Last night, we watched part of a PBS show about an English family circa 1920's, to judge by the period costuming, who is living in what I first thought was Italy, but later realized was Greece (the show was The Durrells in Corfu).
I was less interested in the slow moving plot than I was in the house where they lived. I gathered that we were supposed to find it decrepit. The long shots showed some missing shutters, and the inner shots showed peeling paint, and every shot of peeling paint showed that a different paint color behind the peeling. I assumed that I was supposed to see the furniture as shabby, not simply period pieces.
The decaying house looked so lovely, shot in that PBS light. I thought about my own house and how lovely it would look with the right lighting. I thought about a photo shoot in an issue of some country living magazine that comes to my door. The owners of the old farm house said that they had decided not to replace mismatched floor boards because it looked more authentic.
Authentic--I'll start using that word to describe my house. It doesn't need work: it's authentic. Why remodel my authentic house?
The roofer came and we discovered that we don't have a roof leak--that the roof is in good shape and has at least several more years on it. That's good news.
We spent part of yesterday taking apart the gutter system--lots of leaves packed in the gutters, which meant that water overflowed and went through the scupper and ran down the interior wall. Happily, it seems to be an easy fix--unhappily, after all the rain of the past two weeks, the interior walls look horrible now. We'll let them thoroughly dry and see what we're dealing with.
Hard to believe it was just 4 weeks ago that we sat on our friends' patio and watched the storm. I am still a bit overwhelmed by how much work there is to do, but luckily most of the work is in the cottage, and so we will get to it when we get to it.
Although we have lots of work to do, I'm grateful to PBS shows and photo shoots of houses that make me realize that we can still be perfectly happy in our houses, even if they're shabbier than we'd like. We can have lots of repair work that needs to be done, but still be rich in friends.
It is good to remember what really matters.
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