Saturday, March 31, 2012


There comes a time in every Communications Coordinator’s life when they have to face their mortality. That time came for me Friday, March 16th. To be more accurate – that time came for me Friday, March 16th while I was free-falling down the stairs at my home. I was trying to carry both a laundry basket full of clothes and my youngest child (mid-tantrum) down the stairs at the same time. One misstep in my socks on my wood stairs and away we went. (To be fair, I thought the combination of the hole in my sock and the dirt and grime coating my stairs would provide enough traction for me to manage the stairs but evidently I was wrong.)

They say when a person is facing death that their whole life flashes before their eyes. That was not the case with me. What mostly passed in front of my eyes was all of the laundry that went spilling out of the basket and fluttering down the stairs. But I did experience an almost unbelievable sense of time coming to a halt. Seriously – the fall could not have taken very long, maybe 10 seconds at the most but I remember watching the laundry fluttering down the stairs, at the same time I also registered each jarring smack of the steps; I could tell that my youngest child’s tantrum had given way to terrified crying; I was able to steer my fall so that I missed the large stack of loose papers on my stairs that I had been ignoring for weeks and which I really didn’t want to smash into on my way down the stairs because it would make such a mess; I also realized that maybe trying to carry two things down wooden stairs in socks wasn’t the best idea in the world.

That realization helps to explain the decision I came to recently. This will be my last post in the Ultimate Home Improvement Project blog as I am resigning my position as Communications Coordinator and focusing on my other job at the museum – that of Manuscript Specialist. For two years I have been Communications Coordinator and for a little less than two years I have been blogging about the museum’s restoration project. Even though I have been silent for many months now, (online that is – the director isn’t so lucky to have me silent for months in the real world), the restoration project still remains near and dear to my heart as do all of the blog’s fans (thank you – all five of you – you know who you are:  Mom, Dad, Sharon, Scott and that guy who keeps leaving me the creepy gifts on my front doorstep – seriously dude, thanks for your support but that doll’s head was a little disturbing).  

I leave the restoration project with the first phase finished and the first half of the second phase almost complete. The sill is repaired, interior windows restored. All that remains is for the storm windows to be installed. To finish up the second step and begin the third step, work will be focused on roof repairs and the installation of modest environmental controls. Although my fingers itch with all of the untold tales of future restoration work, and my mind boggles at the idea of no longer trailing after the restoration workers armed with my pad of paper, my pen and my idiotic grin – I’ve made the decision to focus on carrying only one thing down the stairs in my socks instead of two, as it were.

But please, no tears – this is not a time for sadness (or in the case of the Director, a time for rejoicing). This may not be the last you hear from me. I’m thinking about floating some ideas for a manuscript blog based on the museum’s amazing manuscript collection – and the Director might actually go for it since it wouldn’t involve me interrupting her work to get the material for it.

 In the meantime please remember me as I was – taking the time to smell the roses while falling down my stairs. By the way, the roses smell a lot like dirty laundry…and terror.