Monday, August 25, 2008

renovations dad style

So being the dutiful daughter that I am I decided to give my father one day of my two weeks off to help him renovate. (He and mom go from empty nest to two daughters and three boarders: Bedrooms needed to be carved from the deep dark depths of the basement.) So I am put to work on a harmless, yet not altogether mundane task: Clean and prime three basement windows.

Window number one: clean outside of inside pane. Clean inside of inside pane. Clean between inside and storm panes. Clean inside of storm window. Decide to knock storm window out of the frame to clean all crevasses. My fist is unable to supply enough force. Grab hammer and father to supervise. Tap along left side, right side, bottom, top, left side, and then through window pane. Supervisor removes hammer from my grasp and orders me away from the window. I comply.

Windows number two and three. I clean outside of storm windows from the exterior of the house.

While on exterior of said house a downpour commences. Concrete walkway along the edge of the house has been excavated with only a deep mudded valley in it’s place. Deep valley begins to fill. This is helped along with the waterfall pouring off the eaves. I ponder above situations for 10 minutes. After careful analysis I have determined that this may indeed be a negative situation requiring immediate attention from my supervisor. I bang on side door repeatedly. (Door bell is, and has been for the extent of my memory, useless.) I bang more. Footsteps bound up basement stairs and away from me. Front door opens. I bang more. No footsteps. I run through the waterfalls and knee deep water to the front door. I bang. Footsteps and door opens. Supervisor is now aware of the issue (he sees waterfall). He runs to 2nd floor bathroom window where he proceeds to climb out on lower roof to clean blockage to the downspout. I run to downspout unaware of his course of action. I yell his name, blind to his presence above me. He responds and proceeds to dump his first armful of leaf, mud and roof granular mixture on to my head. I am speechless.

I immediately tendered my resignation on the working renovation committee of “the house” but as there was much consternation on hearing this pronouncement a spot was made available on the steering committee of which I am now a happy and contented member.

(“Dad, I need you to build a wall here with internet access 10” from the west wall. A plug is needed in two locations as I haven’t determined where I want my nightstand. I also would dearly love to have a light switch which controls the lights in my room. I need the insulation, tyvek, vapour barrier etc inside my wall. I need the holes in my wall patched. I want a built in bookcase right here……..”)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

i LOVE it. :)

caitlin

Cand said...

you're a ham

Angelina Lynn said...

ohhhh i hate ham. how about chicken-- i like chicken.

Dad said...

Another perspective: I am working diligently in the basement, confident the oldest daughter can handle the task of washing windows on her own. After the daughter putting the hammer through the window, this tool was placed on the "dangerous tools" list with future use forbidden. Duct tape was immediately used to cover the hammer-sized hole.

I continue working. I hear incessant banging on the door upstairs - this always means someone is at our front door, as there is a sign there to "bang loudly since door bell doesn't work". (The door bell went out of commission recently and will be fixed soon.) I abandon my basement work, run upstairs to answer the front door, but there is no one there. As I gaze outside, I observe the waterfall at the corner of the house and wonder how this is possible, since we have recently installed eavestroughing complete with downspouts, the closest downspout being about 1' from the waterfall. I close the door and begin to ponder what I should do (i.e. go outside now in the rain to diagnose the situation or wait for a sunny day to diagnose the situation with the use of artificial but controlled rainfall - the garden hose).

I am allowed to ponder only for a brief second or two before the pounding on door resumes. This time, there is someone at the front door - the oldest daughter. She gasps and points toward the waterfall. I know, I know, and my decision is made - since the daughter is soaking wet, I'd better diagnose this now, not later.

I quickly switch into solution mode - all else fades to the sides as I focus. The quickest way to the roof is the 2nd floor bathroom window that opens onto the roof of the portion of the house with one floor. I quickly remove the screen, step out, run over to the top of the downspout, and observe a collection of leaves, mud and granular material congregating at the top of the said downspout. The diagnosis is very quick. The course of action is decided, also quickly - remove leaves, mud and granular material now (the waterfall is continuing during all of this time). I act, the dam is cleared, the water resumes is correct path, the waterfall instantly ceases, everything is restored to normal working order.

But wait, what is this? Some noise from below? Some sort of screaming? While the above diagnosis and solution was being implemented, there was a vague perception of a daughter running along beside the house, directly below my path along the roof, synchronized with myself. As I picked up the leaves, mud and granular material and dropped it, bomb like, over the edge, the vague perception of a daughter, still below, persisted.

Unfortunately for said daughter, the vague perception was not allowed to interfere with my focused solution mode and the synchronization of our paths was perfect as the collection of leaves, mud and granular material landed directly on her head, with the wet, sopping material folding its soggy embrace around the sides of her head and her face.

The oldest daughter graciously agreed to continue helping with the work.

Angelina Lynn said...

good thing I'm getting free room and board!