Mawlers’ Big Adventure ’04:
Home Front (part 3)

Santiago says he will start the work to replace the bathroom on Tuesday and finish on Wednesday night, with some possible additional touch-up on Thursday. All we need to do is buy the tile.

Do you sense any issues about to arise?

So, Monday, at lunch, Lea Ann and I go to the hardware store and pick out tile, buying what we think is enough to cover the bathroom. For the record, this amounts to about 13 boxes of 12 inch by 12 inch tiles. This is a very heavy load for the trunk of a sedan. In fact, the left rear tire on the car goes flat shortly after we get the tiles home, adding one more thing to be done.

Santiago arrives on Tuesday morning. Naturally, he has expected us to buy the grout, the mastic (sticky stuff) that attaches the tiles to the wall, the paint, any new light fixtures, the new vent fan, the hose for the vent fan, the vanity, the end cap tiles, the corner cap tiles, the towel bars, a replacement “O” ring for the toilet, drywall paste to fix holes, grout sealer, et cetera. While I know something about construction, this is all a bit difficult for me to anticipate (though we have picked out much of what is needed). And, for some reason, Santiago also finds it hard to anticipate because we go to the hardware store about five (5) times in the next three days to retrieve small, but very important, items that are needed to complete the job.

It is too bad that the hardware store near us closes at midnight. Despite starting on time on Tuesday, Santiago worked on our bathroom until 3:00 am on Wednesday night and until about 12:30 am on Thursday. So, apparently, this took longer than anticipated. It all comes to a bit of a head on Thursday, when the work is clearly not going to be finished and Lea Ann wisely insists to Santiago that “you have to be out of our house tonight, whatever is not done just will not get done”. Surprisingly, only one little nit remains incomplete, though my assistance probably helped speed the process along.

I must say, it is somewhat difficult to be a carpenter’s helper when the carpenter and the helper share very few words in common…

In the midst of the construction, Barbara comes over to learn about giving insulin shots to a picky cat. We spend the evening shifting back and forth between comments about construction requirements and where to find things in the house, when the trash comes, etc. My head is spinning.

And Lea Ann is still studying for her test on Friday. And I am still writing and reading for my philosophy seminar. And we still have no reservations for the trip. And we still have not packed.

Friday morning, the construction is done and we have a cleaning crew coming to tidy up a bit after the wreck that remodeling makes of our house. Yes, even in our house, the construction work made a negative impact on cleanliness. With a crew on the way, I spend the morning putting things away so that they can get to the countertops, the floors, and the windows.

The cleaning crew shows up and does a wonderful job (far better than I could have) and is gone by about 3:00 pm and that is everything. The bathroom is replaced, the doors are re-hung in the basement, the house is clean, Lea Ann takes her test on Friday morning, completing her class. We only need to exchange keys with Barbara. We are ready to go.

I guess we need a ride to the airport and some luggage, preferably with something in it.

The previous installment:
Home Front (part 2)

The next installment:
Ready Or Not...

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All materials © 2004 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler