Time out

The Labradorian - - Editorial - Rus­sell Wanger­sky Rus­sell Wanger­sky Rus­sell Wanger­sky’s col­umn ap­pears in 39 Saltwire news­pa­pers and web­sites in At­lantic Canada. He can be reached at rus­sell.wanger­sky@ thetele­gram.com — Twit­ter: @wanger­sky.

I’ve been hunt­ing for four solid­wood doors for a while now.

Not new doors — old ones, suit­able for clean­ing up and putting into door­frames in an old house.

The house has four hol­low­core wood doors up­stairs now, and re­plac­ing them is part of the long game. (Pretty much ev­ery­thing I do has some com­po­nent of the long game; it’s just my way of kick­ing back at the fact that, the older you get, the faster time moves. I fig­ure that, the more I have left to do, the more likely I’ll be around to do it.)

But back to the doors. Their sta­tis­tics live on a folded, light­blue Post-it note folded in half in my wal­let, all mea­sure­ments im­pe­rial: 73 ½ by 28 ¼, 75 by 28 ¾, 73 ½ by 29, 73 ½ by 28 7/8. (It didn’t oc­cur to me right away that some­how, all four door frames on one floor were dif­fer­ent sizes.)

I take the pa­per out now and then, and think about how good the place will look with its four new old doors.

I think about cut­ting the doors down to the right size, plan­ing them to a per­fect fit, about strip­ping them and find­ing new hard­ware, about the way a prop­erly hung door swings with vir­tu­ally no ef­fort.

It’s my favourite kind of project. It’s not like fix­ing a roof leak, where the work has to be done im­me­di­ately, and it’s not the forced march of paint­ing win­dow trim.

No, hang­ing imag­i­nary re­place­ment doors is the per­fect job. It doesn’t have to be done right away, it doesn’t in­volve sun­burn and flies, and best of all, it’s open to the kind of low-stress pon­der­ing and reI think about cut­ting the doors down to the right size, plan­ing them to a per­fect fit, about strip­ping them and find­ing new hard­ware, about the way a prop­erly hung door swings with vir­tu­ally no ef­fort.

pon­der­ing that makes it like count­ing sheep at bed­time.

Af­ter all, there are al­ready doors there — you’re just go­ing to make them bet­ter. So, one mo­ment, you’re think­ing about fu­ture doors, the next, out like a light.

You can use it ev­ery sin­gle night, and never ac­tu­ally ap­ply a block plane to the edge of the door.

But I made a week­end.

Yes, I made a tragic mis­take. I was talk­ing to Wanda at the store about find­ing ma­te­ri­als to fix a per­sis­tent leak in the shed roof mis­take this when I jok­ingly let slip that, once I got the roof patched, I was look­ing for doors. I showed her the sticky note.

Wanda, it turns out, is an ad­mit­ted door-hoarder. (Sorry — not “door hoarder” — I meant to say “life­long con­nois­seur of tan­gi­ble ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage.”)

And she had a few that she was will­ing to part with.

They were buried deep in a shed — three doors, in fact, but one, with white and red stained­glass in­serts that she wasn’t ready to part with.

The two doors she would sell are a mis­matched match­ing set.

One has six hor­i­zon­tal inset pan­els, five of them wood, the top one glass, while the other has four ver­ti­cal pan­els, sit­ting twoby-two, with a hor­i­zon­tal glass panel along the top. The glass is in the same place as on the first door.

The glass is high enough to let light into the room, too high to look through. The doors are roughly the same size, the right size for two of the door­ways, and heavy.

Prob­lem is, they’re beau­ti­ful. These, my friends, are breath­tak­ing doors, their sim­ple lines ob­vi­ous through the caked dust and paint.

I only re­al­ized, tak­ing the doors off the car’s roof rack as a fast-mov­ing rain squall headed down the val­ley, that I’m sud­denly mov­ing to­wards fin­ish­ing the door job.

But given the speed at which I’m mov­ing, I’ll have to live to be 100.

Watch for a door up­date in 2021.

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