This Saturday is our neighborhood's block party. We have only been able to go to 2 of them since we moved here. We live in an area of older houses and most everyone on the block has fixed up and/or restored their houses in some way or another. There seems to be a real upgrading going on with backyards, too. Good, I like to see we are in an improving neighborhood and not one that is on its way down. As different as we all are, we have the common bond and stories to tell of living in an old house.
When we first moved in and I started renovating I came across many things that were upsetting. Like all the woodwork that had the original shellac on it had been coated with poly and was peeling off. If the top coat of shellac wasn't dewaxed, poly probably won't last long (I read this in a book) and it didn't. It was peeling like dried egg whites. I tried to remove it but ended up having to strip all the woodwork downstairs. A job I'm still not totally done with. Being new to the block and with a need to talk about something, I brought up the woodwork and how the "handyman" the older ladies that owned the house before us had hired, had ruined the woodwork by using poly over it. There were many other things I complained about that the handyman had done, like just painting over chipped old paint instead of removing all the old paint first (at the time I didn't know how difficult that is to do). I was on a roll and there were hours of conversation to fill. We had fun at our first block party.
Weeks later when I happened to strike up a conversation with our very nice next-door neighbor, Cindy, she managed to nicely add that I may want to know that the person I was sitting next to at the block party was indeed, "that handyman" that the women used to fix most of the things in the house. Oooooh. Nooooo...
Can you imagine how he must have felt with the whole neighborhood listening to me babble on? He lives one house down from us and I just feel so terrible every time I think about it. Especially since I guess everyone in the neighborhood knew who the handyman was. I wave and say, "Hi" whenever he is out in his yard and he actually has always talked to us and has been friendly even after the comments I had made. What a nice person. I'm sure he helped those ladies and probably barely charged them anything for his time. Shame on me.
I'm suppose to bring pasta salad. I rarely eat pasta of any kind and I don't think I have ever made pasta salad. And I won't start now. I'm going to run to Wegmans and get their pasta salad that people rave about (I need a peace offering). Then I need to read the paper a couple of times so I can be informed and carry on an intelligent conversation that doesn't have anything to do with my house lest I stick my foot back into my mouth.