blog Journal


Today was Boychild’s birthday… and the seventh day since Rich’s death… and the first full day of James being home. In short: Madness. 

I started the day laying on the floor, casually installing a bidet on the upstairs toilet. Just a few cranks on the plastic pipe fittings, throw a T-joint into the line, and twenty minutes later I’m done and the household is fully prepared for freshly washed bottoms. 

That was the plan, at least. 

Two hours and a couple trips to True Value later and we finally have everything installed, multiple parts replaced, and two nicely cleaned splotches on the slanted bathroom ceiling. The good news is that my reflexes are still pretty good and I managed to avoid shooting myself in the face with a water jet.

The other major project of the day was preparing a corner of the basement to become the kids’ lair. After twenty years living in the swamp of Tidewater, where you can dig down eighteen inches with a shovel and hit water, the idea of having a basement has become somewhat alien to me. I have great memories of hanging out with my cousins in our grandmother’s basement, exploring the dark corners of the unfinished basement apartment, finding dusty liquor bottles which we were too nervous to steal sips from, gold-painted shovels from an ancestor who was mayor of the town, and a first edition copy of The Joy of Sex shoved away behind a wedding gown which had not been displayed for many years. 

Thus far, the most exciting part of prepping the kids’ basement lair here in Baltimore has been opening up a safe that sat, seemingly rusted shut, under the steps since before Barb and Rich bought the house. I’ll post about that separately, because the photos are great. 

It’s been an eventful day… and all of that didn’t even include Boychild’s amazing birthday cake, taking Girlchild shopping, and going kayaking in the frigid waters of the Chesapeake Bay.