Errors in Judgment, Sequences and Expansions

   Written by on August 10, 2017 at 10:41 am
The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

There is a possibility that I made a small error in judgment this past week.  My bride Management and I both had the week off and we planned on finishing some of those little things that have remained undone since we started building our home about 15 years ago.

We moved into it 12 years ago when it was still unfinished.  Although we both knew it was a mistake, it was an upgrade from our old house which today would be considered unfit for human habitation.  Actually it was not designed for humans.  It started out as a classroom at Keysville Elementary School.  When the school closed we bought it at an auction and moved it home for storage.

With a few upgrades such as walls and a kitchen it was suitable until we could do better.  Then it was severely damaged by a little flood.  Shortly after the flood, one of the horses wandered in, took a tour and collapsed the rest of the floor.  We still had a roof over our heads, and a few walls to put our backs against even if they were hanging three feet above the floor.

Our biggest setback in building is what most people consider a character flaw in me.  Everything in the house with the exception of wiring and plumbing is old, used and usually unique.  In my mind there are only four acceptable prices: free, almost free, trade or pay me to take it. In spite of this we have made slow and sometimes unnoticeable progress but each year there has been progress.  This past week we made more progress than we have in the past year.  First I installed a pane of glass in the door to the upstairs.  Contrary to popular opinion, this has not been waiting for twelve years.  It has only been eight years since I installed the door.   

The door came from a 191? Sears Roebuck house.  Somehow, neither the door nor the opening for the glass is square.  After half a day or so I finished that and decided to replace our bedroom door which as been missing since we refinished the floor two years ago. The door I used came from the old Keysville School and, as the building settled over the years, had been trimmed to fit.  This required some creative leveling and plumbing.  Both doors passed Management’s requirements.

We then painted one wall of the living room and the dining room.  Management purchased the paint at retail.  I was scandalized; there is always free paint available in unique incorrectly mixed colors and almost free in the closeout pile but she wouldn’t even consider them.  I once painted a 70 VW by mixing all of the leftover reds and oranges at the body shop.  It was an attractive and unique rorange and it was free.  When I sold the car, I added a hundred to the price for the custom color.   

Painting made the lack of door and window trim more obvious, so that needed to be done.  But FIRST I needed to add several electrical outlets as well as add an outdoor light beside the door we put in last year to replace a window that was in the wrong place.

This is one of the sequences that frequently impede my progress. Before wiring I had to find all of my tools (borrow what I can’t find) and the wire, devices and a porch light. In addition to the sequences, I was also delayed by the expansion and additions.  While I am running wires it would be silly not to add several outside receptacles. And a light under the porch where we stack wood would be nice also.

The completion of the door and window trim made the unfinished exposed beams look unfinished and exposed.  So now they need to be wrapped and stained.   Management declared the results of our efforts “elegant” which mean they don’t match the knotty pine boards on the living room walls or my collection of early American junk.

On a positive note, replacing the pine will give me another chance to try to sneak in a few secret compartments.  Although I no longer have any need for secret compartments or have anything of value that needs hiding or the necessity of hiding anything, I just like having them.

This brings me back to my little error in judgment.  If the house becomes elegant, and Management starts throwing out all of the old, broken, damaged and useless things that don’t fit the new décor, am I in trouble?  Does that description just fit my stuff or does it also describe me?

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