The walls come down

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I worked. Friday I had help; Michael and Chuck helped me clear crap from the south end. We threw much away, stored some things int he attic, some in the shop. Then I went to work with hammer and cats-claw (a short prybar with a hook and several clever ways of pulling nails) and removed panelling and plywood. When I got far enough, I whipped out the sawsall, which is a sort of cross between a hacksaw and a sewing machine, whipping a short lethal blade back and forth and amazing speeds, and cut the nails through on the pantry wall. I kicked it 18 inches to the east, and then screwed it back into place. Our pantry, which was 28 inches wide and deep, was now almost four feet wide. A person could actually store things in a space like that.

After that I cut rolls of insulation and stapled them into place. The interior walls are mostly uninsulated, which makes the house cold and noisy. That will be much lessened. Anther few hours went to this.

Then I started drywalling. Michael and I moved all the drywall into the hallway where it will annoy all of us and entertain the cats, and I measured and cut and shaped and mounted. I have maybe a quarter of the drywall up.

The bathroom wall that holds the sink, water, and soil pipes was framed badly. It was framed so that the pipes aren’t squarely contained by the wall. If I drywalled that as it stands, we’d hapve pipes sticking out. Ugly. Unfortunately, the bottom of the wall is set in the concrete, and can not be moved without the use of a sledge hammer. So I’m spending some time widening the 2×4 wall to 2×6 by screwing 2×2 lumber to the studs. Ungainly, but it will be undetectable once the drywall is up on that wall.

All of which makes it sound like Shannon was deeply emotional and I was reasonable and efficient. And so it was for the weekend. Monday came, and with it Dolores and two cronies. In that moment of arrival Shannon and I switched positions. She dealt with her mother, talked reassonably and persuasively, and compromises were reached.

I wanted to wall the three intruders up in the pantry. I was even willing to lose the storage space.

They chatted amiably about what needed doing, watching me work the drywall from the far side of the kitchen. I said, with a cold lack of expression in voice and manner, “I love you all dearly but you need to leave my work area. Now.” They scurried away.

I had a fight with a piece of drywall, turning it the wrong way and trying to force it into place, which I know breaks the stuff and makes it ugly and weak. I considered using a hammer to shape it before I used the rasp that was actually called for. I dropped screws and tools and tripped over things and cussed. Shannon and Dolores came back.

Shannon said, “Mom needs some roofing material, and you need 2×4’s. Why don’t you and one of the guys –”

“No. I’ll do it. I’ll pick it all up.”

She looked at me, wondering what was wrong. “Look, just take one of –”

“I. Don’t. Want. Company. I’d rather do it alone.”

“Ohhhkay. Mom, Scott will just make this run on his own.”

I was so proud of my self control. I didn’t acutally throw a temper fit and cry. Such a victory. The rest of the day I was pretty much left alone, and got a lot done.

I hate feeling childish. Even worse, I hate knowing that the feeling is justified.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry