Monday, March 07, 2011
Last winter, after having contractors and builders all over the property for the years it took to build the barns, hack out the new drive, sink the well, make the court, and generally manage some very unruly property, we were looking forward to quiet and privacy. Then came the leak in the ceiling of the den.
The investigation turned up so many things wrong with the plumbing, dating back from the turn of the last century - that we had few options but to rip it all out. We meant to rip out the plumbing, a big enough job in itself, but what we wound up taking apart was â€“ everything.
A house built in 1830 is going to have â€œissuesâ€. Some of them, like the wonky floors, are part of the charm of an old house. Some of them, like dangerous wiring, no closets, crumbling chimneys â€“ were anything but charming. And so, as we walked from room to room, noting the things that were dangerous or broken, and separating them from the things that were just infuriating, we found that we couldnâ€™t avoid disturbing, if not replacing, a single surface.
Weâ€™ve been living in the guest room of the barn for more than a year. Itâ€™s a very pretty, very comfortable room for a long weekend. Do I need to say more? But in that time, weâ€™ve turned around all kinds of problems and challenges, one floorboard, one nail, one paint chip at a time. Frank and I have agreed on almost every detail. And the very few times we had a difference of opinion, we each took turns trusting the other, and found we were exactly right to do so.
We suggested, when our publishers did not want to call the book, Teddy Hennessy, as I had titled it, that the name be: The Restoration of Joy. They didnâ€™t like that either, but SoSC won their approval. Now that Iâ€™ve come out the other side, I think The Restoration of Joy is, indeed, the most appropriate name. I even know what it feels like.
On top of it, this whole process is a great way to celebrate the printing of The Season of Second Chances in the trade-paperback version. Take a look at itâ€™s smart, fresh, renovated cover!
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