Metro-East News

If Wally’s life will ever be normal, it’ll be when he’s back on the couch

Wally Spiers
Wally Spiers

It’s been quite a while since there has been a major disruption at my house. I think the last time was when I painted the kitchen and I know that was long ago, somewhere around the turn of the last century.

Even then it was nothing compared to our current remodeling project, which involves having professionals fix and paint the walls and refinish the floors in the dining and living rooms and a hallway.

I miss my sofa. And my dining room table.

I’m also missing a lot of things which are packed away in boxes or stacked in piles awaiting a return to normalcy around here. Meanwhile, for a couple of weeks we live in two rooms between piles of boxes and stacks of furnishings.

All the furniture in the offending rooms was moved out and most of it is in a storage pod in the back driveway. The pod, which cost more than my monthly house payment used to, couldn’t even hold it all. Some ended up on the front porch, covered from the weather.

Trust me when I say you never realize how much stuff is in a room until you have to move that stuff.

Instead of lounging on the sofa in the morning and getting ready to face the day or not, my wife and I were sitting among furniture on the front porch, exposed to the weather. That wasn’t so bad until the wet and colder conditions moved in.

Plus, our dog insisted on being outside with us. She has to be on a chain because she barks at everything and would charge off the porch at passing dogs, mail people and any blade of grass that happened to move.

If we come inside out of the weather our options are the unfinished basement, which is the domain of the cats, or the bedroom with the dog.

That makes the bed the center of our life, which I understand is kind of fashionable but not something we are used to. It is hard to set up in bed and when you eat on the bed, the dog has a front row seat and remarkable reach.

The problem is that I am a creature of habit and there are 30 years of habits in this house to adjust to. I grab a bowl of cereal and head for the table to sit down only to realize there is no table. I look at the wall to check the time and remember the clock is in a box somewhere.

Shut a door in the kitchen and the sound echoes loudly off the empty dining room and living room walls. It sounds like we are living in a cavern or a vacant warehouse.

I think the experience heightens your sense of empathy. We have a friend who once was out of her house for three weeks while it was remodeled. She had two small children and stayed with friends.

At the time we thought that was tough for her, but now it seems unimaginable. Another friend currently is out of her house while it has fire damage repaired.

I really shouldn’t be whining, it could be much worse. I have seen pictures of Syrian refugees in their temporary housing and I have read horrific stories of Jewish refugees in World War II.

But any kind of different experience creates perspective, and that is good.

This project is about to wrap up and it looks great. It will be worth it when it is all done, I think. I’ll let you know when I’m back on my couch.