Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Coal Miner's Daughter

The dust is settling.
Not just from the holiday cyclone of travel and tradition.
No. Literally. The dust is settling.
Yesterday I returned to my home that I share with Two Friends and a Five Year Old
to find Angie covered with coal. I could practically see clouds of it when she coughed.
"You burn coal?" you might say.

No, but apparently residents about eighty years ago did,
and dust settled in the ceiling which Angie took down in the bathroom this week.
Oh. Did I mention we tore down our bathroom this weekend?
Picture Rosie the Riveter attacking ancient plaster walls with the back end of a hammer. It was liberating. It was freeing. It was dusty.
Several bruises, scratches, and stuffy noses later, the walls in our bathroom were removed after
throwing lumber out of the second story window to the yard below and scooping Ground Zero's worth of rubble from the floor. My thumbs have never been this sore.

But you find things out, like what wallpaper was favored forty years ago, or brick hidden behind the wall that you're now going to leave exposed, or coal. What a Kentucky thing to drift in thick, grimy layers all over the place - coal.

So if you stop by to take a bath, beware - squirrels from the attic may be doing high dives into our tub in their tiny little goggles and Speedos.

What kind of foundation have you built?
What will people find years after you've left a place?
What's hidden in your heart, buried under layers of wallpaper or plaster or 2x4's?
Be courageous enough to grasp a hammer and examine your own abode.
Remember - what you accumulate, what you harbor, what you bury away, will eventually
be left to others.
No one is an island. We all live with others' coal.

1 comment:

Bob said...

stuffy noses?? I hope you were all wearing dust masks!!! Keep looking, you may find a LOT more things! You should maybe make a small display of some of your "treasures"...dad