The Fixer Upper

One more tug and this should come right up…

“What are you doing?”

I jumped at my husband’s question.  Sheepishly I pulled my hands from the torn corner of the dining room carpet and folded them in my lap.

“I’m meditating,” I said with sudden inspiration, as if the sight of me sitting cross-legged in the shadow of our china hutch were perfectly normal.

Brian and I had recently moved into this house, a century old behemoth of architecture.  She had “good bones,” but needed a complete make-over.  Chipped paint, peeling wall paper, and stained rugs hid her charms.  Because we’d invested our entire savings into the purchase, we agreed to wait until our account grew again before remodeling.

plank-floor-227858_640But here I was, eagerly popping carpet off tack strips with wild abandon.  I couldn’t help myself – there was hardwood flooring under there.  The wood would likely require labor intensive hours of sanding and re-staining to reveal its true beauty…but then again, maybe not.  A showcase floor might be hidden under there, gleaming, smoothed to perfection, and desperate to be revealed.  My eyes glazed and my jaw drooped as I lost myself in a world of fantasy home decor.

“Remember the last time?” Brian’s question squelched my daydreaming.

“Yes,” I whispered, recalling my final remodeling project at our old address.  I had wanted to replace the warped linoleum in our bathroom, and without consulting Brian – or our bank account — I tore it out.  One thing led to another, and before I knew it, the room was bare save for the exposed wood studs and pipes sticking out of the wall.  Eventually the finished bathroom turned out beautifully:  custom tiling, a gleaming porcelain sink, and a throne fit for actual royalty.  Unfortunately, my dreams were much larger than my pocketbook, and as a result the room took nine months to complete.

Our second bathroom contained only a washbasin and a toilet.  That meant nine months of birdbaths in the sink, and begging showers from family and friends – and not just for me, but for my entire family.  It was, shall we say, less than an ideal arrangement.  (It was a royal pain in the derriere.)

Repentant, I made a solemn vow to never begin a project again without saving the necessary funds first – a vow I was now shamelessly breaking.  I hung my head.

“Promise me you will leave that rug alone,” my husband said as he left for work.

“I promise,” I answered, crossing my heart like a little kid.  I walked him out and waved good-bye to him with my right hand, while my left trailed over the peeling wallpaper in the foyer.  I pulled at a loose strip.

Hmm, I wonder what’s hiding underneath…

(Note:  I wrote this post in the present tense, but it is really a recollection of true events from 2004.  Where do the years go?!?)

2 thoughts on “The Fixer Upper

  1. Liked this the first time I read it…like it even more this time. You’d think a piece like this could win a contest, wouldn’t you?


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