A Note from the Editor:
Hmmm. . . doors and windows, and what they mean to me . . . I reached back a few years, to when my boys were small(ish), to find this letter I’d written on the day the glass broke.
This is about dinnertime in an old house. I am writing this during summer, and I am home. Downstairs my boys are watching TV after dinner, lolling about in damp bathing trunks, having run and swum and skate-boarded and walked the dog. I am finishing up this issue before a family vacation in California. We’re leaving in four days.
“Boys!” I shout down the stairs. “I have to write the page in the magazine with my picture on it. What should I say?” (You never know where inspiration may strike.)
“Mama, tell them about fixing the church!” Peter answers. (My community-service job, research and fundraising for the restoration of the first Universalist Church in America, here in Gloucester, $64,000 just to rent a scaffold, blah blah blah.) I am amazed—Peter has made a connection between Sunday school and Mom’s job.
“Nah, tell ’em about the window,” shouts older brother Will. Aha, tonight’s big excitement. As I cooked dinner, unawares, they were playing a game of chicken involving a thick rubber band and hand balls in ascending degrees of hardness. In the parlor. Then, from my seat in the bathroom, I heard: “Mom?” “MOM?’ “Mommy?!” “WHERE ARE YOU!?”
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The largest pane of glass in the Queen Anne-style front door has a big round hole, radiating cracks. Dangerous shards all over the porch. They were so contrite, I couldn’t get angry . . . you know how you half-expect things like this, with kids.
So much in this house had been torn out or ruined in previous remodelings. But the Queen Anne door was original. The glass, wavy with a greenish cast, was 99 years old. I can get restoration glass to reglaze—but before we go away?
“That glass was a hundred years old,” I say wearily to my friend, come to share iced tea on the patio.
“Hey, that’s pretty good!” she says.
10 Harbor Rd., Gloucester, MA 01930
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