“Two steps forward one step back…” is a catchphrase reflecting on an anecdote about a frog trying to climb out of a water well; for every two steps the frog climbs, it falls back by one step, making its progress arduous.  The phrase is sometimes cynically rearranged to “One step forward, two steps back…” to reflect a situation where, seemingly for every attempt to make progress in a task, an actual retrograde performance is achieved.

Saturday was another sun soaked day at the farmhouse.  I was, of course, working on windows, but getting oh so close to have some completed.  One day in the future I’ll set out my steps of old window restoration, but first I need to make it through the entire process on a few.

Jack and Cassie began repairing floor joists in the bedroom (where previously the entire floor had been removed) in preparation for new decking. As has been the case in almost every stage of reconstruction in this old house, there is more damage than first meets the eye.  Just when you think you’re about ready to make progress, you find another rotten board.  Oops! Didn’t plan for that one and the local hardware store is already closed. So you move on a little further, only to step onto a soft spot in the foyer and your foot goes through the floor.  Hmm. Didn’t realize that floor was that bad. (By the way, those walls are definitely getting a beautiful coat of white paint in the near future.)

I asked Handyman Jack as we finished the work day Saturday, all sweaty and dirty, if he’d known back in October of 2010 what he knows today, would he have begun this project. He replied, “Yes. It gives us something to do.”

Two steps forward, one step back. Or, one step forward, two steps back? Either way, we are tackling this project one step at a time. Slow and steady wins the race.

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