Silver Wordsmith: An author's journey
Living on Pins and Needles
For nearly two weeks now most of my energy has been usurped by the kitchens and baths renovations that are taking place in our unit. This was a project that was years in the making and has been going on at our housing cooperative since early August. It’s been a huge undertaking by a handful of volunteers here who have generously donated more time than I can image. I gotta say, as much as I appreciate it, it has been quite the adventure actually having to go through it, especially with three unvaccinated kids in the middle of the pandemic.
Last week, when the bulk of the renovation was being done, we just lived at my sister-in-law’s (who had gone trough the same thing months earlier). Their poor three-bedroom unit had to accommodate nine people, including five kids, three of whom are toddlers (though don’t tell the oldest toddler that she is one, or she will cut you) and as fun as it was all hanging out together, by the end of it, I couldn’t keep track of what day it was.
Then over the weekend we managed to move back in, spent two days entirely on getting the kitchen organized and then clearing out Monday morning so they could get floors installed, hoping that by staying out of the house, we could move back in at the end of the day and finish setting up the pantry. Note too that because we’re keeping the kids safe during the pandemic, we’re keeping them out of indoor spaces, and we live in a city where it seems to rain entirely through the fall and winter, we basically ended up living out of the car that day only to find out that we need touch ups the next day, so we were at it again on Tuesday Not blaming anyone in particular … except perhaps the “contractor” that’s spearheading this project. The less I say publicly what I really think about them, the less legal trouble I might get into.
I ended up taking 8 vacation days for this and nothing about the time that has passed feels like anything like a vacation. I guess this is a rite of passage into adulthood – surviving a renovation or contractor work. I remember my dad was only a few years younger than me when he basically had a contractor build our new apartment in Moscow, and was so much up their asses for the various deficiencies that they ended up going bankrupt months later. I actually missed him being able to provide a sympathetic ear during this time, and sharing his favourite stories of all the things they’d mucked up.
At this point, I just want a sense of normalcy to return – I want to be fully moved back into our place and have our home back. I want to get the Christmas lights up and get cozy. I want to be able to freely write instead of stealing a few minutes here and there just to continue my daily writing streak. I want to have the time to go for a run, I want to not feel like I need caffeine first thing in the morning in order to properly function. But mostly, I just want my kids to be able to settle in and enjoy their home again.
Anyway, that was a lot of griping about essentially ending up with some shiny new kitchen cabinets. Just got to remind myself that it will all be back to normal soon.
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Michael is a husband, father of two, lawyer, writer, and is currently working on his first novel, at a snail's pace. A very leisurely snail. All opinions are author's own.