We have just about finished our personal course in Fire Restoration 101. You may remember that early in June we had to call our local Fire Department for help when some wiring in our attic misbehaved. The firemen did a great job and everybody agreed we had been incredibly lucky.
The next step was notifying our insurance company. Two days later the insurance adjuster arrived at our house, looked things over, and suggested we have one contractor be responsible for all the work, and that he submit the bids as soon as possible because she was going on vacation two days later.
Well, our contractor really tried to pull it together in two days, but the adjuster left early, and stayed late on her vacation. Consequently the restoration finally began July 14.
We knew that plans called for our bedroom to be totally emptied because that’s where the structural damage was. So we boxed and moved stuff we really hadn’t seen since we put it in the bedroom. At first I was very organized, putting items from one area in a box, marking the box to indicate the contents, and placing it carefully in my big closet or in the front storage/guest room.
But then when the time to begin was imminent, I resorted to my natural inclination and just stuffed stuff. I got up early the day the contractors were to begin and moved the things we would need daily over the next week to the guest bedroom we would inhabit for the first part of the restoration.
Once again we found ourselves existing in total chaos. Frequently as I climbed the stairway I’d meet total strangers coming down, an unsettling experience these days. I’d assume they were subcontractors, say hello, and keep going. As with the other construction projects we’ve undertaken over the past few summers, we met a lot of interesting new people.
My time of greatest panic came the night it was time to refill my pill box for the week. I was sure I had put all the individual pill containers in one shoe box, which I had placed on a shelf in our temporary quarters. I walked confidently to the shelf, but found no shoebox with pill containers.
Okay, no problem. I sat down and tried to remember what had happened to them. No luck. I began to look in various logical locations for them. Finally I told Bill I needed help. Both of us looked everywhere. No pills. I assured him I could wait till the next day, and we could replace them if necessary.
When he went to sleep, I got up and continued the search. When I realized I was looking where I had already looked, I gave up and went to bed.
Too early the next morning I got up and began to search again, and pray. Suddenly I remembered I had not put the pills in the shoebox. I had put them in a cotton jersey tote bag with a drawstring closing. I had found the bag among the things I had put away years ago because I was sure someone could use it for something someday. I took some comfort from the fact that the bag had finally been useful.
Two evenings before they were to lay the new carpet in our old bedroom it occurred to me that there would never be a better time to paint the woodwork in there. Bill wanted to keep the woodwork as it was. He was so sure it couldn’t be painted in one day that he told me to call the contractor, figuring he could remain the good guy because the contractor would say it was impossible.
The next day the crew came in with the tools to remove the old carpet and the paint for the woodwork. Bill glared at Larry, the contractor. Larry sized up the situation quickly and said, “Man you gotta communicate with me.”
He got back in Bill’s good graces two days later as they were trying to fit all the furniture back into the room. I commented, “This room has shrunk.”
Larry grinned at Bill and answered “It’s that white paint you had us put on the woodwork.”
Men! They surely do stick together. But that’s okay. Restoration 101 is almost done.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.