Steppin over the Edge

“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” Denis Waitley

Oh, the nebulous world of Risky. The definition depends on the day. When I was young, it didn’t seem so risky to climb a ladder, reach a little to paint in that wee corner of the wall. Today, I am older, and the days of climbing ladders has ceased. It is deemed too risky. The wall may still need painted, I just have to find a new way to get it accomplished.

As a nurse, my mind has turned into radar to detect risk. As we rehab our 200 year old home, my job is risk management. With an adventuresome, courageous and competent engineering husband I stay plenty busy in that role!

I use the sliding scale of “risk : benefit” ratio. Many activities carry some degree of risk. However, the benefit may outweigh the potential risk. Conversely, the benefit may be low and the potential risk too high. On occasion, the risk is high for me, but the benefit for mankind may be huge.

“I wondered how many was like me. Like me wanted to be free. Had thought bout leaving, but stayed for some reason. Then somethin happens. Takes you over your edge-that edge of fear not knowin what’s on that other side. Not willin to take the first step to move to some new spot. Then somethin kinda forces your foot. An you step out.”    ” Leo and the Listener”, by Faye Hager







Predicting Change

“A building does not have to be an important work of architecture to become a first-rate landmark. Landmarks are not created by architects. They are fashioned by those who encounter them after they are built. The essential feature of a landmark is not its design, but the place it holds in a city’s memory.” Herbert Muschamp

We live in a home that was built about 200 years ago. One of the families lived in this house for nearly 100 years. That was from 1840s to the 1940s-a time of significant changes. When I first walked into the house, I could sense hundreds of souls. I felt a good feeling from the house. I felt it was a ‘helping house’.

I told myself that I must be mistaken. Even with the age of the house and the multiple owners, there surely wouldn’t have been that many souls. Yet, as we have worked on restoring the house, we have discovered hints that the house might have been a station along the Underground Railroad. That could explain the number of souls passing through and certainly the ‘helpful’ sense the house held.

In January of this year, I did not know about the Daily Blog. I have only recently discovered this delightful site. My prediction in January was that we would be working on this house. The original clay baked brick house had to be gutted, pulled up and pushed in. Somewhere along the line a wooden addition was added. It had rotted to a point of dis-repair. We had to have it demolished with a goal to rebuild the addition. This week, after a year of thoughtful planning and city historic planning commission meetings, we broke ground for the new addition. The year is turning out as I had expected, and hoped.

We love living in this house. It is in a constant state of restoration. A little like a life. Every day we encounter new decisions: what to keep, what to change, what to throw out. Just like in life. As I grow, I am constantly deciding what to keep, what to change and what to throw out. Not just material things, but in my thoughts and behaviors.

“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.” Hugh Prather

16 Tons

“You load 16 tons and whaddaya get?? another day older and deeper in dept.” Tennessee Ernie Ford sings it well, and it’s a story that is eternal.

We are restoring a home that was believed to have been built by one of the founders of our city. That would make it about 200 years old. We discovered clues that this house might have been a station for the Underground Railroad. We have pushed up the floors, pulled in the walls and given her a new hat. So far, we are into the 10th year of our project.

We restored the attic first, and have worked down the 3 floors. Tons of plaster moved, tons of foundation rock restored, and we ‘owe my soul to the company store’!

“Leo and the Listener”

“The voices whisper. If you listen you can hear the past.”

“Leo is a runaway slave who dies in the cellar of the Frost home. He cannot move on until he is able to tell the story. But no one is listening. He misses his beloved Sena and wants to return to her. He has to tell someone the secrets of the house so he can be freed. As the new owner tears down the old walls for restoration, the stories break out as the walls break open.”

my new novella available for eBook from Amazon for $3.99. It will go to your Kindle or to your iPad.  It was inspired by the discoveries made while we have been rehabbing our 200 year old home.

If you purchase, let me know what you thought!