I had NO IDEA I was a Demolition Queen until I felt the first full whack of the sledgehammer and watched the drywall buckle and bust. The crashing of the broken pieces of my dining room wall hitting the floor was like a fresh batch of whiskey to a bootlegger!
I. Am. Hooked.
I might just start randomly pulling down walls just for kicks and giggles, but first I think I need to finish the dining room.
As I donned my super-sexy dust mask/eye protection goggles/protective hat combo, I started to think deep thoughts about this whole experience. I mean, for me, the whole journey so far has been a metaphor for my life. I have reached a point where what I had been "getting by" with no longer works for me, and may in fact, be making me sick. (I don't think we have any black mold, but it's pretty nasty looking up there. It can't be healthy.)
So, it's time for a change. I started from the inside of the room,packing up the things I thought I needed to display and have "at the ready". Like my sewing machine that was last used over a year ago, and the wine selection in the china hutch that hasn't been touched in ages. I removed those things and packed them away for later. I've also done that with my day job. I'll get it back out, when this interior work is completed, just like I will go back to school in September, and continue my dream job of teaching little people to love school, reading, friends, broccoli, and an assortment of other things they never knew they liked. For now, those skills are boxed up. With my china.
I've had to rearrange some big pieces of furniture and remove EVERYTHING from the room. My life is in flux, and making a space, or allowing things to be gone is hard for me. Some of my kids are graduating, and are in the process of moving on with their adult lives in their own homes. They will be missed, and when it's time for them to go, it will be hard. They are mighty big pieces of the "furniture" in my heart and they can't be replaced. I also won't replace the dining room table that was so prominent in there. I tried to move it and the legs snapped off. Thankfully, the kids' legs are all still attached.
I pulled out the carpet in one big piece. Just pulled up the edges and rolled that bad monkey right out of there. I don't need no steenking carpet! It was stained with 18+ years of nail polish and dog pee and orange pop. I was in no way sad to see this carpet go, but it was super heavy, and I started to doubt my ability to physically complete this project. Then I was able to carry out the underlayment in 2 separate pieces by myself. Oh yeah, I don't have anything to prove to anyone. I'm just remodeling a room. Slow down......
Two walls of this room are internal. They are shared with another wall inside the house. They are close and intimate, and there is nothing between these walls but air and time, and the dust of all the years. Opening those walls was like releasing so many loving conversations. It was like setting free the memories of parties and games and laughter and singing. I could once again hear the silliness and fun that has happened in my home, and the cheerful voices of our wonderful children that Luke and I have been blessed to share it with. These walls open easily. The old drywall comes down in large pieces, and because there's nothing to stop them from cracking, they don't take nearly as much work with the sledgehammer. These walls make me feel invincible!!
The other two walls are external. They are packed top to bottom with blown insulation that is made of mulched old newspapers. How interesting that we would use the news of the day to protect our family from that which would harm it. That room has always been colder than the rest of the house, so I don't believe it was a very good insulation plan. However, opening up each section of wall and physically removing all of that crap was so very cleansing. Some of it would come out in big bricks of puffy stuff. Some would start to come out in a brick, until it missed the trash can and exploded all over my leg and into my socks with a million cells of fluffy, dusty, nastiness. It's like going to confession. "Here, Father, let me just open up this panel of wall and dump out for you all the old crappy fluff I've decided to pack into my life because it seemed like a good idea at the time. It seemed like something that would protect me or keep me warm, but it really and truly is trash." So I am absolved, but I still have fluff in my socks, and I still need to fill my trash bags with this stuff, and remove it from my metaphoric "room". I will try asbestos I can to make better choices. (See what I did there... Anyway.)
So here I am. My walls are bared. My insulation is gone. The floor is swept of the debris of drywall and fluff. And dust...So much dust! I really am made of dust, and to dust I will return. (I am reminded of this every time I re-enter this room, an put my dust mask back on.) I take a look around the room and realize that I have done all I can do for right now. The next step is a doozy, and I'm not sure I'm ready. I'm not sure exactly what to expect.
After Luke removes the chandelier, we will take down the ceiling. I'll post a picture. It's gross! I'm really afraid of what will come falling down on me when I open that can of worms. Can I swing a sledgehammer over my head while standing on a ladder? Should I? What disgusting assortment of nasty ceiling contents is going to come raining down upon me? Is my tarp big enough? Just like my life. Who isn't afraid when you get ready to take a great leap of faith with the One who is Above you? Things get dicey when you decide to remove some of the things that get between you and your Creator. I just want to be closer to Him. And I'd like to be rid of the damage caused by my leaky roof.
Who knew how much there is to learn by demolishing a dining room? Maybe God sent that leak just for me!