Saturday, January 03, 2009

Some Things Need A Change


Our house is structurally sound but some work needed to be done to make it look nicer on the inside.

Walls to be painted, carpet pulled up, all of this stuff leaves me cold. Some things got dinged up when my father was alive, and some things have just worn out.

Some changes were needed. I am living proof of a man who likes his home looking nice, but who gets a bit peeved when he can’t sit at the table to eat and must sleep in a different bed because new paint is stinking up our bedroom.

It’s easy to get a bit peckish under such situations, but I go into my office and work. It keeps me out of the way, and I don’t have to look at the mess. Winter always seems a good time for such interior changes.

Watching people strip walls of old wallpaper is like dipping snuff: it leaves me cold and sneezy. A new sink and other things are coming for the half-bath off our bedroom but only a toilet sets there now.

An old bed that belonged to my grandparents has been my place to lay me head for more than 30 years. Now there will be a new bed. I can accept this change because things will be nice when the job is finished.

The question is when will it be done? Things move at a snail’s pace, and slow doesn’t match my mood. Order this or that, and wait two or three weeks. No one stocks inventory any more, no one can afford to in today’s economy.

Some old carpeting has been pulled up, but the new carpeting won’t be laid until the rooms are completely painted, the new doors hung, and the trim work has been finished.

We schedule things, and it always takes longer than planned. We order things and it costs more than we planned. Bathroom sinks and toilets must be ordered, and once everything is done, we’ll have to order new carpeting. Who knows what color. We’ll know later.

My wife understands this stuff, and I do not. Want a story, call me up and you’ll have it tomorrow. Need a photo, it can be scanned and on your computer in 30 minutes. Want a shower pan for the shower, and it’s a three-week wait.

I’ve never been a handyman. My knowledge of tools is pretty much confined to screw drivers, pliers and hammers. The more hammers and the larger, the better. I don’t understand home improvements, and the cost and work involved in making such wholesale changes.

My recliner served me well. It felt great, worked just fine, and is gone along with a sofa, end-tables, another recliner and some carpeting in a trade-off with the builder for doing some work. Cool. I’m a great believer in the barter system.

The builder is a good friend, and we both think highly of him. I’d rather he take the stuff in exchange for saving us some labor fees. However, we’ll still have to buy a new sofa and some new chairs. I get confused about such things.

Steaming off wallpaper. Now there is a fine mess. It takes time, doesn’t smell very good, and steaming means shreds of wallpaper everywhere. One small piece was found sticking to the bottom of my shoe. At least it didn’t stink.

We’re replacing 13 inside doors. Is that a lucky number or what? We called to donate the old doors to a local charitable organization. They would be out in a week. A week to come to pick up 13 free doors? They didn’t show up. Another appointment made for them to get them today. You got it, they didn’t show. We’re on again for Monday morning. I’m willing to take bets that they won’t be here.

My wife, her sister and a grand-daughter are ramrodding this project. Guess how many votes I get?

So I’m a bit tight-jawed. I try to keep my mouth shut to avoid hassles.

Don’t know how many consecutive days of office-sitting I can take, but I think we may be a third of the way done on this interior rejuvenation. I keep waiting for that silly television program to show up, and within 30 minutes they turn a house into something grand and wonderful.

I used to sit and wait for John Baresford Tipton from the 1960s to arrive from the television show The Millionaire, announce his presence and give me a million bucks. John hasn’t showed up in 40-some years, and it’s doubtful the home redecorating show will do a 30-minute job either.

So ... it’s time to gut it up, tough it out, stay out of the way and keep my mouth shut. This may be a democratic society, but when refurbishing the house rolls around, all facets of democracy and freedom of speech fly out the window.

If you need me, try my office. Knock three times on the door if you love me. Otherwise, I’m hiding out, thinking about hunting snowshoe hares.

Posted by Dave Richey on 01/03 at 06:04 PM
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