All posts tagged: Olmsted parks

Are you heading to the basement?

Are you heading to the basement? The Spouse asked me. I glared at him, turned a page in the LL Bean winter coats catalog. I didn’t want to head to the basement. The basement is where the fitness gear is kept. The stationary bike. The weights. The Bowflex that came with the house. The basement is a place of boredom and discomfort. I dislike it. On the other hand, I do like reasonable blood pressure and the ability to be agile as my person betrays me with age. So, as a household the Spouse , the dogs, and I frequent the basement. The people use the wretched gear. The dogs sniff the cat box and chew things. Joe’s Deli has new specials up today, the Spouse continued on in an apparent non sequitur. It was a sneaky tactic. In the secret language of our long association he was suggesting two things: 1) Get take-out – and house rules state that if you SAY take-out, we GET take-out. Period. He didn’t quite say it though. 2) …

6 Days in the Bathroom with Dental Probes and a Razor Blade

I promise you, it is safe to read on. This isn’t about mental health. It isn’t about a hostage situation. It has nothing, whatsoever, to do with home veterinary surgery. It is about antique tiles and latex paint, achieving their disunion, and bothering with old things. Once upon a time, Buffalo was the center of the universe and Olmsted’s parks were filled with flowering vines, nannies and prams, horses and bicycles. In this 1912 world of hope and money, Mr. and Mrs. Butler built my house. Its rooms were airy, the windows numerous. The bathroom gleamed with state of the art, antiseptic white subway tiles and tiny hexagonal floor tiles. Let’s imagine it was a joy to clean – for the woman who lived in the attic room, whose own toilet was in the basement. Mr. Butler died fairly young in 1920. He spent only 10 years shaving in front of the shiny, new bathroom mirror. Catherine, his widow, sold the house within two years. As I picked latex paint from grout lines among the …