Yesterday I mentioned that the day was “an especially significant milestone for me“, but I postponed further explanation. Today, I’ll touch on this personal achievement by way of revisiting another previously postponed promise. Both obliquely reveal themselves in this excerpt from my October 10, 2022 update, “Old House Journaling“.
Yesterday marked ten weeks of old house journaling. Every. Single. Day. Two months and ten days back at the helm of this wayward, meandering, sometimes unruly experiment I call Rosslyn Redux. I emphasize the daily component of this benchmark because it’s been an important part of the goal I committed to at the end of July. Starting on August first I would resuscitate Rosslyn Redux. The why part of this equation is important, but I intend to tackle that separately. For now I’ll touch on the how… (Source: Old House Journaling)
At the time, I introduced how I was reinvigorating the Rosslyn Redux project. Today I’m ready to explain why rebooting and revitalizing this decade and a half old initiative has taken on new significance for me. But first, that momentous milestone!
100 Days of Journaling
Yesterday marked a new benchmark on my quest to post… every… single… day for one year. One hundred days, so far. No skips. At least one Rosslyn update each day. Quite a few late night, last minute posts, but so far I’ve managed to squeak it out every time. Phew!
This means that I’m more than a quarter of the way to my goal of 365 straight days. A year in the life of Rosslyn! And with over three months of consistent posting I’m cautiously growing more confident that I can reach my goal. There have been some unanticipated challenges (such as Susan falling gravely ill and landing in the hospital), but the truth is that bringing fresh vision and vigor to Rosslyn Redux has invigorated me beyond all expectations. My mission is 100% clear. My timeline and deadlines and expectations? All clear.
Each new reflection, poem, photo essay, artifact, etc. is driving me deeper into a profoundly curious conversation with Rosslyn, compelling me to explore Susan and my passionate relationship with this property (and even our family’s and friends’ connections to this property), inspiring me to wonder how a brick-and-mortar home mysteriously became a member of our family, and challenging me to try and gather the dots into a constellation that makes some sort of sense…
Why Reboot Rosslyn Redux?
Once upon a time a pair of newlyweds decided to move from Manhattan to Essex because they’d fallen head over heals for an old home on the Adirondack shore of Lake Champlain. They imagined a wholesome new life. A chance to reawaken Rosslyn, a dilapidated historic property, while reinvigorating themselves. They wanted to start a new chapter together. Maybe they actually needed to start a new chapter together. The last chapter had been thrilling. Passionate. Fulfilling. But also tragic. The ache of recent loss — plus the sort of soul searching and recalibration catalyzed by bereavement and unanticipated endings — stirred their new adventure no less than their capricious optimism. A couple of years to rehab Rosslyn’s house, boathouse, carriage barn, icehouse, and grounds, they surmised. Then a couple more years to enjoy the fruits of their labor while rebooting and plotting their next escapade.
This was the plan.
But time stretches. Reality meanders. Plans change.
Our original timeline extended exponentially without our even realizing it. So much living. A decade. More… Our orbit was widening to include Santa Fe where I’d first lived in my twenties. We moved fluidly between the lush Adirondack Coast and the high desert southwest, happy homecomings at both. A pendulum path between two sanctuaries.
And then tragedy struck. Susan’s mother, Shirley, unexpectedly passed away. While we were still reeling, the pandemic eclipsed everything. We hastened home and hunkered. A week. Two weeks. All spring. All summer… Rosslyn nurtured us. A sanctuary in the storm. As we grew through the loss of a mother, the loss of a mother-in-law, and the flagging morale of a nation struggling through the lingering malaise of the Covid-19 pandemic, we began to understand our relationship with Rosslyn. Although we had set out to rehabilitate her, time and again she had rehabilitated us.
This past summer, sixteen years after Rosslyn became our home (exactly four times the number of years we’d originally envisioned living here!) Susan and I — no longer newlyweds — began to plot our next chapter. A new adventure. The details are still coalescing, but we’ve begun to reimagine our relationship with Rosslyn. Navigating this transition, growing through this bittersweet liminality is precisely why I decided to reboot Rosslyn Redux. Disciplining myself daily to relive this chapter, to ask questions and struggle with answers, to laugh and cry, to figure out if and how we have been shaped by this curious character called Rosslyn, and to begin mapping the future for her and for us. This is why I am rebooting Rosslyn Redux. And I am humbled and grateful to you for embarking on this journey with me. Thank you.