man repairing gate latch on cedar fence

image: Anne's son installing a special gate latch he created for the back alley gate.

|| 7 April 2019

Best Early 75th Birthday Present Ever

Seventy-five this summer. But my son made a 10-day working visit near the end of March to celebrate my birthday early — and help me cope with the overwhelmingly long to-do list of things that need attention here at Provence-sur-la-Prairie.

There was nothing I wanted — or needed — more.

I have stuff — more stuff than I will can ever use. Help was what I needed. Three fierce wind storms over the autumn and winter had damaged my fences and gates. (Yes, the two new gates installed last summer.) The back gate was so jammed that I had to go out through my neighbor’s garden to take my trash to the dumpster.

Add to this, bad damage to my back garden from my next-door-neighbors’ incompetent tree removers — and then another windstorm blew my neighbor’s old fence over into my yard. The neighbors promised to remove the old fencing, but weeks had passed and they had not. Plus with my time taken with office repainting, I was forced to neglect a lengthy to-do list of needed repairs on the property. Not to mention unable to keep up with your website postings. The tax filing was due. I was definitely feeling overwhelmed. And depressed.

Fortunate for me, my son is a skilled handyman — in addition to being an environmental biologist. In his short visit, he repaired the gates and fences — even creating a special security gate latch for the back gate — dismantled and stacked all the neighbors’ fence (on their property), rehung my kitchen pot rack, installed a new clothesline pole, removed the security bars and screens and washed windows inside and out. Reorganized the storage apartment and garage. Replaced the inners on my original 1929 glass doorknobs. (Now they don’t come off in your hand when you open a door.) He also mowed the lawn twice, reattached a drapery valance and repaired the dripping kitchen faucet.

We still found time for good meals of favorite foods — and some new dishes – and lots of good conversation. A wonderful early 75th birthday celebration.

Sometimes you don’t need more stuff, you just need order and function restored to your environment. That brings the priceless gift of tranquility.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone