There are always going to be changes. Some we know not of, presenting themselves as surprises. Some come as a planned endeavor. Some may even come as a dream come true. Who knows?
I can likely present several different kinds of changes, but one that is in my face every day is the bathroom I’ve been working on. Not only does the change in its appearance, but what happens around it that happens and motivates its progression.
Several years ago the tub in there cracked beyond repair. I was married to another then. (Still am by state standards.) The tub in the other bathroom soon became the needed location to cleanse the body of the dirt and odors we tended to carry around. But not long afterward that tub developed a crack across the bottom from side to side in the middle of the area where we stood to shower.
Ah, not too bad at first so I taped it with aluminized tape that is primarily used for duct work. To ensure that pressure was evenly distributed around the crack I placed a sheet of sturdy tin of fair size and then put a bath mat over it to cover up the rigging I had done. Then came more years and a failed marriage, by which I have seemed to have been blamed for in its entirety. No consideration that my spouse of thirty-seven years was controlling and considered herself higher than others in the pecking order. These are not entirely my observations, but also of many of my family and friends. I was too close to the situation to notice it. I had grown into the situation, but not lost in it.
One thing I was aware of is her innate ability to spend money without telling me. I had managed us out of financial disaster between 1989 and 1994, because of my own choosing. Civil Service was an untapped source of my abilities and God knew I would make good. After pulling out of it I eventually came to a point of making more than double what I was making up till that previous point in time.
Then came the time between 2001 till 2009. She amassed a debt of over sixteen thousand dollars of debt without my knowledge. There’s too much to tell about this time. Personally, I think she was giving someone money and I have my suspicions of who. I just can’t prove it and it wasn’t me. Our house and proclivities did not show any evidence of where this money went. I had nothing to show for it.
But I digress. The tub now had found a new user. She was someone who was even much more industrious than even I could muster. She is a wondrous picture of beauty and well-rounded in every way. When I was young I dreamed of who would be my wife. Strangely I never thought my first wife fitting that description as it had filled my head at the age of thirteen or so. But the dream of this woman, who was called a “shiny new toy” by my psychologist has never lost her shine in five years. She fills everyday with unconditional love and motivation.
Motivation being the key word here she didn’t like moving in with me, but when she did she quickly said we were to embark on the remodeling of the house to include all the rooms and presently the master bath as our project of the moment.
Our first thing was to buy a new tub. It’s a simple metal with baked on enamel tub, but practical in all means. I proceeded at some point to tear out the old tub and found the floor underneath to be in rather solid condition. After a bit of sizing things up and purchasing waterproof materials we sat the tub into place and I hooked up the drain plumbing and put in a new faucet with a single lever function. I put up the waterproof material and tiled my first ever attempt at it and to say the least it turned out pretty good. My lady grouted it and we finally had a functional tub in our bathroom. She was full of suggestions and visions of what she wanted. I stand back sometimes and wonder why I hold back on her, because she has a talent way beyond me.
She bought tile for the floor, so my next step was to pull up flooring and brace the joists more to support the tile. Once I put down the floor tile she was right behind me with grout. Not to stop her now, she wanted a toilet that was a little taller and I wanted one with a more efficient use of water. We found it and while at it why not go ahead and get a new vanity with drawers on one side. Now the bathroom is coming together with color. The shades of earth tones have come together in the shower and on the floor. The wainscot and chair rail are white with the same color applying to the toilet, vanity and medicine cabinet. The walls are now a purple pastel. It has such a clean refreshing look.
This room is now far from the third world look it once had. The water stains on the walls and ceiling are gone, replaced with the touch of a hand and mind of someone who thinks like me. My home is no longer my home, but now our home. She and I have accomplished a transformation of the inside of our home to the point it no longer resembles the dank stained walls throughout the house. No more allergy laden carpet. No more plain old junk filling a room. Each room we’ve done has its own distinct touch of “us” on it. No more of the previous woman, who lay on the couch, never dreaming of helping me create something with her. She only withheld herself from me. She lost me long before it actually came to pass. My sons don’t understand and still fall for her divinations of my fall. I have not fallen. I’ve awakened.