It’s strange to feel out-of-sorts in your own home, but I recently learned one can always cope.
For many days, I found myself perched beside my kitchen counter, waiting on “the floor guys.” I’d sit side saddle on a low bar stool, the only stick of furniture in sight. With a twisted back, I’d hover over a tiny tablet computer I had borrowed from my son. Nothing like creating prose on a fun-size screen.
My trusty desktop computer, entire home office and all the furnishings from the main floor of our home had been temporarily plunked in the garage to commune with the lawnmower and the trash cans.
The drill was, “Everything off the floors!”
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For weeks, my whole life was crammed into a weird lineup upon the oil-stained cement — dining room table, hedge clippers, sofas, recycle bin, lamps, car wax, fishing rods & curtain rods. Our indoor/outdoor possessions were so co-mingled the garage looked like a drunk decorator’s Pinterest account.
A freak fiasco got us in the situation.
Spark Notes on that drama: Out of the blue, a cabinet full of my late Aunt Agnes’ stemware took a swan-dive onto the floor. Sentimental crystal tumbled out and shattered. The glass was then ground into the oak planks by the heavy cabinet. Once I wiped away the tears and shards, some other dominos began to fall as well.
I couldn’t believe what spilled out of my mouth. “Well, if we’re re-sanding the wood, we may as well add the same flooring to the office. That carpet’s toast anyway. Two birds, man.”
All the rooms flow together. So as wood floors go, I had to pounce. It was a now-or-never situation. Odd, because after a bad home improvement experience last year, I swore off having any kind of repair or renovation ever again. (“The house will rot first. We will live in a time capsule.”)
Yet there I was for too many days, in the midst of an unexpected floor re-do, typing just inches away from the toaster.
None of this was tragic, of course. I’m fully trained and certified to know the difference between a glitch and true hardship. I just found the household rearrangement and my greatest fear about it, well, interesting.
The one thing that always made me never want to even think about changing my home office flooring — aside from having to empty out jammed bookcases and move my heavier-than-Jupiter desk — was the disruption of my tether to the world. My desktop machine and its internet DSL-wifi blink-y box is hooked up in that room.
Left with a tiny wireless tablet, it was essential for the wifi router to remain during the project. It had to.
Because...no wifi? No way. I was actually facing a Millennial’s nightmare. I get it, kids.
But the router could not touch the floor for many days. And this was a chunk of time I was unable go off the grid. What to do? What to do?
Allow me to modernize an old adage: “Connectivity is the mother of Invention.”
I scanned the rectangular room, the router box and its barnacle phone booster thing. I zeroed in on a skinny window ledge near the wiring, so narrow it did not qualify as a window sill. The gadgets, though sleek enough, could not be placed there without tipping over.
As another saying goes, an unexamined wifi is not worth living. I studied the situation. In doing so, I realized I am my father’s daughter. (He’s one of the lesser-known Marvel Comic heroes, Duct Tape Man.)
I took my dad’s adhesive cue, but with painter’s tape. I adhered my router onto the window and ledge with lots and lots of the blue stuff. The outcome was an ugly statement of desperation, but it somehow looked beautiful to me. Like an art installation.
Looking back, it was worth keeping the wifi running no matter what. Without interruption, I was able to Google topics like, “How to never, ever, ever again have any work done on one’s home.”
Denise Snodell writes alternate weeks. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @DeniseSnodell