And this morning I walked around the house …early. Documenting the progress of this process. Noticing what gave me pleasure and what still presented challenge. Noticing the one hundred and one decisions still to be made. Decisions that perhaps the contractor would have made–or not. Decisions like “exactly at what height do you want the bathroom light to be hung…?”
And why do I need to determine exactly where? Because if it’s too low it will interfere with the medicine cabinet door. And so I measure…height of pedestal sink–36″, add in the height of sink faucet 5″, add in height of medicine cabinet–30″. Add in the light shade that extends down from the mount itself, 6″. Oh. And add in the thickness of the cement board that goes on the floor plus the thickness of the tile. Another inch? So there. All of that and we arrive at about 82″. Wiggle room.
But what I am REALLY struck with during this process is the kindness of people…and in this case, because they are all male, I have to say the kindness of men. We replaced old very drafty windows–not because we can’t live with drafts, but because we cannot abide the thought of heating the outside during our long winters. And the window installer stepped up when we let the contractor go…stepped up and said he would help us out–at least give us information as to what needed to be done, and when. Stepped up and days later mentioned that divine intervention happens in many ways. I love that. And we have painters, father and son, Bruce an Cory, who although initially part of Contractor’s crew, stuck with us. Will see the job through. Lowered their price. Determined to see the job through. Because they said they would, and their word means everything to them.
And then Alvaro. Young Latino. Here for 12 years. Hardest worker I have ever seen. Twelve hour days are nothing to him. He has a wife–a Portuguese wife. Her name is Patricia, too, and the way he says that word, well it makes the English version sound harsh and crude. Pah-treee-seeee-ah, he calls me to come see–to come help with a decision– A graphic artist from Mexico who now hangs tile, sheetrock, a bit of this and that. Anything. Because, as he told me one night as we waited in Lowe’s to get sheet rock loaded, he wants to buy a “brick house” for his family. This is just beyond beyond. And here, his work, …a 1950’s pink ceramic tile bathroom slowly becoming earthy…
I’ve laid a bit of ceramic tile myself…with just a “get-er-done” mentality. So when questions arose yesterday, and I offered my version of a solution, Alvaro just smiled and shook his head “no.” No, we will not do it that way. We will do it the right way. Ha.
We keep adjusting our move-in date. Becoming more realistic as we accept that the progress is only minimally subject to our control. It doesn’t really matter what we think we want…because the project has taken on a life and momentum of its own.
Kitchen with cabinets maybe installed on November 28
Reclaiming of floors to begin November 19. And we will have to stay off of them, then, until the 28th. I would rather have waited and had floors reclaimed at the end…but there is a logical sequence to why things are done when they are. I am learning this as we go. Floors before baseboards and cabinets. That is the sequence we’re told. So. OK.
Only one cloth box opened. And Blue Person emerged first. Leaped out. I don’t remember cutting this denim shape. But met its appearance with joy. So here…a jaunty sprite, surrounded by pieces of a process. Patiently holding space. We knew we were going to have the place painted. We knew the windows needed to be replaced. We knew some things. But we really didn’t know what it would be like. So now we know, as we own our decisions, and we cultivate patience as we wait. Grateful I have to add, for the kindness of helful people.