But then I got this bright idea to spend part of Saturday scraping porch trim. And it takes about fifteen minutes of that for me to say to Patrick, "Hey, want to tear off a piece of that aluminum?"
A ladder was procured. A screwdriver was applied. And, like all other quick and revealing home improvement projects (pulling old carpet, stripping wallpaper) we couldn't take down just one. In other words, once we popped, we couldn't stop.
This house is beautiful. This house is historic. This house, for fifty some years, has effectively been George Clooney in a t-shirt tuxedo. Wrong. I pulled off some aluminum, and rubbed my fingers across that beautiful yellow wood underneath. Even the cracks and the nail holes are pretty. I found myself having an imaginary conversation with whoever built this place, in 1858. I know what he was going for, and let me tell you, it was not a mildew-covered aluminum sided subdivided rental house. I was playing out something like that scene in Catch Me if You Can, where Frank writes his bankrupt dad a letter promising, "I'm gonna get it all back now, Daddy. I'm going to get it all back." Exactly. I'm going to get it back, house. Your beauty, your charm. Everything you were meant to be, in 1858. All of it.