The will of the framers

What a great title for a legal thriller. And for a history buff like me — something I never thought I would become and that must be a side effect of having learnt absolutely zero history in school — how arousing it is to hear what John Adams said in 1776, and details of the Great Debate, and the rhetoric! It is apt that I am following the discussion on an analog radio, my habit of the last 10 years or so, another thing I never thought I would do but that I actually find quite relaxing now. It takes my mind off my own worry, and it soothes my eyes. I recommend it at small doses to avoid sudden onset of nausea. It is also apt that I follow it from my house, built two centuries ago though not as long ago as reported online, as I recently discovered sifting historical records. It comes to my mind that I now know what it means to renovate an old house. This is not something that I can recommend, but it is an experience that has had a profound and lasting impact on me. I am aware of mortise locks, three-tab shingles, the terminological jungle of drywall et similia, caulking, baseboards, the difference between granite and quartz, between 4-inch and no backsplash, pvc, fixtures, the evolution of toilets and countless other things that I can’t list but that suddenly spring up in my mind when entering any house, including most recent additions such as the electrical system.

Once, while waiting for yet another late sub-contractor I wrote:

The revenge of the housekeepers

For centuries they slept in niches inside their masters’ houses, cooked meals in crammed kitchens, hand-washed laundry bent in basements. Now they are gone, but the houses still stand. Their niches are our offices where we can’t fit a table. We spend most of our family time in the crammed kitchen, the other rooms unused since nobody has the energy to shuttle the food, or clean. And faltering to hoist the laundry load from the basement we bump the head.

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