This morning as I approached the entrance to the Gate House (the first security checkpoint of the prison), I noticed that an inmate was in the process of being released. He was dressed in street clothes and was holding a large plastic bin that clearly held all of his belongings. A correctional officer was directing him to step aside and wait as the transportation van was pulling up. I recognized the inmate as a former inmate clerk who had worked in our program office. I knew that he had been a lifer; I guessed that he’d been found suitable for release by the Board of Parole Hearings and that the governor had not opposed the decision. I wasn’t aware of just how long this particular inmate had been in prison, though, until I walked into the Gate House and overhead two other correctional officers talking about him.
“He’s a B number,” one C.O. said.
“So he’s been down a long time,” the other C.O. remarked. “He’s in for a culture shock. A lot has changed in the world since then.”
I was pretty sure that this former inmate was headed for post-release housing that would assist him in making the transition from prison back into the community. It would have been part of the conditions of his parole. Silently, I wished him well and made my way into the prison for the day.
At the end of my 10-hour shift, I was glad to be coming home to this.
Today I worked ten hours, went home to the Morro Bay house, packed up my computer and weekend bag, and got back in the car to drive the 150 miles (two and a half hours) back down to the Ventura homestead, where I am now typing this blog entry. Tomorrow Sean and I have to get up early to run 11 miles for our half marathon training, and then we are going to get in the car and drive another 150 miles to Redlands to visit some old friends. I didn’t make any further progress on the sock, so tonight I present to you the image of a beautiful sunset view from our newly painted deck and newly painted deck chairs in Morro Bay.
A couple weeks ago, Sean installed our new front door. It needed to be painted, and the hardware needed to be changed. Sean painted six different color swatches for me to look at. I agonized over which was the right color for our front door, but I finally settled on one.
This was the old door.
The painter finished painting our house including the back deck and the front door two days ago. We’d put off buying a door handle and lock for the new door until today, when the particular finish and style that I wanted was back in stock. This afternoon Sean installed the hardware, and now the front entrance to our home is complete.
This is the first time in our lives that we’ve lived in our own house, not a rental, and one that we’ve customized to our personal taste. We’re pretty pleased with how it turned out.
I got home from work this evening and found that the painter had finished painting the front exterior of the house. Now I have to decide on a color for the front door. I thought I would like either an aqua green or turquoise blue, but now I’m thinking that a bright pink shade will really pop. I’m having a hard time making up my mind.
In the meantime, we now have eight cans (one quart each) of paint samples in varying shades of coastal blues that I wanted to test for the exterior and door colors. Now I’ll have to find old wooden furniture to paint and make shabby chic.
We’re getting our house painted this week, so I took the opportunity to ask for a new front door, which resulted in commiting a big chunk of today to obtaining the door. We had to go to the Home Depot in San Luis Obispo, rent a truck for an hour, pick out the right door, bring it home, drive the truck back to Home Depot before our hour was up (stopping beforehand to fill the gas tank), and then look at hardware and knobs and door-installing tools. When we got back home, Sean did most of the rest of the work, but I did help a little, like hold the door steady while he used the skillsaw to trim 3/8 of an inch off the bottom.
Before: The old blue door with blistered paint, courtesy of the previous homeowners.
After: Fresh new front door!
Now the door is up and I am pretty excited about picking out a paint color for it. I wonder if bright pink would work?
Speaking of paint colors, Sean painted these color swatches for me so that I could pick a shade for the exterior. I made him paint those vertical stripes on the top, so that I could compare colors. Later, when the paint was dry, he pointed to those stripes and said, “You see this? This shows the mark of a very patient husband.”
I should also mention that after he hung the door for me, he went and washed the dishes and cooked us a dinner of penne pasta and putanesca. So I thought I would repay the favor by writing today’s blog entry about him.