Just when we were beginning to feel like we were getting somewhere with our DIY projects, we got slapped with another reminder that it’s the house that controls the homeowner, and not the other way around.
Yesterday, Glop and I were feeling good about all we’d accomplished over the weekend. We’d sanded and primed another kitchen cabinet box, taken out a stump, and picked up lime and landscape edging for our next big project, growing grass on “the runway.” As we sat in the yard, patting ourselves on the back over glasses of Crystal Light lemonade, I noticed that some trim on our screened-in porch was cracking.
Like any homeowner, Glop has some pet peeves about the house and yard. For example, he has it in for the feisty, overgrown forsythia that resists his efforts to shape it into something attractive and manageable. He recently cut the eight-foot bush down to the ground, but already it’s taunting him with new shoots. Ditto the rhododendron in the back. But the porch – the porch is public enemy number one.
Nothing gets him going like a problem with our porch. He does not appreciate the upside to having a barrier between us and the NH mosquitoes. He can only see the flaws. His usual tirade goes something like this: “It was built @&#*$ wrong. I can’t believe someone used interior bead board and plywood on this thing. I can’t believe it’s attached to the siding like this. It’s such a piece of @^#%$. I better check that ceiling fan before it falls on us. Of course it’s sagging – no one braced it…” And on and on. I liken it to the way the dad in “A Christmas Story” feels about the Bumpuses. I’m just waiting for the day Glop takes a crowbar to it.
Of course, I forgot all of this as we sat discussing the weekend’s victories. I was just making conversation when I carelessly mentioned the crack in the trim. Instantly, Glop was on his feet and attacking the wood with his bare hands, revealing yet another layer of rot. And just like that, our feelings of contentment evaporated. Now Glop is obsessing over how and when he will fix the porch, and I fear my dream of having grass in the backyard will never be realized, the kitchen cabinets never finished.
I am starting to hate the porch myself, but for completely different reasons.