There’s something wrong with me.
Don’t worry. I’m not sick and dying, or wanted by the police, pregnant, having an affair, or in need of a sex change. For God’s sake I’m too old to be having a baby. But, I do have a terrible, life long problem.
I must have a project. I need to design, demo, upgrade, fix, dig, plant, paint, repair, or caulk (Oh God, how I love caulk!) …I get the shakes just thinking about it.
My husband and I bought a sixty year old cottage in a small town in Texas, a few years ago. We were living in California at the time, but knew we were coming back to Texas and wanted to downsize and have a good place to retire and raise chickens.
Well, I wanted to raise chickens, but that’s a conversation for another time.
We took a 1500 square foot, two bed, one bath home, and made simple, but glorious, modifications. We gutted and redid the hall bath, installed a tankless water heater, (whoo hoo! ) created a master suite with a claw foot tub, marble tile and pedestal sinks, upgraded the kitchen with new appliances and counter tops, knocked down walls, added all new lighting, refinished our red oak floors, and painted and painted and painted.
During most of the renovation, I had an upper respiratory problem. Parlay that with, no bathroom, except for a lone toilet in the middle of open stud walls, termites, and large holes in the floor that let in hungry creatures who scurried around in the middle of the night. Add extreme noise and strange men (men who were strangers) in and out of our home, ten hours a day, I was in absolute misery. When I hit bottom, we checked into a hotel, just so I could take a bath and breathe dust free air.
Then we set our sights on the exterior. After eight pallets of sod, four new planting beds, twenty four Earth Kind roses (that now struggle with Rosette’s Disease) and a white picket fence, we were finished. We looked at what we had done, and saw that it was good.
We were happy. I was happy…for a while. Then..I hear my self say, “you know honey, it would look nice if we could…”
My husband cringes, but he sighs, nods and goes to Home Depot with me. He’s a fricking saint.
I wanted a fire pit, a deck and outside lighting. I knew the porches would look so much better if we added a little slate tile and a wicker swing. And why stop with the porch? Just look at the front walkway. Slate and brick pavers (that I found for a steal, on Craig’s List) would truly enhance our curb appeal.
Then of course, I needed a garden to grow tomatoes, a hammock when I wanted to nap, and studio space for my art work and classes. I couldn’t stop myself. I dreamt about it at night, waking up each morning with a drill in my hand and a metallic gleam in my eye.
It’s been over a year and I’m still coughing from the dust, my knees hurt, my husband’s back is shot and he pretends he can’t hear me most of the time. But we soldier on. Because, if we just did this one more thing…
Some think I need professional intervention, but I can stop any time I want, and as soon as we finish this one, last project, I promise, I’m going to stop.