Friday, March 23, 2012

Now let's get to work on that utility room

original run date February 21, 2012
Chariton Valley News Press

After 23 years of marriage this month, a person wouldn’t think anything could scare Larry anymore. I have found one phrase that strikes terror in his heart though. I simply have to say “let the destruction begin”.
I’ve never been a wife that waits on her husband to do things around the house. I know how to run power tools and I’m not afraid to tackle a project. I guess it can be said that I’m a pretty independent woman. (After giving anyone who knows me very well a chance to catch his/her breath from laughing at that statement, I’ll finish my story.)
Larry and I have a system that has worked for many years. We discuss changes we want to make around the house or farm. These discussions aren’t short or brief – they are in-depth. Larry tells me he would love to help me with it. Then the subject is not mentioned again for weeks. I roll the ideas around in my head during those weeks while developing a plan. After deciding I need to get the ball rolling on the project, I either call or, in recent years, text the simple phrase “let the destruction begin”.
The first time this happened, Larry didn’t take me serious. I wanted to take some walls out and “open up” the family living area. After deciding it was time to get the project rolling, I made the call to him at work. When Larry got home, he opened the garage door to find the two walls that needed to come out lying in his side of the garage. He quietly closed the garage door and went to the barn.
Taking the walls out didn’t seem to be much of a problem. I had three young children, two crowbars and a couple of hammers. Just telling the kids they were allowed to tear something up made me the world’s greatest mom for the day.
Larry decided the shock factor of seeing those walls in the garage deserved a response. When it came time to cut the hole in the wall between the kitchen and the living room, he laid out where the window needed to be. He didn’t have a sawzall to cut the window so in true Larry fashion – he broke out the chain saw.
It really did not faze me too much. I just wanted a window in the wall so the area we frequented the most was more open. I have witnessed Larry do some pretty amazing things with that chainsaw. I must say though, that was the first, although not the last time, I had seen him complete a home improvement project inside the house with it.
A few years passed before he got the dreaded message again. He knew what it meant this time and wasn’t near as shocked when he got home.
We’ve recently undertaken a few more home improvement projects. With the snowfall and the cancellation of basketball games, he got the message once again the other night. By the time he got home, I had already removed the paneling and most of the sheet rock off the walls. It wasn’t a support wall so the destruction phase was quick.
Larry grabbed a crowbar and joined in on the destruction this time. He got a little more into it than previously. I have to say, the Chuck Norris karate kick that broke the two by four was comical. I was kind of impressed that it actually broke. Jake, on the other hand, was stunned that his “old man” could kick that high.
With the destruction phase complete, construction can now begin. The largest workload will probably consume our wedding anniversary. In a way, we will be spending the day much like we did 23 years ago – mixing together our ideas of how something should be and turning it into something useful and pleasing.
Just like when we got married, some things will turn out just as we expected. Other times, we’ll have to change our plans and make do the best we can. With any luck, there won’t be any disasters. I figure our marriage is pretty much like our house. There will always be something that needs work but all in all, we are happy with the way things have worked out.
Over the past years, our wedding has transformed into a marriage and our house evolved into a home. I’m pretty blessed in that the marriage has never gone through the destruction phase. I’ll make sure and refrain from sending any more texts that might send it that direction. I’ll just load up any walls I remove and haul them off myself next time instead of using his parking spot in the garage.
Happy Anniversary Larry - now let’s get to work on that utility room.

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