Remodeling dust

I am destined to a life of remodeling dust, paint, noise and confusion first at home – and now at work. About the time the remodeling dust settled inside the safe haven of my home, contractors invaded the News-Times and began imitating my husband’s destructive/constructive cycles – except, of course, I loyally contend that my husband does a much better job.
I was one of the lucky ones, my department was the first to be evacuated into the nether lands of the News-Times office. As one editor observed, “it looks like a high school computer class.” We have computers stacked on every available surface. We work within elbow bumping distance of each other.
Ideally, the best way to remodel anything is to clear the area of everything and everybody, then get down to the nitty gritty of dust and noise, quickly restore order, clean-up the mess and move everyone back in. It doesn’t work that way at home – it has not worked that way at the office.
At home, our last project was replacing the 19 year-old vinyl wallpaper in the master bathroom. It had managed to escape earlier remodeling sprees because it stayed intact, clean and neat … and I really liked it. My husband did not voice his opinion until mildew grew between the vinyl and the dry wall. Then he joyfully ripped it off saying, “I always thought this was the ugliest wall paper I had ever seen.”
With such different tastes in wallpaper, we decided to paint and stencil the next time – until he realized how many hours stenciling required.
We spent a cozy afternoon picking out and discarding wallpaper patterns. His tastes reminded me of camouflage. He politely showed his lack of interest in my choices. Three hours later we bought three rolls of wallpaper with fern leaves. Hubby was half way through hanging it when he realized he needed another roll.
He did finish. We bought coordinating towels, shower curtains and mini-blinds. I pronounced the inside of the house done.
Just about the time realized I was running out of excuses for wiping off the plaster dust that had seeped into the furthermost corners of my home, the contractor moved into the News-Times office with his own version of scraping, painting, patching, pounding and drilling. Carpenters, electricians and painters accentuated our work schedule with the smells of paint, glue and welding, the whine of drills and pounding of hammers.
In the midst of all that the staff carried on phone conversations with route customers, advertisers, and potential story sources. Reporters used earphones to block out the sounds as they composed stories.
Everyone made time to be a sidewalk supervisor on our side of the construction project. Probing and questioning the patient contractor with the perpetual smile.
As I write the editorial department’s phase of remodeling is nearing completion. The sales and circulation departments are packing up to move out of the contractor’s way while their work space is transformed. I don’t like the confusion, but until it is all over, I have plenty of reason for the plaster dust in the corners of my computer screen.

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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