Thursday, May 21, 2015

failure to bridge the gap

It seems now to be a hundred years since Bill Samaha, my 90-plus-year-old stepmother's longtime partner, bought the house in Worthington, a hilltown community perhaps 40 minutes from here. Now he is trying to sell it: The gatherings and sweat of yore are no longer. Yesterday I looked over the real estate dealer's web-site presentation of the house and grounds and found myself sorely shaken.

When Bill bought the colonial (real colonial, not just some real estate descriptor of a 50-year-old house) farmhouse, the only water supply came from an uphill spring, the barn was collapsing, there were second-growth trees everywhere and the house itself was awash in small, low-ceilinged rooms whose doors could be shut to conserve heat. Weekend after weekend, some segment of the family would go to Worthington to work and laugh and make changes. It wasn't sissy work. At the end of the day, the group might sit around the dinner table a drink Big Herm (I swear it's true), a rot gut wine my brother-in-law brought once as a hoot and everyone got to hooting after choking it down.

The thing that fried my circuit box yesterday was the bridge. Somehow, while I had been raising kids, Bill had added this structure ... an almost Louis XIV addendum of luxury about which I had known nothing ... and my demanding mind asked incredulously how that had happened without my knowing. I felt possessive and dispossessed. There was something 'wrong' about that luxury item ... something upsetting. It was like a too-bright light on a well-lit and well-fashioned stage ... a stage I had once been on and held carelessly in my mind.

Well, as Beatle John Lennon put it, ""Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." Somehow the down-home memories I had of the Worthington house had been by-passed and I was reluctant as hell to revise my thinking. And yet the big-ticket bridge demanded it.

I guess bridges go from here to there and staying here is not an option.


  1. I'd say it's badly designed and not an asset. Clearly, if not you, they should have consulted someone.

  2. Weird bridge but charming home. You are lucky to have spent time there. "Worthington" is a reassuring word.