*Did any of you ever read the Chronicles of Amber series by Roger Zelazny? I read them as a kid, and to this day, every time I hear the word "random" I think of Corwin's brother. 🙂 We need to earthquake proof our house. Apparently, this has been the case for some time, but we've just been made aware that it Must Happen, even though the house has been through one earthquake in 1993 and survived that quite nicely, thank you very much. Husbandman called in a contractor (really nice guy, friend of the family) who then proceeded to go through every room in this old place. Ok, let me be honest here, I've been on deadline. Crazy-oh-mi-gawd-I'm-gonna-die deadline. Spring cleaning? No. Weeds pulled in the flower beds? No. Laundry caught up? No. Corners uncluttered? No. And my favorite--me looking like a passably sane person with perhaps brushed hair and unstained shirt? Not so much, no. So this nice man and very lovely wife show up to check out the house. I disappear into my office and put on my headphones to start writing this battle scene in which people will die horrible deaths, and try not to imagine if our visitors are about to see our dirty unmentionables as they clomp down to the basement. Husbandman is a cheerful, outgoing kind of guy. I am a shy, worrisome gal. Husbandman doesn't see the cracks in the ceilings, the dust in the corners, or the missing flooring over there--see, right *there*in the shadow?--that we never got around to fixing. Husbandman not only takes these nice people through the cobweb jungle of our basement, he takes them through the rest of the house, from dank underground to drafty attic. And then he takes them all around outside where the wild things are not only growing, they're growling. The contractor and wife tell us we have a beautiful home--which is sweet of them. We have a good old home. It is cozy and takes dirt unflinchingly and without complaint. The wear and tear has been made by many years of children and family and friends gathering together in laughter and celebration, and I kind of like that. I do love the house very much. It's not like we haven't patched and replaced and repaired and painted and upgraded over the years. But we haven't restored it to what it really could be. Yet. This year we're starting with earthquake proofing. And after that, I think this old place might just get new plumbing and electrical. Who knows? Maybe it will be the start of a beautiful thing.