The project

He: “I’m turning the water off and draining the old tank now.”
She: “Everybody shower. Quickly! We won’t have water for a week. Fill the water bowls. Move it!”

I love home repairs and improvements when they are complete enough for the tools to go back in the cabinets. Getting to that stage is somewhat less than satisfying. Because we live in an old house, there is no such thing as a simple repair or project. One repair ALWAYS means at least three repairs and this time I needed a mold clean up.

“After I got in there, I found out __ was broken, too.”
“I can’t fix it until I re-work the wiring because…”
“Our pipes are too old for this, so…”

As the problems stack up, the monstrosity known only as the “project” bleeds money. So. Much. Money.

The project area has to be cleared of normal contents, so every room in the house ends up cluttered with extra stuff. Supplies and tools are on every surface in the house. Nothing can be found. Nothing can be put away. Can’t sit in chairs because they are full of displaced things. It’s like drowning in clutter. The clutter is covered in layers of construction dust. The sunbeams sparkle with clouds of it. The humans are covered in grime.

Coughing. Sneezing. Headaches. Nosebleeds.

When the project gets to a point that it is functional, work on the project ceases. The huge amount of time that has been spent on the project means that other things are too far behind schedule. Something else is at the top of the urgency queue. No project is ever fully completed, but I always leave a bite of food on my plate and one of the children always leaves a few drops of milk in the carton instead of emptying it, so that’s basically the same thing. Right?

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