Pleasantly Going Backwards In A Forward Society: CHAPTER 4: Demo Time!
Pleasantly Going Backwards In A Forward Society
My New 3 Favorite Words: IT’S PAID FOR!
An ongoing essay of truths, mishaps and growing experiences by Sarah Jackson
CHAPTER 4: DEMO Time!
We have, of late, seen a few sobering circumstances concerning people we know. We have friends who have lost their jobs and are having an extremely difficult time finding work. We know of families who went from two incomes to none, and it crippled them. A dear friend of mine suffered in a car accident and is disabled, and pretty much lost everything waiting on arbitration. We all have insurance for our cars and our homes, but what happens when the money runs out? It is a good feeling – a confidence – to know that when we finally do move into this little house no one can take it from us. To own a home remains an integral part of the American Dream. If we lose our jobs, we can count on having a roof over our heads and some chickens in the yard.
Work has started on our house (I’ll just call her the Itchy Ranch for now), and it is pretty messy. No glamour involved right now; we are remodeling the interior. Do they have a show called “Pimp My Trailer”? If not, they should. We’re removing the wall between the living room and kitchen, creating a very large living area. My husband built a truss that extends 21 feet, stretching across the open area. This alone was quite a feat! A few area of the house have some, shall we say, issues. The water-damaged floor in the hall bathroom is softer than a baby’s, well…you know. Have to replace that. The floor in our bathroom makes quicksand look impervious. Replace it as well. This house may be 35 years old, but when we get done she’ll look better than Joan Rivers at a plastics convention. Better than a finalist on The Swan. Better than Tammy Faye at Sephora on free makeover day...I digress.
Sub-flooring is God’s way of saying you have limits after all. I did get the kids to hammer away for a while…I mean it’s a hammer and some nails. How often do I tell them to start beating on something? They are a little confused at first, like I’m trying to play a trick on them. But once I demonstrate how simple it is, they each try their hand at it. After 30 minutes, earplugs and a few near-misses from ricocheting nails, we are in business! They are so proud, telling visitors which piece of plywood they fastened to the floor. They are feeling the ownership; they are taking pride in their work. They are getting dangerously wild with the hammers…..
Here lately we are having a few more visitors stop by. Some have to call for directions first, but that’s exactly why we love this place. “Yes, where are you? Oh, OK, go until you see the “little store” then turn left past the mega pothole…the one that everyone thinks is a pond when it rains? Uh-huh, then you’ll see the church on your right….the one that looks like a used car dealership? Yeah, that one with the solar powered cross…you know the cemetery? Go around. Just go through it and keep going. No, the road does go into the woods, but its part of our driveway…yeah! I know! Who knew?” I will say this: FedEx knows exactly where we are. And they know the names of our dogs. Top that.
Friends are showing up to help. Mostly they keep us laughing and joking, and some of them grab a hammer or a saw and jump in. I secretly think they come to revel in the comedy that is our life (a few just want to fondle the power tools). I think they wonder aloud on the way home, “What the hell are they thinking? They could have bought a new one. And they always seemed so sensible…” Or perhaps they are secretly plotting to move in with us because we are so cool and they know deep down inside that they wish they’d thought of buying a cheap trailer first. Nah, watch it be that they really want to help. The fun part will be when we do the straw bale construction around the trailer. That day, I’m throwing a carnivore’s cookout and supplying the cold beer. But for now, it’s demo time at the Itchy Ranch.
In conclusion, demolition is great therapy. Nothing soothes the soul like ripping a wall down with a sledge hammer, or kicking in a panel with no remorse. Chunks of MDF go flying through the air. Burnt-orange linoleum clinging to the flooring for fear it be cast into the light of day. Countertops and shelving salvaged for uses elsewhere. Even the children seem to revel in it. The kids are great for sweeping, hammering, and piling stuff. They like the adventure of it all. That and the fact that they can “run through” the walls right now. I can’t remember the last time my off days held such a sense of purpose. Goodbye 1970’s rust-and-mustard shag carpeting and faux wood wall panels. Hello endless possibilities!...hello? Hello?