From Where I Sit – Let’s Make a Deal

After years of being patient and understanding, I snapped. I asserted myself. I made my case. I pointed out unfairness. I stated an ultimatum.

Damned if it didn’t work.

The only way you can buy another damn trailer is if I get my kitchen renovation.

Now the mature Hazel knows that the flat deck trailer, end dump gravel trailer, and grain trailer are all deductible business purchases that help directly and indirectly with income generation and efficiency. Buying a second used Volvo tractor unit was also probably okay, too.

But the observant, cynical Hazel knows that the farm/trucking business can suck up all the available money you have?and then some. At between $30,000 and $40,000 a pop, these trailer purchases are adding up. Next he wanted a clam or belly dump trailer to add to the repertoire. It’s supposed to enable him to take on more gravel hauling jobs.

Let’s be clear: I don’t begrudge a man his toys, especially if they help him make money. What puts me through the roof is taking second place, settling for less, tippy-toeing around a guy who gets mad when the word renovation comes up.

We all know attitude is everything. If you choose to think about the old wiring, the mess, the cost, the time it’ll take, and the need to fit this huge undertaking into an already busy life, then yeah, It’s a turnoff. If you focus on the fact the house could be better, more functional, and more attractive, the project suddenly becomes worthwhile. If you look at it as a way to make the wife happy and yourself house-proud, then when can we start?

I may not have the technical skills or strength to do all the hands-on stuff. What I do have is the stamina and attitude to be the go-fer, the holder, the encourager, the job site cleaner-upper. I have creativity, product knowledge, and the willingness to ask questions and think outside the box. I’ve studied design books and watched HGTV for years.

I’m also a realist. I told Roy I’d rather live with a subfloor for six months than wait for the perfect (read: never) time to begin. I know projects don’t go without a hitch or get completed in the space of a TV episode. We will not have a cast of thousands to get the reno done in two days or two weeks or two months. We can’t make a silk purse out of a 60-year-old house, but we can make it beautiful and functional for our everyday needs. We can make it a space we’re proud to invite family or friends to see.

Roy and I shook hands on the deal. We have cabinet plans in the works and help lined up. No surprise, then, that I’ve emptied cupboards and begun prepping for demo. can’t risk a change of heart, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.

%d bloggers like this: