After restoring two other houses, I have learned that for us, there are three ways projects are started. The first way is the most obvious…we decide on the project. The second way is the most annoying…the house decides on the project. The third way is the most surprising…beer and football decides on the project.
When we make the decision, the project is pretty straight forward. We may decide to paint a room, refinish a floor, or remove some wallpaper… When we decide on a project, we feel in control, we have a clear idea of what we want, and the project usually goes quite well. Unfortunately, there are times that the project doesn’t go as planned. These are the times that the project selection process turns to the most annoying….the house decides on the project.
When the house decides on the project, it is either because the project is 1. not fun or 2. an EMERGENCY! The house may decide we need a new roof (not fun) or it may decide we need to do some unforeseen plumbing (EMERGENCY!). I dislike these projects….unfortunately, they are by far the most common.
The third way restoration projects are selected in our lives is due to beer and football. I am usually the last one to know about these projects. They may have been swimming around in hubby’s head for weeks, just looking for the perfect level of inebriation to come out, but I am always surprised by them.
In our first house, the Broncos were losing badly one Sunday. Hubby is a big time Broncos fan. His hands sweat during the games, he has to wear a jersey on game day, and the tone of game day is usually quite tense. Anyway, this was probably in 2000 or 2001 and the game was not going well. Hubby had a few beers in him and the tension was mounting. I looked over at him and he was gazing at the ceiling in frustration. Here’s what happened next…
Hubby – “I think these ceilings were lowered.”
Me – “Oh ya?”
Hubby sits there a few more moments, then disappears to the garage. He returns with a hammer. He calmly walks to the entry way, and starts hitting the ceiling with the hammer.
He bangs away for a while…I look over from the couch in disbelief. All I see is dust and plaster and….a project beginning before my eyes.
Hubby – “Yep, they were lowered, there’s a full foot of ceiling height here and the original ceiling is in good shape.”
The next year was spent removing the lowered ceilings in the entire house, repairing plaster, and re-finishing every room in the house.
Thank you beer and football.
Recently, beer and football struck again. This time, it was Broncos excitement, not frustration, that started the project.
Hubby was thrilled that the Broncos were doing so well and was excited about the upcoming playoff game. He had a few beers watching the game to see who our opponent the next weekend would be and was excited with the results (I know, I know, we ended up losing, but this isn’t about that, okay? Geeez!)
Hubby: “Would you rather have a bonfire with the kids before the game next weekend and watch the game as a family or have a bonfire and have people over?”
Me: “Um, either way, but we always have fun as a family. Having a bunch of people over sounds like a lot of work.”
Note: My response is code for “Are you a fucking lunatic? This house is in no way, shape, or form ready for guests. We just had the goddamned septic pumped and I don’t know if I want to test it just yet! We have tools everywhere, unfinished projects everywhere, unpacked boxes everywhere… NOT TO MENTION that we have nowhere to put that many people in front of a TV!”
Apparently, he thought I said “Guests? Yes, love, let’s have guests over for the game! As many as we can stuff in the house! That sounds grand!” because about 10 minutes later he said….”Ok, I’ve invited over a bunch of people….will you make a Facebook invite up?”
Uh….what just happened?
So, over the next week we ended up filling up another huge dumpster of trash, cleaning up a huge pile of concrete that was in the driveway area, mowing grass for the bonfire, unpacking a few more boxes to make the house a bit more presentable and….wait for it…transforming our dining room into a theater room. We literally stapled a king sized white sheet to a frame and put it up on the wall to project the game on to. We moved the couch in, the dining room table out, and voila! Theater room and seating for 20!
I will give hubby a little credit….he did say at one point “Maybe this party wasn’t such a great idea…”
And a little more credit….even though the Broncos lost, we had a ton of fun with our football fan friends!