Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Real Look Back

Friday morning dawned at the regular time. At least I trust that was the case. The New Year was ushered into Florida with rain and gloom. 2009's parting shot. I arose late to see the ceiling weeping water in our kitchen. So much for the 2010 optimist in me. Cruel reality hangs tough at least for the first day of the decade.

I got the ladder out and made the climb to the attic to search for the cause. Our attic is a much friendlier place in January than August - by about 50 degrees. Something positive to grasp.

The previous owners of our 1930s era house punched out a kitchen wall and put a glass atrium on the west side of the house. It took us less than 24 hours after move-in to see that was not a true improvement to the livability of the house. Ants would spontaneously combust under the glass around 5pm on a summer day. We soon saw that heat issues along with subsequent leaks meant it was best to retrofit to a solid roof and enjoying air conditioning like God intended in Central Florida. Still, leaks are programmed when patches are applied to shingle roofs and it seems our time is due.

While crawling around in the recesses muttering about my bad new year fortune, I found a plastic tub with photo albums and memorabilia. When my father passed away in 2000 a lot his possessions I was not ready to deal with were thrust on me. They went to that safe place where they wouldn't threaten me with their daily presence. I guess 10 years was the time I needed to emotionally deal with his loss. All the photos and mementos are now very precious and have taken on a more profound meaning.

As it would happen, my cousin is putting together a 1,000 page genealogy of my family going back before Johann Christoph and Johann Sebastian Bach in Germany. Some of the pictures and records from the attic fill a few minor historical gaps. Also, pictures of her part of the family surfaced in that box along with mine; images unknown to her. So maybe the roof leak was a message from above. The new year is a time to look to the future but also a nudge to deal with the past.

Happy New Year.

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