Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Drop in the Bucket

Our nice fall weather turned nasty today; Rain turned to icy pellets which the evil wind then threw into your face after it blew your umbrella inside out. Well, at least it makes coming home to a warm, cozy house that much more inviting. After fighting the elements trying to get groceries in, Allison and I both sighed and exclaimed to the kitchen: "Oh thank you, warm house." As I was straightening up she went into the family room to play. Moments later she came scrambling into the kitchen saying something about something jumping under the coffee table. I went to have a look and discovered a puzzling white mush. What? It took a few moments for me to comprehend that it was wet ceiling texture. I looked up to see a soggy spot of ceiling near the skylight. Oh lovely. It's really a lot worse this year, maybe so bad that we have to do something besides put a bucket under the leak. And in the next thirty seconds I was renting ladders scraping the popcorn texture from the 20 foot ceiling (we always hated that stuff--is now the opportunity to get rid of it?) Would I use a big putty knife or is there a special tool for that, and I'd need to wear a hat because it will get all in my hair, in fact, wouldn't I have to remove all the furniture first and lay down a tarp, and is there asbestos in that?

All Robert's framed golf flags will have to come off the walls so I can paint since now would be a good time, but then why not refinish the woodwork around the windows though there are quite a lot of them and they are all about 16 feet high, so again, the ladders. But first I 'd need to pull down the old peeling wallpaper (always hated that too); isn't there a special tool for that? I scooped up the white mush and eyed the soggy spot again. Maybe nobody will notice.

While Robert spent his day at his office, Allison and I paid Beau a visit at his business today with the intention of helping somehow. Where to start? While he worked the tire machine, Allie and I got out the industrial mop and bucket and went to work. I tidied up his counter. That was about it. I couldn't muster up the focus and energy required to really do some good, mainly because the job requires pure dirty labor. I need work clothes, boots, gloves, disinfectant, commercial grade cleaning appliances, paint, and hours and hours of time. I'd have to get a running start and not look back. I just finished a run like that through my own house where I could have used a holster to pack my vacuum attachments. In fact, this morning I ridded of the boxes and bags of toys and clothes I had organized and packed on my cleaning spree earlier this week. I helped the driver (for the charity) haul the stuff to his truck. I threw in the toddler bed which I helped him carry up from our basement, plus some other large items. I guess when I got to Beau's I wasn't in the mood for more work.

So I offered the support that comes from just showing up. And even better, a hot meal when he got home. I got a big hug. Allison wants five bucks for her part in mopping.

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