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Published May 19, 2020

 

Thank you, sir, may I have another ...

My bathroom and routine got demolished

By John Toth / The Bulletin

Here we go again. After only a few weeks of recovery time and some normalcy returning to the homestead, we jumped head-first into Major Renovation Project No. 2.

I did it reluctantly because we recently renovated the kitchen and spent weeks looking for things and washing dishes in the bathroom sink. The place was a mess for weeks. Sometimes it was easier to just buy what I needed rather than look for it.

The guys from A+ Remodeling in Angleton were not the problem. They did a great job. It was the fact that, after decades of living in the same house, I got used to the way things are and where they are.

After the kitchen renovation, the master bathroom was the next obvious project. It was a little outdated. We have not made any changes to it since moving here in 1989.

I still had the same sink my daughter, Stephanie, painted - for whatever reason - when she was very young. We should never have given her that painting set for her Christmas. Or was it Easter, or birthday? They should make the manufacture of painting sets for children illegal.

She also painted on the sliding bathroom mirrored doors, which we decided to renovate rather than chunk, even though they are so retro. I like retro, and replacing them would have required rebuilding sections of the closet.

Those old mirrors started to look pretty good after we found out what was involved, so we just had them refurbished. That meant that Stephanie’s art work had to be scraped clean.

But her masterpieces still decorate various parts of the house. I have painted around them.

I realized with some help from my wife, Sharon, who loves to watch HGTV, that it was time to either buy a new house or renovate our homestead. With what houses cost these days, the choice of renovating wasn’t even close.

So, we signed another set of contracts and prepared to have our lives turned upside down again as workers demolished the old and built the new.

We moved into the guest room and continued working out of the house while the contractor hammered away in the master bath. They left nothing standing but the 2x4 studs.

Then the Covid-19 quarantine orders were issued, and the county was, for the most part, shut down.
But not construction. Our project could continue. That was lucky, since the bathroom was gutted, and there was just a hole where the toilet used to be. But what about our health? What good is a new bathroom if Covid-19 gets us? So, we came up with a plan.

I checked the workers' temperatures with one of those thermometers I bought a while back and never used. It does it without having to touch the person. When they worked, I kept clear of the area where they were. When they finished each day, I wiped off with Clorox everything they touched.

As they came to work, I quizzed them: “Any coughing overnight? Any joint aches? Did you taste your breakfast this morning? Can you smell the breakfast I made?”

No coughing, except for a smoker's cough. No out-of-the-ordinary joint aches, except for one worker who fell off a motorized bicycle. Some days they didn’t have any breakfast, so I made them some and made sure they could taste and smell it.

As the days went by, I got used to the turmoil and the noise. I put out a paper each week under these conditions, granted that my office is way on the other end of the house.

As the virus news got worse, I was hoping that the project would be finished, and we could go back to the way things were in the house, except much nicer.

When that day came, there was jubilation and also sadness. Jubilation like the kind on the first day of summer break; and sadness, like the kind on the last day of summer camp.

“Promise to write?” I jokingly asked one of the guys as they pulled their trailers off my lot.

“I live in Angleton. Just call,” he said.

I survived another round, this time with the deadly virus threat complication.

I feel like I have earned a relaxing, long, hot shower.

(John looks forward to hearing from you on this subject. Send me a note at john.bulletin@gmail.com. You can even send an old-fashioned letter to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516.)