Where is Ray when we need him?

Sep 11, 2012 | 0 comments

The shingling crew finished the neediest part of our roof on Saturday – the part that we think was threatening to leak big time.  There are suspicious spots on the ceiling paper in the north upstairs bedroom.  Plus one of the nearby paper-seams is threatening to give way.  We think the situation is the result of water damage even though we didn’t catch any drips in the act.

I’m happy to say that the damage is nothing compared to what once happened to the ceiling paper of our bedroom which is directly below.  There is a large area where the color is all but faded away from some long-ago problem with the flooring of the balcony overhead.  My mother remembered it as happening in her childhood when the room was still being used as a parlor.

She also said that that particular ceiling paper is original to the house.  I don’t know whether that explains why the color washed away with the leaking water.  Perhaps in the 1860s wallpaper dyes were less permanent than now.  In any event, the same paper was on the ceiling of the hallway when we moved into the house in the 1990s.  Unhappily, over time, it had become so brittle that we could only save the decorative frieze along the upper walls.

Originally, all of the ceilings in the house were papered and they still are.  It’s just that the paper has a layer (likely several layers) of paint over it in most rooms.  Only the two largest bedrooms and this downstairs room still have papered ceilings.  In 2000/2001, in a complete redecorating frenzy (triggered by the holes in all the walls from having insulation blown in) we repainted and repapered everything.

All of the papering was done by our friend, Ray Hansen.  It was a huge job involving scaffolding and ladders and I don’t know what all. It was hard enough to find appropriate, vintage-feeling papers for each room.  We were truly blessed that we knew Ray and could rely on him to do the rest.

Sadly, though, Ray and his wife Carol have retired, sold their Seaview home and moved to Utah.  Even though we undoubtedly have enough bits and pieces of matching paper left over to repair the upstairs problem, I doubt that we’ll bother.  It’s one of those “Where is Ray when we need him?” sorts of things.  But if he ever appears, we’re ready and waiting…


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