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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Before and After (05/14/09)

TITLE: And The Renovation Starts...
By Kimberly Russell


I'm so excited I can hardly sit still. After months of preparation, nerve wracking decisions, stress, and impatience, the day has finally arrived: my dream bathroom make-over begins. While such excitement may seem a little silly to some, looking at it from my perspective will surely shed light on the subject. When I moved into this house, everything was brand new. The tiny home had been flipped into a beautiful, miniature “lady's place”. Appliances, cupboards, carpet—just about everything had been upgraded—all but the bathroom. After several years of choosing to do other, more interesting projects, I finally decided it could be delayed no longer. I got a loan, came up with a plan, and hired contractors. It all comes down to today: zero hour.

I decide to take one last memorial shower. As I wait for the water to warm, gleeful snickers escape me as I imagine pieces of the shower stall laying on the front lawn, dying a merciless death. The poor thing has definitely seen better days. It's so pathetic, I don't even think Habitat will take it- time to send it to “Bathroom Heaven”.

Suddenly, there's impatient pounding on the front door. Uh-oh: they're early. Well that can't be all bad, right? I race to the door—heaven forbid they leave--hoping strategic body parts are appropriately covered.

With embarrassment, they insist a coffee run is in order while looking everywhere but at me in my hastily clad bathrobe. Imagining them rolling their eyes and wondering if I'm going to be a pain in the neck the whole week, I quickly duck in and out of the shower, vowing to prove them wrong. When they return, I'm pristinely arranged on the couch, coffee cup in hand, ready to face them down. They swoop in with tool belts jangling and basically ignore me. Men on a mission with no time to waste on idle chit-chat. As they whisk by, I half expect them to shout “hoorah”...good grief, men are such odd creatures, all macho and everything....

As the day wears on, pieces of history line up in the driveway like soldiers waiting to be discharged after their final mission. As unlikely as it seems, I feel a certain amount of grief as Habitat for Humanity backs in and starts to load the old toilet (would anyone really want THAT?), a window, trim pieces, the door- all of it swept away to be adopted by a new family. Inside I feel all warm and fuzzy knowing I am helping someone less fortunate--and I take a minute to thank God for the many blessings He has extended to me.

The next few days crawl by as the new room begins to take shape. Progress is slow (agonizingly so as I make yet ANOTHER trip to Dairy Queen to use their facilities) and of course, there are obstacles. At one point, my entire electrical service blows after a power surge, generating an electrician's bill that is not in the budget. But as always, God is faithful: I find out that the old wiring I have chosen to ignore has actually been a dangerous fire hazard- one that has been remedied.

It is also discovered that a contractor hired a few years ago to put in insulation did not install the correct amount and the company is going to make it right by bringing me up to current code.

My new furnace that was damaged by the power surge is covered under warranty. While I will be responsible for the labor, it too may be reimbursed by insurance which is replacing several items that were destroyed.

This whole event has not been without drama, that's for sure. But as I luxuriously soak in my new tub, I decide it's been worth the trouble. It actually has been rather fun and I have proven to my detractors that I am very capable of good decisions. A prime example is the Star Trek toilet (real short and squatty in an outer-galactic kind of way. Surely this is what Captain Kirk had in his private quarters and I've always wanted one!)

Looking around at the freshly painted walls, fluffy towels, and shiny fixtures, my mind begins to race...hmmm...maybe I should redecorate the bedroom...

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This article has been read 679 times
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Sara Harricharan 05/24/09
ROFL! I love the touches of humor in this piece! Simply delightful! A lovely, light hearted read, I'm so glad I got to read this one. Just the smile I need this morning...hmmm...and I would like to know how the bedroom comes out. LOL!
Connie Dixon05/25/09
Great writing here. I've wanted to do our master bath for about 8 years now, this gave me the inspiration to make it happen. I enjoyed this a lot.
Patricia Herchenroether05/25/09
Very well-written and your humor gave it just the right touch. I'm smiling now. lol
Mona Purvis05/25/09
You put me there sitting smugly on the sofa with a cup of coffee. Perfect voice to this story to keep it amusing.
Pamela Kliewer05/26/09
I really enjoyed this. The humor throughout was great, the voice perfect.
Carol Slider 05/26/09
I really enjoyed reading this story, though it brought back memories of my own (somewhat less successful!) bathroom renovation. Well done!