Friday, November 24, 2006

Through the woods

We didn’t travel far for our Thanksgiving celebration, just down the hill through the maple grove to our new neighbors. We took pie and champagne, celebrating an outstanding sunset and a couple of puppy romps.

My single friends understand what some others don’t, that holidays can be wonderful even when you don’t travel far from home, maybe especially when you don’t travel far. The heightened bustle of the airport, the holiday higgledy-piggledy stop and go of the freeway are things I prefer to avoid. Instead, I have a series of outstanding home improvement projects that have taken place on holidays.

In my Staten Island house, there was the Easter wallpaper in the bathroom and the Thansgiving diagonal grid stained on the kitchen floor. Painting projects are holiday favorites—they make such an impact for so little effort. Usually the projects are ones that have been long planned and prepared, with all or most of the materials on hand.

Today I took advantage of a beautiful, sunny November day to install wire mesh between porch wall and ground, all in the effort to reduce the wildlife taking refuge in my cellar. I had been thinking about it for awhile, particularly since the unfortunate incident of the rats chewing holds in the dishwasher supply and drain lines last spring. There used to be lattice, but that clearly was not working.

Bright and early, I was off to the hardware store for hardware cloth, staples, and a bit of molding. It worked! I dug a trench along the porch edge, staples the hardware cloth in place and covered the edge with dirt and gravel. Tomorrow if we have a repeat of this beautiful weather, I will cover the whole structure with lattice again.

Fewer small animals in the cellar—there’s something to be thankful for.

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