The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Vicki Sternfeld-Rossi
the Times 

Rome wasn't built in a day


April 16, 2020

Last July 4th holiday was the first time Daniel visited Waitsburg since we originally bought the house around 15 years ago. But, like the movie The Moneypit, the work and financial outgo is still ongoing and outgoing.

During that first visit, even in the heat of the summer, he took it upon himself to build bookshelves for my 25 boxes of books. Floor to ceiling shelving against every wall in the upstairs bedroom and it is now our upstairs "library." His vacation was spent at Home Depot, behind a saw, with a hammer hanging from belt and nails in every pocket. He was in heaven, I was not!

Now here permanently, I think he alone is keeping Home Depot from bankruptcy. That's us, getting those daily Home Depot deliveries.

He is Italian, so he should understand that Rome wasn't built in a day, although, I swear he is trying to build our home in a day. He has built bookshelves in the guest house, shelves in the pantry, built two additional sheds; one for kitchen "stuff" the other for random gardening tools, my snow tires (or regular tires), revamped the tool shed by adding shelves, walls, built two large planters, repaired hoses, doors and pantry lights, painted the deck, hung pictures and three television sets, but most importantly-he built a wine cellar. And he's only been here a month!

His current projects include building railing for the deck, fencing around the "trash can" area, tilling the yard, planting grass, fertilizing, building a gravel path in the backyard and the list goes on. I want a vacation! My Pandora playlist has been replaced with drills, nail guns and saws. Heavy percussion, but no melody.

In between all of the projects, he has cooked some amazing meals. Since sheltering at home, we have rearranged our eating routine. Our main meal isn't dinner, but a nice relaxing late lunch on the deck (weather permitting), usually followed by a game of Scrabble. To date the cumulative total-he is ahead by 300 points. No more binge-watching TV for me, I'm studying the dictionary!

This year my family planned to meet in Chicago for Passover, but we had a Zoom get together instead. My family checked in from Florida, New York, Chicago, Israel, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and California. It was great to see everyone and a bit sobering to hear the trials some relatives are facing. Wealthy or not, even in New York, some have experienced difficulties buying basic food items. They go to on-line sites, "fill their basket," then find out the store is not able to fill their orders. One cousin in New York city said she and her husband can spend up to three hours online trying to secure groceries for themselves and their two young children.

A good reminder that it's great to live in Waitsburg; to be part of a community made up of generous people whether friends or strangers, who truly care about each other and share their garden bounty.

Recently we were the lucky recipients of a huge bag of arugula from our neighbor (Deb). It was put to good use in three meals. Pan seared steak with an arugula salad, pizza with arugula and prosciutto the next day, and arugula salad with fennel and red onion yesterday with Daniel's homemade steamed dumplings.

I bought a picnic basket from Amazon. My plan: grab Daniel, wine, bread, cheese and my dog Mugsy, our masks and drive the Middle & Old Waitsburg loop. No hammers, sawdust, nails or drills! Rome wasn't built in a day, nor does our house have to be! Or maybe I'll grab that basket and go by myself, ah, the peace and quiet-complete with music with melodies.


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