7:12am–After a day off to let the dust settle–on everything–the guys are back bright and early with a truckful of lumber. I take this to indicate that some reconstruction is about to begin. Either that, or they’ve secretly screwed up terribly and have decided to build us a new house, albeit, a very small one.
While no demolition was done yesterday, the two guys who are partners in the contracting firm that is running the job came by and spent some time wandering around in the big, gaping hole measuring things. The guys, who I’ll call John and Mike (because those are their names), have a sort of good cop/bad cop routine. John is the jovial, optimistic one; Mike is the serious realist. We’ll sit around a table discussing plans, John constantly punching away at his smart phone (although I don’t know if he’s contacting suppliers, answering email or playing Angry Birds), Mike taking copious notes on a legal pad. A typical exchange will go like this:
John: So the cabinets will be ready in two weeks.
Mike: Probably closer to four.
John: And we can wait to order the flooring because it’s in stock.
Mike: You’re sure it’s in stock?
John: Yeah, so then figure, what Mike, about 4 weeks?
Mike: Sure, yeah, or six.
So anyway, yesterday they were taking measurements, which I would have thought would be something you’d do before you draw up plans and order cabinets and such, but the boys explained that they were just double checking now that it was one large gaping hole instead of two separate rooms. “We should have the framing done by the middle of next week,” John said as they left. “Or the week after,” Mike added.
For my part, I wasn’t aware of any pictures we had given them to frame.
9:15am–Some of the lumber has been used to seal off the passageway between the gaping hole and the living room. I can no longer see what’s going on in there. This, I understand, is for my own benefit, although with my love of conspiracy theories, I could make the case that it supports the notion that they’ve screwed up terribly.
3:55pm–There have been noises coming out of there all day: lots of sawing and banging primarily, and I see quite a bit of insulation in the dumpster, so I figure they’ve been working on the ceiling. Now I hear a lot of voices coming from the site, so I go down the hall to check it out, and my leg cramps up as I try to step over the gate Barbara has erected to keep the dog out of the area. Now that my daughter and my dog are all grown up (although one is sometimes more mature than the other), I thought I was done with these gates.
I limp to the living room side of the gaping hole, and find that the wood panel has been removed, replaced again by plastic that is only slightly more transparent than the wood. I look inside. It looks not one little bit different than yesterday. I return to my office, this time removing the gate to get by. Meanwhile, it being Thursday afternoon, the landscapers have started their weekly mowing, so I have the sound and gasoline smell of the mowers to add to the noises and odors inside the house.
There is no escape.
4:01pm–It sounds like they’re arguing down the hall. I can’t make out the words, but voices are raised. I really would prefer there not to be any disagreements about what they’re doing.
4:02pm–I hear one phrase: “gas line.” I close my door.
4:30pm–It is suddenly quiet, and I realize they’re gone for the day. I peek in and, sure enough, the insulation is gone, and it looks like they used the lumber for a floor.
I smell gas, but it’s probably still from the lawn mower. Right?