Friday, March 2, 2012

A Remodeling Project in Four Stanzas

Because my husband wants to side the house …
We’re forced to make a decision about the window in our master bath – it’s broken.

So we take a closer look at the bathroom: caulk is missing, the sink is cracked, and the ceramic tiles are outdated. And we take another look at the adjoining closet: clothes are wrinkled, the door is broken, and there’s something black on the wall.

-- We decide on a complete demolition, a tear-it-down-to-the-studs remodel.
-- We choose the shower, the vanity, the light fixtures, the fan, the flooring, the paint.
-- We approve the estimate.

Because the air is filled with dust …
-- We move out of our bedroom and into our son’s.
-- We create piles of shoes, sweaters, toiletries, towels.
-- We sleep poorly.
-- We can’t find anything.
-- And one of us is diagnosed with an eye infection.

Because the floor joists run opposite what we thought …
-- The contactor tells us our proposed plan of moving the toilet to the opposite side of the room will "just fit" into the allotted space, and he’s “pretty sure” I’ll be able to open the drawers on the right side of the vanity.
-- The plumber says he can update 90 percent of the copper pipes, but the rest is accessible only if he cuts a hole in the ceiling below. He asks if we have plans to remodel the other bathroom.

Because the contractor, the plumber, the electrician, and the floor installer send bills …
-- We vacuum behind the dressers and wash the baseboards.
-- We organize shoes, sweaters, toiletries, and towels unto new shelves and into new drawers.
-- We fill two garbage bags with clothes that no longer fit and stuff we no longer need.

Then, before I replace the books on my nightstand, I open the baby books.
-- A birth announcement falls out of one, photos and newspaper clippings from another.
-- But my handwriting is still legible, and the remnants from the first haircuts and the dried flowers from the hospital bouquets are still wrapped.

So, for an hour, I celebrate and remember ... 

... all because my husband wants to side the house.