Surrender Can Be Sweet

by Nika


            Before  – Tongue and Groove                                                                                                                                   After – Plaster

Giving up is never easy.  Especially when you are strong-willed or, like me, just plain stubborn.  Nevertheless, I have yielded to the authorities and replaced the front porch ceiling, which was tongue- and -groove planking and is now plaster.  As you may recall, this was done to satisfy requirements from the Alabama State Historical Commission in order to apply for a Historic Preservation Tax Credit.  Applying for the tax credit took an entire weekend of filling out tedious forms.  Much wine was consumed and much paper wasted in this process.  A few choice curse words were also muttered (under my breath since there are always children around).

After all the applications were completed, the only requirement from the commission was to plaster the ceiling.  The original porch ceiling was plaster and, despite my well-reasoned arguments for the change to tongue-and-groove, plaster it had to be.  Following this recommendation was difficult to swallow. The cost of plaster is roughly 4x that of the tongue -and -groove planking.  If you have ever tried to keep a renovation on budget, I’m sure you can empathize!

At the end of the day, I have a lovely porch with a ceiling true to its original 1838 construction.  I plan to spend a lot of time on this porch with a rocking chair and a cool drink.  And, when I look up at the ‘Haint Blue’ ceiling, I will try to see the lessons I have learned from its transformation.  I have learned that it’s OK to make mistakes, and that most of our mistakes can be remedied if we are willing to acknowledge them and accept the costs of their remedy.  I have also learned that anger and resentment are best-let go. I am going to let those bad emotions drift right up into that blue expanse until they disappear entirely.