I’ve read Robert Klose’s 2005 Home Forum essay “Life in a crooked house: Who needs straight lines?” at least 20 times since finding it on CSMonitor.com. I swear I’m less anxious.
I was on the brink of buyer’s remorse, having bought a 120-year-old house in August. It seemed stable at first, but as a live load became a presence in the house, everything became crooked. I sleep crooked, watch TV crooked, and that rolling chair I once used to sit at my desk – forget it; it’s in the basement.
You perfectly described me in your second paragraph when you wrote “Like a new father listening for his sleeping child’s exhalations, I sat up whenever I heard something out of the ordinary.” I woke every morning thinking about the house before my eyes even opened. I would sit up and make sure the house was still standing. Visitors would tell me I was overreacting, that it wasn’t so bad. “You don’t understand,” I would say. “Sleep over for a night.” I felt like no one understood, and then I found your article.
Reading it, I laughed ... I cried ... I laughed. For the first time since living here, when I step on a floorboard and it creaks, I don’t stop and fixate on it; I just keep going. I no longer wake up in a panic. I’m actually starting to enjoy the house for the first time.
I’m scared to ask if you are still living in your crooked house. I suppose I should just thank you, Mr. Klose. You are an amazing writer and hilarious. You’ve given me a gift that I so desperately needed.
The Jan. 28 Science article “Can you recycle responsibility?” was great. It’s timely and helpful. It makes me grateful for the program here in St. Louis Park, Minn., which is single-sort recycling and has organic commercial composting as well as collection for home items. Are recycling efforts at risk in the United States?
St. Louis Park, Minn.
Resilience in Flint
The Jan. 28 article “In Flint, a future built on schools as well as safe water,” a story of progress and resilience, is inspiring. I volunteered in a summer education program (Heart in the City) in Flint, Mich., almost 50 years ago, and I am thankful that The Christian Science Monitor is keeping me informed about the good things happening there currently.