Fridays (Friday, August 11, page 1 of 4)

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It's strange standing here in this parlor, in the only house I've ever lived in, seeing it change before my eyes. They rolled up the old threadbare Oriental rug this morning, and the men are just now putting down the deep pile wall to wall carpeting my mother so fought against these many years. The floral paper has been scraped from the walls, in this room at least, and in its place a pale blue paint, matching the chairs and, hopefully, my sofa nook, when it's finished. I've kept some of the old furniture; my grandmother's china cabinet and a table and a chair or two, mostly because they're nice period pieces and hold no special memory, good or bad.

I've redone the bath too, taking down that God-awful overhead tank and chain, and cleared out the claw-foot tub, replacing everything with modern fixtures. Some would call the old faucet and knobs quaint, but I say, good riddance; I've stared at them for a lifetime and I'm ready for new. There's a lock on the bathroom door now so I no longer need worry about someone barging in on my privacy though there is rarely anyone else in the house. Renovation of the kitchen will follow, if I have enough money left from my mother's insurance. If the kitchen has to wait, so be it; my limited cooking is used to the old range.

Replacing the sofa is another matter. That's a must, in spite of it costing a fortune. The carpenters have finished blocking off the archway to the dining room and I've paid my deposit to the upholsterer who is to build my sitting-nook sofa. While he thinks I'm daft, his opinion concerns me not a mite if he performs as I've requested.

The two bedrooms will be refinished piecemeal; I'm in no hurry and want them just so. I'm used to my room after thirty-seven years of nights spent there and my parent's room needs more thought and time before I'm up to tackling that project. Too many ghosts therein dwell. Besides, there is a long winter and there will be ample time for those tedious chores.

I'm proud of what I've so far accomplished though I was as nervous as a cat on catnip to tackle the project. It may seem silly to some, but I don't do well explaining myself to strangers and I dreaded having to talk to so many different people to convey my wishes. Somehow, I bit my lip and pushed ahead, successfully. Now I can go back to being shy little Lucille Peabody, queen of her own private world, but now ensconced in the comfort of a palace of my personal design.

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