An old house is all about layers, other peoples’ decisions, little secrets and big, echoes and tracings. Our house is home to five historic lilacs from the era of French colonization, rare varietals, notes of who has passed through this contested land. Our porch is layered like an exposed cliff face — a deck on a deck on a deck with astro-turf sandwiched between the last two layers, for good measure. At first our plan is to peel back everything. Cody goes to town on the rotting-out base of the main, overgrown lilac. I wear shoes in the house and ache for the moment when we get to rip these carpets out. But some boxes should not be opened. Pull the metal siding from the foundation, for example, and you might just find a rubble stone (emphasis on rubble) where a certain inspector promised newer concrete….
Check this stair strata, this astro sandwich! While I’m all about containing this cluster, the deck-height of the porch has grown so high it’s a straight concussion hazard up at the header level for the taller (cody) among us… come spring, something’s coming down and it may well be the lattice up top….