Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Joy of Showers

There is nothing like a day at the Cheney Cottage to make one appreciate the pleasure inherent in taking a shower.

Today was a cold, rainy day in Berkeley.  Yesterday it was sunny and beautiful, but today the clouds rolled in and a strong rainstorm hit.  

Because of the demolition of the main Cheney House, there is mud everywhere around the Cheney Cottage.  It is California clay, and sticks to your shoes no matter how much you try to scrape it off.

On top of the cold weather, we spent the day working finishing the chimney - getting all the debris and soot out of the house.  I also took down the ugly florescent lights that had been installed in the dining room and living room - lights that were covered with dirt.  With every screw and bolt, I was showered in dirt and grime.  By  the time all 5 lights were down, my hands were black as coal.

Tom loaded a huge number of bricks into the truck, and at the end of the day we gathered our tools and headed home through the storm.  We got back to the house and brought in all the tools, including the 35 foot extension ladder.  

Then I took a shower.  There are no words to describe it.  I had to wash my hair three times to get all the grime out, and the water turned black as I scrubbed.  I washed the day's soot and dirt and grime and blood off my hands, my arms, my legs, my feet.  

And 15 blissful minutes later, I am again warm, clean and, though tired, mostly content.  We're both exhausted from all the work, but we're happy - the Cheney Cottage is getting ready to leave its foundation and start its journey to 62nd Street.  

We still have more prep to do.  We have to remove all the baseboards on the second floor, and the exterior trim, to get the house ready for the cut.  We have to pull out more wiring and plumbing pipes, and take down the ugly fire escape on the front of the house.  And we'll have to make at east one dump run with florescent light fixtures, ugly carpet, etc.  

But the house is getting ready.  We should be doing the move in two weeks.  It's going to be a nerve wracking time, but it seems like all systems are still go.


  1. Yeah, I know how you feel. I took the produce drawer out of my refrigerator today, I mean completely out, and attacked the thing with Fantastik Oxypower with Bleach. Of course I wore rubber gloves a mask and a do-rag.
    I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE DOING THIS! That was some horrific shower scene! Hitchcock's got nothin on you.

  2. Too bad Hitchcock is not around to film this whole thing! I really think you need to find a videographer to document this epic. If no one volunteers I'm afraid I will have to bring my old Sony next week when the house gets sliced in half. This will surely be a scene for the ages. I only wish I'd been there to capture Tom's escape from the chimney out through the old fireplace like the ghost of the last chimney sweep the Cheney's had hired when their tenants complained of the soot.