Sunday, October 7, 2012

House Beautiful

"House proud" is being overprotective of the appearance and cleanliness of one's house, for example hating to have people sit in your chairs or eat at your table or enter your front door -- and it afflicted many in my parents' generation (now flattered as "The Greatest Generation") and many fewer members of my own generation. Yet heretofore I was too house-proud to winterize the Divine Cabin by putting plastic on its exterior, while for 10 years I have faithfully, with blood, tears, toil and sweat, plasticked or double-plasticked from the inside the single-pane, airy, leaky, original windows, using cellophane -- and shut off from the rest of the house the beautiful but horribly drafty 30 percent of the house called "the Studio" from October to March.

The Studio's picture window made it a wonderful work room and  guest bedroom, and last year with our freakishly mild winter and the house's new heating ducts and frantic caulking and one electric heater, I actually used the Studio in winter for the first time (after 10 years' occupancy) and fell in love with it. But although it was cellophaned from inside, elusive drafts still shivered the cellophane and me.

Knowing that this winter would have to be colder because it couldn't possibly be warmer, I put on exterior plastic and tape, and this is how it looks now. Martha Stewart wouldn't approve. The plastic is translucent so I've lost, for the winter, my meadow view.

But after I finished the job, the room was so much warmer and draftless I thought I was imagining it. Came back later. No, the plastic was working. Seriously working. So I can seriously work in the studio. Useful is beautiful.

The hanging plant is my surviving basil plant, also beautiful and useful.

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