I had very little memory and no photos of the first and second floors going up. Lee thankfully had pictures on his phone, including some additional shots of the foundation going in.
This image of the first floor with the post for the spiral staircase corner gave me a jolt. I had walked past it each day as it was going up, but had forgotten what it looked like, even seeing it. After about three weeks looking at the photo and focusing on the time, only bits and pieces of my thoughts re-emerged. I remembered avoiding the tower, and feeling awkward even entering it.
My first thought looking at the photo was that positioning the addition at an angle worked. A few days later I remembered coming to that same that same conclusion back in the spring.
I remembered how some days it seemed extremely small, and others large.
This was late April 2012. Why were the memories of that part of the construction so buried? So much of my life is like that – no memories, jumbled memories, happy memories of things that didn’t happen. Was there something going on that was troubling?
Checking my email from that time, everything seemed under control. In March I had moved my mom to a new assisted living, this one in New Jersey, which was a four-hour ride round trip. Most likely I was nervous about how she would do, and trying my darnedest to remain calm about my new commute, but right away she did fine and the drive was okay as long as I did it in the daylight, so that probably wasn’t it. In fact, even though she remembers less and less and less, she looks happier and younger and is eating better than she has in a few years. She also swears professionally when she is getting a shower, but once she is dried and dressed and sitting with a snack she always says a very sincere “thank you.”
Younger son Alex had just moved into one of Lee’s vacant apartments across the river. He had no “real” job and no “real” money coming in, but at the same time he seemed unruffled and happy and it was fun having him so close. He’d stop over to do his laundry and have dinner. Older son Morgan had recently broken up with his girl and moved into a new large apartment in Brooklyn. He also was starting his job with The Mayor, and his new life was coming together so I don’t think that was it.
Perhaps I was just worrying about the possibility of things going wrong? Annoying the builders? Stepping on toes? Money? Lee and commitment? Turning 65, which included having to make a decision about Medicare? Could I have already started obsessing about the election? Perhaps I was still a wreck after having been diagnosed with myopic degeneration and having already had three Avastin shots in the eye? That could be. Shots in the eye aren’t fun. They are not half as bad as having your ophthalmologist fire lasers at a retinal tear above a nerve, but still not fun.
I was worrying out the windows and the drainage. I’m still worrying about the drainage, but we got through quite a few heavy rains with just a little dampness during Irene and NO water at all in the basement after the deluge earlier this week so I hope I stop worrying about that. It was before Irene, so the Hudson flooding wasn’t yet on my mind. I just don’t know.
We all forget things. When my mother moved out of her house a lot of her possessions wound up at mine – including my letters and post cards to her and my father when I lived in Paris in the seventies. Someone else could have written them. I didn’t remember the museums, the picnics, the side trips, and the discoveries, just being lonely and in over my head. It was good to read about having fun. Either I walked through Paris in a fog, or I was a very creative liar.
But anyway, even though I much rather be writing about what’s going on now, this is my post on the beginning of framing. It went up so fast, which could be why it is a blur. In fact I do remember being Late as Usual and running out the door to drive to Jersey and not having the time to see what was going on.
We all soon realized that the second floor was higher than it needed to be and that we would now have three steps in the bridge and the bridge would be about 12 feet tall. If I had been paying attention, perhaps I would have seen that before the two LVLs went in that would become the top of the bridge. (I love throwing construction terms around: laminated veneer lumber.) No way was I going to ask Dave to adjust the height. We all thought it would look a little weird, but actually it has turned out to be okay.
There. It’s written. Now the story can move on.