It is Spring. I crawl out of the man-cave, take the first deep breath of fresh air and turn my face to feel the bask of the warm rays of a new day's sun. Yes, it is Spring...
Time to do some serious cleaning out the cobwebs of a long, long winter. A time to take stock of where we are in our grand experiment, of what has been accomplished in a year's time and with the return of warmer weather we can begin to plan what new things we want to make happen next.
Junior is Nine, and going on Sixteen it seems. He's got his own ideas what to do with his life and his room - he wants to keep the display of tin space toys, but has surprised me with a desire to return some of the old cowboy and horses theme he had when he was a mere child. He's also thinking of joining the Boy Scouts. How retro is that??
There's no cable television in our home. We're a year now living without and personally I don't miss it a bit! And I've taken ultimate control by unplugging the glut of undesirable content my nine-year old was being exposed to - even on the kids channels. Thanks to the wide variety of dvd offerings available now (I also allow Junior his video games), we have the best of both worlds, so to speak. Junior no longer lives in front of the tv screen. When he does view he enjoys watching classic westerns with the Old Man (The Magnificent Seven, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly), Lost in Space, The Abbott & Costello Show and more recently Sid Caesar.
Junior is always eager to show-off his skills on the blue 70's Schwinn Stingray (still trying to locate a sissybar for the banana seat). He loves to go camping and fishing. I can just smell the campfire now. Did I mention that he won't go to sleep at night unless he can listen to an episode from the Father Knows Best radio series? That's my boy!
The ranch home has come a long ways in a year... not as fast or as far as I'd like (what renovation, especially a retrovation ever does that?) But there's no mistaking what era this house harkens to.
A year ago the bath was stripped to the wall studs. The troubles I had with our retailer restocking plain black bullnose tile to finish the walls was even more monumental than locating a certain out-of-production faucet valve stem. Now its just hunting for the right accessories that fit the room - we have the medicine cabinet, sink, shelving, towel racks, hamper.... still hunting for the right bath mat and sink fixtures.
The livingroom... Oh yes, the living room. That abused wooden floor has been glaring up at me all winter long.
The kitchen has been the easiest to accesorize. I am convinced that when the menfolk pass on, the women toss out everything belonging to them into the waste can, but mothers pass on kitchen utensils to daughters as if they're the family treasures.
Storage. Another monster I've been dealing with in hand-to-hand combat, and not always getting the upperhand I might add. When these houses were built, American families didn't have/need all the daily items/things/junk that we load ourselves down with in the 21st century. Add to that, that I'm a natural horder and you know why I've got problems. The Attic crawlspace is filled to capacity, the basement crawlspace is choked, all my closets carry a warning "Open At Your Own Risk" and the storeroom is ummmm, let's just say its living up to it's name.
Finally, I long for a livable 9-5 employment. It's not much I ask. Just the simple desire to drop Junior off at school, then off to work, come home, eat dinner with my family on a daily basis, perhaps even weekends off for family outings! What's happened to us and the American Dream? The American employer is killing the American Family!
Whatever happens, this year is sure to bring us interesting adventures of retrovation a'plenty. But in the meantime I need to power up the Electrolux and vacuum Junior's dirty footprints from the imitation Himalayan Nanny Goat rug.
Smoking in Bed: Gloria Grahame
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