One Step At A Time


While John was chasing Giant Fleas on Saturday, I drove into the city and went to Pilates class. Then I went to a Tap Dance Class. No, I did not tap dance. I watched our friend Solana learn some new steps. She is in her freshman year at Juilliard.


It is amazing to watch a trained dancer follow instruction and be able to dance the steps. They make it seem so easy.

This is the second weekend in a row that dance has occupied part of my Saturday. I think it must be a sign that I need to step onto a dance floor more often.

But first there are steps of a different kind that need our attention. When John and I both got home, we had to make good on our promise to a neighbor that we would repair the steps to her side door.

John organized all the necessary tools and supplies, and we headed uphill to our neighbor Eleanor’s house. We love the unique character and charm of this house. It was designed by Eleanor’s late husband Ted who was an architect. Walking across the bridge to the front door feels like entering an enchanted treehouse.


I took a photo of a framed sketch that Ted drew of the side elevation of the house. It shows the stairs we are going to repair.


Eleanor offered to lend a hand, but John and I convinced her that the two of us could get the job done.


John got straight to work. He began to dismantle the steps one at a time so that the problem, some crumbling material underneath each tread, could be removed. And then each step could be reassembled again.

My job was to do a little bit (as little as possible) in between.

Step One: banging old nails out of old pieces of wood.


Step Two: measuring and drawing straight lines.


Step Three: step aside.

I know from experience the quickest way to get a job done is to just let John do it.

Waiting for John to reassemble one step and dismantle the next left me plenty of time to have snacks with Eleanor.


It’s hard work being a good neighbor, but someone’s got to do it.

And Eleanor does it very well. She is a good friend to us, and has allowed us to store a portion of the contents of our house in her basement until our construction project is complete.

live. enjoy. repeat.

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