Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Goat and The Bannister

Having long been a favorite of Margaret's grandmother, it seemed to me as if the occasion of our 20th wedding anniversary was a sufficiently safe time for me to poke the Ghost of Nan.
We moved to our soon-to-be former home in early July, 2000.  From the first time she visited until the time of her death eight summers later, Nan was a regular guest at our house.  Her favorite part of the joint was the backyard.   Nothing made her happier than sitting out there on a summer afternoon - as everyone around her melted in the heat - defiantly thrusting her chin upward as if she was trying to suck every possible degree of warmth she could from the sun. 
Without fail every time she either entered or exited the backyard - via the back door - she would call me on the carpet for my failure to have a railing (or as she preferred to call it "a bannister") on the back steps.  And without fail, I would remind her that she was the roughest, gruffest old goat I knew and since I knew she was not afraid of anything I knew she was not afraid of a little two-step back porch.  She would wave one of her little steak-fry shaped fingers at me, laughingly scold me in Italian and then - usually while using me as her railing - make her way up or down the steps with little difficulty.
Fast forward to the Spring of 2013.  The Missus and I put Nan's favorite place on the market.  As we did so, we took a look around the joint to see what issues might exist that could adversely affect us in a home inspection.  Immediately our attention went to the back porch.  Margaret hired a contractor to install two railings.  Coincidentally, the Clem's Ornamental Ironworks mechanic installed them on Tuesday morning.  Just in time for our intended buyer's home inspection.
As I stopped by the old homestead on Tuesday night on my way in from work to check out the handiwork, I could not help but smile.  I thought of how exasperated Nan had to be peering down from above and seeing her long-sought after railings were finally in place - right where she had lamented their absence for almost a decade.  I laughed....
....and then it started to rain.  Almost felt as if a certain gruff old goat was aiming a bit of expectorate at her favorite grandson-in-law.  Well aimed Nan.  And well-deserved too. 
Here's what they look like in the sunlight. 
They shall serve their new owners well.  Nan is very, very happy.

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