A Complicated Bit Of Luck

Was what it took for me to be able to fix my crumbling, decaying porch, a relic of my original occupation of this house, never meant to last longer than five or six years. It stood, more or less, for eighteen, assisted in its decline by my fabulously numbnuts lawn-and-garden man of all work David, who in an early attempt to stop the handrails from pitching and yawing shivered the flagstone veneers off the sunken steps, a defect that I spent the next decade and a half trying to correct every winter with expansion cement and concrete patch.


So I came into a little money, not exactly the way I would have wanted to, nothing like you could retire on but enough to fix. that. porch.

And here we are.


Those are cast-iron crip grips up at the top of the railings — stout estate doorhandles screwed into the core treated-wood frame through the half-inch veneers, for tottery clients, and me on a bad leg day, to hoick themslves up the last couple steps through the saloon doors that will be there as soon as the lumber mill delivers.

And yep, that’s Opus down at the bottom of the steps — the Rock Hopper that I scooped up off a last-chance sale not long after one of my neighbors said that I could put fucking penguins in front of my house and she’d be okay with it.

I can sit here,


or here,


and wave Hi at my adorable neighbordykes who walk their Chihuahuas around the corner, except for the miniature four pound purse sized one who actually rides in a papoose thing that one of them carries over her shoulder. I invited them up tonight to sample the glider, papoose and all, and went out later with a hurricane lamp, a cone of cedar incense (because, with no screen doors yet, bugs), and Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra. Izzy, who recommended the Greek builders, lent it to me a few weeks back, and Cleopatra was an Alexandrian Greek after all, so everything seemed to cohere.

All is harmonious. The government is fixing to shut down, Mr. Ferguson may or may not be hyperthyroid, and I can’t get David to commit to a day to dig me a new herb bed, which is the kind of thing to which he has been busted, but that is all for tomorrow. Tonight, I have a porch.


8 thoughts on “A Complicated Bit Of Luck

  1. The cast-iron grips are brilliant! And thoughtful. What the world needs is more sturdy handles and railings to grab hold of. The porch overall is a masterpiece. I hope your neighbors give you an award for improving the quality of the whole block.

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