Cynthia Ozick  

Tuesday, Dec. 31, 1996

       Herewith, a postscript for the purpose of dropping the other shoe and offering a Happy Ending at year’s end. I left off in early November with an incomplete report on our house, devastated last fall in the middle of the night by a burst pipe. Thanks to the still-ongoing attentions of our superb contractor, we are now nearly restored to civilization. He did, of course, return soon enough (the “Diary” didn’t extend far enough to record this), and we calmed down considerably–mainly because it was our good fortune to have placed our difficulties in the perfectionist and dedicated hands of a consummate professional. There has not been a moment’s delay or disappointment. The workmen have been here every day; they are all pleasant and helpful. The contractor, too, appears daily, to oversee the work and to instruct and reassure the householder. Unforeseen problems (with a very old house, much is unforeseeable!) have been dealt with swiftly and without fuss, and always with skill and imagination; nothing could be more satisfactory than this gratifying and gentlemanly relationship. We were a sinking ship, and now, with an exceptionally able captain, we are again afloat. The Contractor as Rescuer, hooray!