My high school senior English teacher, Mrs. Welch, had certain verbal tics that inadvertently provided comic relief to what could be a dull hour.
One of these tics was the word "endeavor." She'd say it with a cultured drawl that delighted and enlived us, her students: "Now, class, we will all endeavor . . . " We'd make hash marks in the margins of our notebooks every time she said it and compare who'd noticed the most "endeavor"s in any given class period. She'd use the word every chance she got. She'd use it when it was the best word for the job and when it was not.
And when it was not, that was a forced endeavor.
Some people think the making of New Year's resolutions is a forced endeavor. Hey, just do what you were going to do, anyway, right?
But sometimes it's good to be forced to do things you really ought to do. Sometimes it's useful to be forced to sit down and think about what you really ought to do. And it's always a good and useful thing to get out there and endeavor. Meaning, try earnestly and boldly with full intent to succeed.
So in community with other housebloggers throughout the world, and with a mental memorial toast to the late, great Oodles Welch, in 2008
I will endeavor to finish stripping all the woodwork in the house that's going to be natural finish. This comprises the casings and baseboards in the dining room, living room, front room, stairhall, stairway, and second floor hall.
I will endeavor to refinish all said woodwork in the dining room and living room, including any contiguous cased opening trim in adjacent rooms.
I will endeavor to replace the existing cornice mouldings in the dining room and living room with something better-proportioned and more appropriate, and to suitably finish said replacements.
I will endeavor to strip and repaper the dining room and living room-- assuming, that is, that the dollar-to-pound exchange rate allows me to purchase the William Morris paper I've had my eye on the past four years.
I will endeavor to strip and refinish the wood stairs up to the 2nd floor and the wood second floor hallway floor.
I will endeavor to replace all the windows in the living room and dining room (as well as the leaky ones in the front bedroom and dressing room) with new custom-built, energy-efficient wood windows, whether I install them myself or hire the work out.
These are the big projects. For some middle-sized projects,
I will endeavor to come up with something to use for a broom closet on the 1st floor, either a between-the-studs built-in or a freestanding piece of casework.
I will endeavor to assemble and finish the bare wood shelf unit that's been sitting in pieces in the basement the last three years.
I will endeavor to scribe and install the trim for the ledge along the basement steps.
I will endeavor to design and build a grow light frame-- by late February-- and start garden seedlings indoors.
I will endeavor to prep and paint my Adirondack garden furniture so I can actually take it outdoors this year.
I will endeavor to remove the disgusting, paint-soaked carpet from the stairs to the 3nd floor, and decide what to do with the wood steps underneath.
Amid and among all this, I have what I call my "Little Dumb Things I Gotta Do" list. I will endeavor to deal with that in a separate post!
But I almost forgot the biggest 2008 Endeavor of all:
In 2008, I will endeavor to get a steady job so I can pay for all this. Otherwise, well . . .