We’ve been back in the United States — in Brooksville, Maine — for two weeks. Every day of those two weeks has been packed with people and activity; a wedding, a birthday, my father’s interment, the annual family meeting. We’ve had 7 adults and 5 kids in our house. Another score or so were staying across the street at the family’s summer compound, Sea Winds. That crowd created a lot of conversation, a lot of kid chasing, a lot of meals, a lot of laundry and no time to write. The house cleared out yesterday.
About a half hour ago I took my lunch out to the workshop to spend a few minutes chatting with John and watching him do whatever it was he was doing. He was repairing a large window screen that two 4-year-old boys ripped last week while experimenting with a long, galvanized framing nail they’d found in the bushes. The boys discovered that raking a nail across a window screen yields three results; long slashes in the screen (very satisfying), a stern scolding from parents and grandparents (to be expected) and no chocolate cake for desert (serious remorse). Today, as I perched on a chair and ate my yoghurt and blueberries, John bent over the damaged screen and used a skinny plastic roller to press new netting into a channel that ran along the edge of the frame. John worked with his back toward me. It’s a very familiar view and one that I like. As I watched John move, I was reminded of a thought I’d had on one of our hikes in Norway, and of a blog I wanted to write.
There is something very sexy about competent and active old men.