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Getting Reaquainted

This may be typical of the newly widowed, but I can only speak for myself, since this is new territory for me. Not sure if there are any hard and fast rules, or what is considered "normal" behavior. For me, retreating into myself, avoiding things that need attention and becoming a social recluse seem the norm for me. And lots of thinking.....thinking about the past, the future, the what-if, the what-next, but not a lot about the now. It is almost as if I am passing through time in a bubble that precedes me with the past and follows me with the future and isolates me from the present. Yes, I meant that, it is not backwards.

Of the huge amount of thinking I have done over the past months, there have been those lingering projects that were discussed at length before Wade's passing that we never got finished. Like the remodeling the laundry room. We both hated it, it was not truly functional since we had upgraded our washer and dryer to the front load models. The room is a somewhat narrow galley-style area that would be best served by rotating the washer/dryer 90 degrees to face the door. In its present configuration, it was an obstacle course and gave me one more reason to avoid another chore (laundry). Well, after thinking about it for some time, I decided to get reaquainted with some old friends and tackle the beast.

Meet my old friends Mr. Wonderbar and Mr. Hammer. I specifically brought them into the discussion because they are trusted old friends and we have worked well together in the past. They were really Wade's friends, but over the years, we became quite close as well. We surveyed the area and decided the best start was to remove the closet door in the laundry room, since it would be blocked with the proposed new configuration. And we got that job done in no time and were able to salvage all of the door framing and trim.

Wonderbar and Hammer needed some help with the next part, which was taking out the sheetrock between the laundry room closet and the coat closet on the other side of the wall. Time to bring in the Box Cutter. Me and Box Cutter have stayed close and interacted frequently for many, many years. BC has always been there when I needed help and has never failed me. So the four of us make quick work of the demolition, but soon realize we need even more help. As we are peeling back the old sheetrock, an adversary of mine, Ms. Electricity makes an unwanted appearance. As usual, she has hindered my progress by being somewhere she is not wanted, and knows how I despise her. She was a friend to Wade, because he understood her complexities and what it took to excite her and conversely, tame her. I've never been one to understand the firey nature of women and still have no desire to grapple with highly charged personalities. So I phoned a friend. Bob.

Bob and his wife are friends from the neighborhood who we met through a sign posting about lost dog. They have been so wonderful to me since Wade's passing and it helps that Bob is a general contractor. So I pay Bob to come deal with the wild woman in my closet. Money well spent, I tell you. She is now hidden out of sight, safely tucked behind the ceiling and wall where she belongs.

Back to Mr. Wonderbar and Mr. Hammer. We proceed to remove the wall studs that were hiding Ms. Electricity. These are needed to close in the wall where the door once stood, so we take great care to not destroy them. Mission accomplished!

I have a new friend, one that I met after Wade passed. One we both had heard about and were anxious to meet together, but it didn't happen. I know Wade would be pleased that we are now friends. Sliding Compound Miter Saw (MS for short) and I are still working to become good friends. All new friendships start this way with learning how each other think and behave in different situations. We're still in the early stages of getting to know each other, but I know we will be life long friends. Of course, I'm still having trouble really communicating my thoughts and MS responded perfectly for what I asked, but alas, I wasn't implicitly clear in my desire. So I made the cuts a little shorter than I needed, so what. MS and I were able to recover from the error nicely, and the framing was up in no time.

One of the problems with being a woman (for the most part) is that we lack physical stature and overall muscular strength to compete on equal footing with our male counterparts. This became painfully obvious as I moved to the next stage of reconstruction. Drywall, or sheetrock if you prefer, is a big, heavy opponent; one I have never before had to deal with alone. Called in some backup (my sister) and we managed to overcome this monster. And along with Mr. Tape Measure and my reliable BC, we took that baby down (or rather prepared to put that baby up)! Now I must admit that Tape Measure(TM) and I don't always see eye to eye and this time was no different. Some people are so unforgiving and require such nit-picky attention to details that I fail to mesh well with them. TM and I have that kind of relationship. But all of the drywall is now in place.

So what is left is the fine art of finishing. Me, the procrastinator, has to will myself to finish what I started. I started with the wall compound; filled in the dimples on the sheetrock, packed in the gaps. Now I need to do the tape and I'm really not looking forward to it. But it is necessary because I have one of my best friends in the entire world waiting to come help me. That would be Ms. Paintbrush. Yes, we love working together, we have spent many, many hours creating our own drama in some cases, or managing to make a specific space cool and relaxing. I find my time painting to be very calming and when I am done, I can marvel at the visible result of my hard work.

And I will have my friends, both new and old, to thank for helping to make a change in my life.


I loved this post. It made me think of the tools (of Cliff's) that are all over our home as my friends now. I regret that I didn't learn more from him.

I am in total awe of your ability to get the job done. Well done, I am proud of you!


December 22, 2009 at 6:24 AM  

Thanks, Boo. I'm sure it's bittersweet having those tools close to you. I still marvel at the work Wade accomplished on this home, and have mixed feelings on whether to sell or stay. And tools are not that intimidating! Well, a little at first perhaps.

December 23, 2009 at 11:42 PM  

I loved your post. I helped my dad redo the basement as a kid and it brought back lots of memories. Drywall is NOT my friend. He's SO heavy and I spent hours holding him up for my Dad so he could finish up the rooms.

December 29, 2009 at 12:54 AM  

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