You and me could go on and on and on…*

*Lyrics from Eleanor Friedberger‘s I Won’t Fall Apart On You Tonight from her album Last Summer. I haven’t decided as yet if I’ll purchase this one – it’s one of those albums I enjoy, but not sure if it’s because it’s in the background of the other things I’m doing. Anywho, check her/it out as you see fit. Carry on.

Major BEFORE: Back when we bought the house (and our sweet pup was just getting to know the place that would be her forever home) this was what the porch looked like. We've since had it rebuilt, re-supported, re-re-staired (yep, twice), and now re-stained. Phew.

So, just when you thought we were done improving our current house, well, we took a hard look at the calendar, the side porch, and realized (much to our collective chagrin) that it needed a fresh coat of stain before the winter season. Ugh. First, ugh for having to think about winter already! Second, ugh for having to do another labor-intensive project during a time when our house is meant to stay show-ready. Last, ugh for the onslaught of back-breaking projects that we had to undertake in the span of days. Ugh, then blerg.

In the midst of making plans to part-time live in a small-time flat in NYC, we were also battling the elements (ok, maybe just a little rain shower) and fighting off intense back strain (porch floor: 1, my back: -1) to get our lovingly restored porch freshened up and re-sealed in time to ward off any stray piles of snow and ice that could threaten its integrity. You see, exterior spaces require regular maintenance: even though our home is on the market, we didn’t want to neglect something that could potentially hurt the life of our home (and all the work we’d already done to that porch). Plus, whether or not the house sells, this had to get done before nighttime temperatures fell too much, and before the morning dew turned into morning frost. (Again, what’s with all the winter talk?!)

Well, once our broker warned us that the end of August/start of September was a really, really slow time for house showings, we figured, ‘now’s our chance, let’s just bang this shit out and get it over with so we can enjoy it.’ We thought: Good logic, good timing (good grief we have to actually still do it). So, on the Sunday before Labor day, I spent the entire day (mostly gloriously good weather, albeit a few passing downpours and some lingering humidity) hunched over the porch floor, re-coating it to a new, and beautiful, rich hue. I hadn’t realized how faded the stain color had become, and how new, and clean the floor would look after it was done. It was almost one of those, ‘damn, why didn’t we do this sooner?’ kind of moments. Almost. I honestly don’t think I could have done it a day sooner than I did.

Jeff did his part, helping me prep the floors, and giving me moral support (as well as cooking for a family BBQ we were having as a reward for our labor), and serving as blog photographer. But, he really didn’t want to stain the floor again (I don’t blame him), so I happily offered to do it all – mostly all, he helped hold back bushes, and with clean-up, too – and I honestly happily did it. It wasn’t until it was over that I realized how sore my body was, and how out of ‘game shape’ I’d become. Turns out, NOT doing home improvement projects for a few months really makes you into a slacker.

But, even though I ended up pretty hurt in the process (temporarily, but exacerbated by painting at the new flat), the actual process was fun. Watching the tired, faded, and kind of dusty looking boards richen up, and almost glow from within was incredibly satisfying. Not only did I get to watch them transform before my eyes, I got the satisfaction of knowing that I did right by the home. That I protected it from harm, all while making it beautiful – well, that made me feel good. I love, love, love our house and wouldn’t want anything bad to befall it, no matter who owns it. I’m under its spell. Happily, and forever more.

Pictures, please! Enjoy! xoxo


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