a bucket list. I can see the cherry trees every year since I live here. Also, I could walk across the overcrowded boulevard filled with people who are wearing shorts and printed t-shirts in the cold all the while brandishing their selfie sticks and end up getting run over by an open-topped tour bus with a student group from Omaha, Nebraska.

But without a disappointingly incomplete list, I’d go happy.

Cherry blossoms, in my hood, on my way to work, by my house. Boo YA!
I took this pic on my way to work. Near my house. Boo YAH!