We have a weird Thanksgiving tradition in our home. We tend to start extensive home improvement projects just as the holiday season is kicking off. Sometimes they’re not very huge undertakings—one year we just replaced the dining room chandelier the night before company came for Thanksgiving. (When we bought our first house, the chandelier there had been held up in part with toothpicks. Really.) Other projects are much more intense—like the year we ripped out our master bathroom the Friday after Thanksgiving and used the kids’ bathroom for almost a year while Darrell re-built it pretty much from scratch. (On HGTV they do entire houses in an hour!)
The first year we were married, we wallpapered the kitchen of our condo the night before Thanksgiving. We were hosting my family for the first time; so excited to have our own place to have the holiday as a newly-married couple. When we came downstairs to the kitchen the next morning, we found that the wallpaper had all peeled off the wall (we’d wallpapered over paneling) in long, curled-up sheets. We had prepped it properly, but it was such a long sheet that the weight of it caused it to fall off the wall. Frantically we managed to get it put back up before company (family) arrived, finishing it just in the nick of time.
One would think after that episode, we would have learned a lesson, but gluttons for punishment that we are, we didn’t. I’m not sure if it’s because the weather changes and we find ourselves inside more or what, but it seems like we’re always doing some kind of construction when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around. While other people are trimming the tree with gusto, we’re trying to figure out where to put it where there will be minimal dust for the lights and ornaments.
This year, Darrell got super-industrious. He took out the wall between our kitchen and the living room. We’ve talked about doing this for years, but I never dreamed we’d do it this week. Erin’s been watching a lot of HGTV, especially Property Brothers, and had been begging to get to take the first whack at the wall with a sledgehammer. We all did get a few licks in, but Dad, being the Project Manager Extraordinaire, put the kibosh on it and took the rest of it down “neatly”. Ahem.
I hope to have some after-photos to share with you by the end of this weekend. Yes, I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, so it’s going to be interesting to see exactly how finished this wall is by mealtime tomorrow. At least all the dusty stuff will behind us by the time tonight’s done. I hope.
Until then, here’s a little poem in honor of this wonderful family tradition:Sawblades are buzzing Dust is everywhere We took the kitchen wall out and We haven’t time to spare The Home Improvement Monster Reared ambitiously this week A project this size before Thanksgiving Is not for the weary or the meek Somehow this time of year Is when we get the bug to change From installing chandeliers and flooring We get the itch to re-arrange Most likely our week’s timeline Isn’t quite enough to git ‘er done We’ll face our guests on Turkey Day Hoping they won’t turn around and run We wish to beg your pardon As we‘ve made our home a wreck We promise that, when you return Of dust you’ll see no speck It wouldn’t be the holidays Without some project underway Happy Thanksgiving, friends and family Please enjoy the holiday
Comments on: "Ode to Thanksgiving Home Improvements" (4)
I think its pre winter nesting instinct… For some, its the “purging” closets thing, etc. Others, changing out furniture accents like throw pillows or afghans. For you guys? Starting a project BEFORE snow or freezing temps make it more difficult to go back to the hardware store for the umpteenth time… In a wacky way, its a great type of nesting tradition! Either that, or maybe you’re trying to have a “back up” excuse in case the turkey is a little dry… HA! Since I know and love your cooking, I go with my first thought!
Happy Thanksgiving back to you, Darrell, Tyler, Emily, and my God daughter Erin!!
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Darrell says having a deadline like company coming makes him move faster!
Deadlines were the only thing “scary” enough (after cleaning college “house apartment”) to make me start and/or finish writing a research paper, etc.! Never would’ve graduated w/out that stress! To Darrell I respond, ” Ditto” – not the “jinx” kind…
[…] The wall we removed the week of Thanksgiving was successfully taken out without incident. Over that weekend, Darrell removed the wall and finished it with the wooden trim he painted, leaving a strip in between the two floors of the kitchen and living room unfinished (for now—I’m not the only one who runs around like a loon). […]