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The Joys of Remodeling Never End. Ever.

  Remodeling. In no way does that word do justice to the actual process. It sounds like you’re just changing clothes. In reality, it’s like you’re putting on a whole new set of skin. OK, that was a disgusting analogy, but you get the point. They make it look so easy on HGTV and Extreme Home Makeover. I mean, everything is done in under an hour, not counting commercials. So how can it take weeks on end to just get some flooring down at my house?

  We had a little run in with water and gravity about a month ago at our house. As a result, we have had bare plywood flooring in parts of the house for that time. We’ve also had our favorite contractor, Rex, working on remodeling the affected bathroom for most of the time. He has done an excellent job. You can’t even tell that there was recently a lake in the bathroom. Except for holes in the ceiling on the floor below. But I’m just pretending we’ve started a skylight. And the fact we currently have no toilet. Not much glass-is-half-full wisdom that can be applied when nature calls and you have to trudge down two floors for a working bathroom.

  The change I’m most looking forward to is having the new flooring in the upstairs hallway. Partly for the excitement of something new, but mainly so they will put the hallway closet door back on. It presently resides in the office, leaning against the wall, like it’s on break. I keep looking behind it, hoping it suddenly becomes a doorway to Narnia. But, alas, no small, fictitious woodland creatures have come gallivanting out. Yet. And, as much as I enjoy the carpet and plywood look, it feels like part of the house is naked. Like some of the dresses female celebrities wear to the awards shows. The ones that look like they accidentally put on backwards because the slit runs down past their navel. The floor in our hallway had a wardrobe malfunction.

  The funny part is that because of this six foot square area of carpet, the insurance company is having us get all new flooring, not only in the upstairs hallway, but all the way down the stairs. I guess if you had a huge rip in your shirt, you would change it entirely. But usually you wouldn’t have someone else pay you to do it. The “damaged area” extends into my daughter’s room right at the door, so she has the two-tone flooring (carpet and plywood) right now as well.  It’s like a reverse welcome mat. Of course, she will be getting all new carpet in her room also. Being the tween that she is (a “tween” is anyone between the ages of 10 and 12 that has begun to show symptoms of being a teengaer), she has many ideas about how we should re-carpet her room. We had to nix the lime green shag carpet. OK, that was actually my idea, but it would go with the current bright orange walls. Anyway, she has been trolling the Sunday paper ads looking at carpeting. She has actually found some good ideas, so we were thinking of letting her do the job herself. Being a tween, though, the job would be done more quickly if we brought in a sloth.

  One of the side effects of remodeling is having various tools and fixtures sitting around the house waiting. For instance, the new toilet we are having put in has been in our dining room for the better part of a month. A commode in the room is not great conversation material:
Unsuspecting guest: How has your family been?
Me: Oh, excellent. And yours?
Guest: Very well, thank you. Are you still busy at work?
Me: Yes, plenty to do at work. How has your job been lately?
Guest: Splendid. We are...I’m sorry, but is that a toilet over there?
Me: Why, yes it is.
Guest: Oh.
This is usually followed by the guest excusing themselves for reasons involving their house catching on fire or a forgotten root canal. Still, I’m not complaining. How often do you have a chance to get a new toilet? Some people buy entirely new houses just to get one.

  I hope that the disarray in the house will end soon. We are beginning to see the results, but at times it feels like we live in a parts warehouse. I’ve never really wanted to live in a Home Depot. I do like the orange aprons, though.


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