The renovations to our house have begun and we're stuck in the middle of it. This morning, Chip and I sat in the front sitting room trying to enjoy our coffee and pretend it was the start of a regular day as we heard above us, the sound of the radiator being pried off the wall and the beginnings of plaster demolition. Within the hour, water began pouring through the ceiling into the sitting room. So ended any illusion that it was a regular day. The leak was quickly fixed, and the rest of the wall did come down as planned. The ceiling remains intact for the moment. The plaster guy hauled water back and forth through the house and up the stairs and mixed and mixed buckets of what looked like coffee gelato. The exposed brick looked nice, but was eventually covered by dry wall then plaster within a matter of hours.
There are only four rooms unaffected by the mayhem and so we move like hamsters in a Habitrail, feverishly running from room to room. I'm sure if we had any cedar shavings, we'd all be burying ourselves in them until Friday. The workmen are really pleasant and do all they can to accommodate the squatters living here while they renovate. It would be so much funnier if it wasn't actually me.
Our milk sits out on the ledge out back, with our cheese and yogurt. All the rest of the food sits on the living room mantle. We wash dishes in the bathroom sink and rest them on the side of the tub to be dried. It's vaguely nauseating that our dishes are bathing where our dirty bodies bathe but I can't become paralyzed by the little stuff at this point. As Kate Winslet would say, "Gather."
The beauty of being a teenager in this scenario is that you have the ability to sleep right through the adult work day. Allison slept until after 1pm, declaring that it's actually good to start getting on CST. We finally made it into town around 3pm and managed to kill some hours gathering last minute must-haves like British pop CDs and fashion accessories. It does feel a little frantic to be leaving behind some beloved things about the culture and wondering what we can buy and stuff in our suitcases so as not to forget those things. The truth is, we can't buy these things, but we try anyway. We're scared we'll forget what we love here.
We return to a fine layer of dust everywhere that I suppose most closely resembles anthrax, but at least it's relatively quiet with only one workman left. The evening feels pretty normal, but it's an early start again tomorrow as supposedly all this work is to be done by Friday. It seems impossible that we will actually get to Friday. Three days and counting....