Three days ago, on the 23rd of this month, I marked my day by dredging up the banal fact that it has been eight weeks since our kitchen and family rooms were “demoed” and the Judge and I moved our operation out to the garage, which has now come to be known as my “cocina con automobiles.”
At first, I was game, like a coquette who realizes that the night is long.
I made lattes for the contractor, the electrician, and the contractor. The weather in Northern California at that time was heavenly, a mild fall when leaves decided it was best to stay on the tree. My remodeling decisions made (but not paid for), I felt optimistic about life in the garage with my dog and my husband, mentioned in no particular order of importance.
That was before the drywall team spent 2-3 weeks getting the ceiling right in the family room.
In case you have not lived in your home while a drywall team enters it, it is tantamount to nuclear winter. Dust and particles squeeze under closed doors and cover even the privacy of a bathtub. The drywall team wears N-95 masks to protect their lungs from the machine that whirls paint splats all over the walls.
While ripping off sheet rock, earlier in the project, a tiny leak which had been wreaking havoc for years and years, unbeknownst to us, was suddenly cast into the spotlight. That leak created another project, the complete redo of our upstairs deck, a small space that once fixed, will never leak again, not in our lifetimes nor in those who live here way out into the future.
Bang, bang, bang. Whirrrr, whirrr, whirr.
So here I sit, along with the dog and two cars, an old heater, and a host of bugs who love the fact that the flourescent lights are on much longer than usual, giving them ample time to crash into windows repeatedly until their carcasses dot the windowsills and workbench like small dessicated raisens.
The painting, the cabinets, the tile work, the plumbing, the electrical–all we await with the enthusiasm of the Messiah.
The accoutrements of a civilized couple envelop the garage: a scented candle, a Swiffer, an old flat screen television lying dormant by a noisy refrigerator, a Nespresso machine, a Dyson vacuum, Triscuits, and Wente Wine bottles, empty.
My brother reminded me that I will look back on this time with happy memories.
He’s probably right.