I’m not sure if anyone else is like this or if it’s just me and a few of my friends but it seems like there’s always some new hobby or addiction. Lately there’s definitely a new addiction for me and it’s something I didn’t expect.
Before I tell you what this new craze in my life is I should recap some things about me so you can understand why this is so unexpected.
- I despise shopping…………of any sort.
- I loathe going to garage sales. Why would I want someone else’s crap when I have too much of my own?
- I waste a majority of my patience on people so I have none left for myself.
- I am sleep deprived and that may be the understatement of the year. I think my nightly average over the last five years is about four hours.
- I start things and don’t finish them. I have a cross stitch project from 1984 in my sewing basket – I sure hope my brother Dan still isn’t waiting for that. I have about 100 half-written stories that started back in college and I have a gallon of paint for my basement that’s been unopened for two years.
- I’m not “creative’ in an arts and crafts way like my sister and my mom are.
Ok, now back to this new fad of mine…..
About four years ago my sister and I loaded up my Chevy Blazer with ‘stuff’ from my parent’s place. A dresser, a church bench, a piano bench, a night stand, a couple of trunks, some crates. You name it, I took it, loaded it into the Blazer and away we went….to bring her to the airport, that’s right, she got to go home to New York and I got to bring the stuff home with me to ‘redo’. I forgot to mention the green church bench was bungied to the top of the Blazer. Oh yeah, we were hot, laughed the whole way. I got it all home and the stuff I didn’t immediately use went into my basement with a pile of other projects.
Fast forward two years and the flood happened. 3.5 feet of brown water from the sewer systems of Superior, Wisconsin. The piano bench didn’t survive, a table didn’t make it, the church bench was on its way to the dumpster when the neighbor salvaged it and the dresser was already next to the dumpster when one of my girlfriends said “oh, you’re not throwing that away”. I said “listen, the back is ruined, the bottoms of the drawers are ruined and it’s soaking wet”. She said “you’ve put too much work into it to let it go, we can replace the back and drawer bottoms”.
Fast forward two more years. The same girlfriend had been talking about all these refurbishing projects she’s been doing. I mentioned that I really should get that dresser done but I had to throw away all my stuff including the sander, etc. because of the flooding. She said “bring it over, we’ll do it here”.
And that my friends started my latest craze. I have now started refurbishing stuff. I find the solitude and concentration on one single thing until completion peaceful and I love seeing a project from start to finish; however, the longer the project takes the shorter my patience gets and I want to move on to something else. That’s not good because she’s very ADD and has 10 to 12 things going at once. I do my best to be the voice of reason. For those of you who know me, ‘voice of reason’ is not on my resume.
Here’s my first finished project. This started out as a very homely blue dresser.
Reality TV has nothing on what goes on when we’re working on our projects. There’s yelling, there’s swearing, there’s paint and stain everywhere, there’s hysterical laughter and all of this is happening in a single car garage and we’re attempting not to disturb her husband’s motorcycle. There’s now garage saling and flea market stopping. Craigslist browsing and wheeling and dealing before we’re done. I have become my parents. I have completely become my parents. And it scares the crap out of me because I don’t have three sheds and a garage to fill with things. My goal is to buy, redo, sell. Quick and painless. Ha ha, if we get to that point, it will be a miracle.
Just this last Saturday we took my car on our little mission because ‘we find the good deals when we have the car’ and come home empty when we take her truck. Well, we not only took her brother with, we found the deals. By the time we got home we had the trunk bungied shut and both passengers had items in their lap. This is what she looked like in the back seat.
The stuff we found for three and four dollars was incredible. The hardest part of the day was hiding it in the single garage so her husband doesn’t notice. I know that he’s not that naive, he knows exactly what goes on, he just turns the other cheek. Plus, I think he secretly likes it because he’s always willing to help when we’re in need of a man’s opinion or help.
That was not the first time it happened like that with my car. Last time we took my car we had to call her daughter to bring the truck because we found the mother lode of all sales. Needless to say we filled the car and the truck. That day my passenger had a bar stool on her lap hanging out the window . I didn’t think about taking a picture that day though, we were laughing too hard and bribing her son to let us use his shed to store stuff. There’s something wrong with us and we have no trouble telling each other that every day.
We’ve been trying to think of a name for our little venture and her husband always says “don’t forget about the skinny guy”. Perhaps someone will put us in our own TV show. No unlimited budget, no nice clothes, just real life, maybe slightly censored when things get really bad.
Here’s my second project that I did and I needed the skinny guy’s help on.
There’s some sort of story every day we work together. Something breaks, spills, gets lost or gets ruined. One or both of us have paint on our face, has had a tantrum or is sunburned. There is usually uncontrollable laughter or an all out brawl but at the end of it all we’re still friends and we get something accomplished. Even if it’s only to move stuff around so we look organized.