It's been a week where I haven't had as much time to write in the morning--that means I haven't had as much time to reflect and ruminate. It's been the first week of summer term at my college, which also means I haven't had as much time to reflect and ruminate. I've also been doing a 10 day modified shred (no alcohol, very limited dairy and grains, more exercise), so my head space has been occupied with that attempt.
Let me now capture some additional insights I've had as the week has gone by.
--Like the rest of the nation, I was both shocked (and to be honest, not shocked) over the shooting at the community newspaper in Maryland. I am aware of how many VERY ANGRY people cross my path; it is not lost on me that any of them might be full of murderous intentions. What makes people snap and show up at a school or work place with a firearm?
--The fact that it was a community paper also shocked me; I'd have been less shocked if a murderously angry person showed up at The Washington Post with a gun.
--I have close friends who have worked on community newspapers. My own college newspaper was closely aligned with The Newberry Observer, the community newspaper for the town where my undergraduate school was located. I remember one long ago night, where we watched our college newspaper rolling (literally) off the presses at that local paper. It was so cool to see how the paper was physically produced and to know the journalists who wrote the words that rolled off those presses.
On to other aspects of the week:
--The visit of the camp counselors from Sunday to Friday morning went smoothly. They were the first people to stay in the cottage since Hurricane Irma. I was slightly worried that we'd discover something major that needed to be repaired once they were there using the water and the electricity. But it seems to be fine.
--So on to the next question: what next? Most immediately, the cottage will be a holding place for the stuff that needs to come out of the main house so that the floors can be done. We plan to do the floors in 2 stages, moving half the house to the other half. But some stuff, like boxes of books, could live in the cottage until we're done.
--It felt somewhat strange, having the counselors here, having people live in the cottage again. Unlike last year's counselors, they used the pool, which we told them was O.K. We didn't swim with them, in part because they would only be here a few days, and we wanted to give them time off away from people, since they had intense days leading Vacation Bible School. And the one day that we did swim in the evening, I felt a bit strange, knowing they might return at any moment. It's good to remember these feelings, as we consider letting others use the cottage.
--I wanted to take pictures of the cottage after last Saturday's intense work. As I looked through them, I was struck by the monastic retreat effect that we created:
The bedroom looks cozy, at least in this picture. A headboard would make it better:
It's not a kitchen that my younger self would love. My younger self baked in huge batches. But perhaps it's a kitchen for how we live now (minus the dishwasher and the microwave that many people would want):
--As I've thought about the future of the cottage this week, I've thought of monastic retreats, but as I've said before, I haven't figured out how one would market that. Yesterday, I overheard a new student talking about her ceramics studio. I came out of my office to say, "In one of my alternative lives, I'm a potter and a weaver, but who has room for a loom?"
--After that encounter, I went to the stairwell to get my stairs and my steps done for the hour. As I climbed the steps, I thought, well, I think I have no room, but I have this whole cottage. What I'd really like to do with the cottage is turn it into studio space. Carl could do woodturning, and I could do clay or fabric. And we could still easily clean it up for when out of town guests come.
--Of course, so far, the only out of town guests who have been keenly interested in staying in the cottage were my parents--and that's when my sister and nephew were staying in the guest room of the main house.
--I don't have much free time for a ceramics or fiber studio. Would I make more time if I had a studio?
--I have a vision of making interesting garden sculptures and wind chimes--but what to do with them all? Could I make clay pieces that people might want to buy without a wheel? I think I could. But where would I sell them? And would there be time for that?
These are not questions that must be answered now. The next project: floors and a kitchen remodel. Then we'll see what kind of money is left and how much energy we have.
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