This may be chiefly an effect of my mother having been in town recently, but I’ve been thinking a lot about all the things that need doing around our house. The bathroom, Stubb and I agree, is the zone of greatest concern: the hot-water tap leaks, and the seal around the tub doesn’t look so great, and the tub itself is a horrible, stained, scarred vessel that never looks clean. Strangely, none of these conditions has improved on its own since we bought the house six years ago.

There are always a hundred things either one of us would rather be doing than improving and/or repairing the house, or even arranging for other people to do it. Mostly, since we moved in, we’ve had the excuse of having no money left over after we pay the mortgage for the privilege of living in the house and owning it sometime in our mid-sixties.  We’ve done mostly those things that had to be done, such as fixing the sewer line (because, as Stubb put it at the time, you really have to have a pipe to carry the sh!t away from your house).  Lately, we’ve been realizing that a) we probably can afford to start doing some things and b) some things, like the bathroom, are disasters waiting to happen.  And, as I said, my mother was here, with all of her helpful suggestions about how to do things better than we currently do them.  Not to mention her wonderful friend, let’s call him Sol, who is so handy around the house and who has, on his visits and with Stubb’s help, replaced our toilet and hung some mini-blinds and installed a switch for the DisposAll in the kitchen sink.  I talked with my mother and Sol about some potential projects, including maybe, possibly, taking out the green carpet that runs through our house and putting in a wood floor, or maybe one of those laminate floors that is easy to install and looks like wood.

Last night, as I kept the Snork Maiden company in the bathroom (the phase of her wanting me to do this is probably set to expire at any moment), I was gazing into the guest room next door and thinking that I’ve done a lot more work there than at the desk in the bedroom alcove that is supposed to be my writing area.  This room is where I worked over winter break and this break.  The Snork Maiden and I spent last night in the guest bed after one of us had a middle-of-the-night nightmare and woke the other one out of a very sound sleep.  We were remarking how the guest bed isn’t really very comfortable, and I was thinking well, we didn’t spend a lot on it, we bought the frame/end tables secondhand (it’s an IKEA set that all attaches together) and we had the mattress already.  We could probably sell the frame/tables for what we paid for them (the beauty of buying secondhand) without inflicting the mattress on anyone else.  And then I had a vision of two twin beds instead, which could be placed head to head in the corner, or maybe even just one twin bed with a trundle.  Or, as the Snork Maiden suggested, a bunk bed or a loft bed.  We could get back half the floorspace in that room, which is not a large one (10′ by 12′), and I could have my desk in there as a regular thing instead of as a makeshift affair during breaks.  And while we were at it, we could try the Pergo floor in that one room, instead of waiting until we had the money and the fortitude to do the whole house. 

As I thought about it, I also thought about how I could get the desk out of the bedroom and what we could do with that end of the long, bowling-alley like room, which the previous owner made by walling off a large piece of the living room.  I saw how the project of turning the guest room into a guest room/office could also give us the opportunity to make positive changes in other parts of the house.  I felt energized and excited to talk to Stubb about it.  Even the Snork Maiden seemed interested–she uses that room to sprawl out and read in sometimes, and it’s usually where she has her sleepovers. 

Excitement is an unfamiliar feeling for me when contemplating house projects.  I usually feel mostly dread and inertia; now I feel visionary.  I’m imagining a pale green for the walls, and something crisp and pretty on the beds.  This is very odd.


One response to this post.

  1. The beauty of this guest room project is that it allows for other home improvement possibilities but doesn’t necessitate them, so you could make a real change but keep it within its boundaries without bleeding into every other part of the house, which is what seems to happen whenever I tackle a project.


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