so close

You guys, I am over it.



I am over winter, and over this remodeling project.

I don't want to go on and on about how cold it is (but seriously, it is COLD! Like wind-chill-advisory-it's-going-to-feel-like-25-below-zero-tomorrow-morning cold) and how the last stages of the kitchen renovation should have taken one week and instead are dragging out into three. So I won't go on and on. But you get the idea.

The dishwasher, the faucet, and the outlet covers did not make it in time for Valentine's day.
I think it's a sign of my stress level that I had a bit of a freakout yesterday over something so absurd and trivial I'm not even sure I should admit this in public. But hey, it's been a while since I've posted anything substantial and it's a good story, so what the heck.

Anyway, I had a full day of teaching and rehearsals and more rehearsals yesterday, with about a 45-minute break in the mid-afternoon, which was just enough time to yank a cheese stick out of the fridge for lunch, check on the work being done, and get the kids from school.  A couple young guys were at my house installing backsplash tile. They were still at it when I left to pick up my kids, and weren't going to finish up until after I had to leave. While I know and trust my carpenters, and everyone they recommend, these installers were contracted out with the place where we bought our tile and I am not acquainted with them well at all.  Even though the tile place was recommended by our trusted carpenter, we still have at least two or three degrees of separation here, and, well, I just don't know them. My plan had been to leave the kids home for a bit on their own...but the two subcontractor guys weren't done working yet and suddenly, I wasn't sure if it was okay to leave the kids in the house with two people who are essentially strangers. 

Now, these guys had not said or done a single thing to make me think I couldn't trust them. They were quietly working, listening to country music (aside: there has been more country music aired in this house in the last 5 months than in the last 11+ years combined we have lived here), and doing a fine job installing backsplash tile. They were nothing but professional in their demeanor. There was not even a cigarette butt to be seen on the frozen landscape that is my yard. 

But. I spotted this one thing that gave me pause: a prescription bottle full of what I think were little round green pills, based on my not-so-subtle glance at it, a glance that lasted about two seconds. And that started all kinds of questions in my mind: what are those pills? Why are they there in plain sight? What kind of prescription needs to be at work with someone in the middle of the day? So I did what any over-stressed, over-protective, probably over-caffeinated mom would do. I waited until I was at the school to pick up the kids, and I looked it up on my phone. I asked the internet, what kind of prescription pills are round and green? And of course I got all kinds of answers, some of which were reassuring, but most of which were not. WebMD yielded pages and pages of possibilities, most of which were various forms of the following: oxycodone, morphine, clozapine (an anti-psychotic), cholesterol medication, iron supplements, and acid reflux medication.

My mind was racing. What were those pills? Why were they in my house? Was I being foolish to consider leaving my children in the house with strangers who might be taking narcotics? RECREATIONALLY?Or anti-psychotics?

I texted Stuart. I texted my brother. I fretted. I said hello and made bland conversation with a couple other moms. The kids walked out of school, and by the time we got to the car, I still hadn't decided if the men working in my house were crazed child-molesting drug addicts who couldn't be trusted or if I was being a little extreme. I wondered if I should drag the kids along with me to the three rehearsals I had yet to attend or if I should trust rational thought (and my brother, who suggested that perhaps they just like to carry Tic-Tacs around in re-purposed prescription bottles) and leave them at home.

I decided on the latter. We came home, I got them snacks, made sure Daniel was working on homework and that Anya had a book to read. The guys were still working, showing no signs of being in a mind-altered state, and I decided that I was being ridiculous. The tile was straight, at least, and I figured that anyone taking narcotics on the job wouldn't be so stupid as to leave the bottle casually on the counter.

I did not relax, though, until Stuart got home and texted me that everything was normal and everyone was fine.

I have been cooking in the basement since Thanksgiving. I even baked two birthday cakes down there.  I have been emailing the crazy neighbor's lawyer with regular updates so she won't call the police when a delivery truck shows up for 15 minutes. I have edited papers, entered semester grades, and practiced for graduate auditions to a backdrop of nail guns, angle saws and country music. I spent New Year's Day staining trim with the windows open when it was 5 degrees outside. I have wiped layer after layer of dust off of EVERYTHING and it's still everywhere. I have eaten lunch in my basement with the socially awkward electrician who left a half-assembled ceiling fan in the middle of my living room floor (he still hasn't come back to finish it). I have gotten my car stuck in my own driveway, the front wheels spinning in ruts created by the dumpster that was parked there for four months. For the last six weeks, whenever someone asks me how the renovation is going, I have smiled brightly, sighed, and said "Getting close to done!"

I know that I have a good life and a good family and so much to be grateful for. Every day I count my blessings. 

But I am still ready for this project to be done. We're getting close...


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