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Done

Finishing a major project is a relief. It also removes your best excuse to put off or forget about other projects..."until the addition is done." I had a backlog that included reading twenty or thirty books, fixing a drip in the kitchen faucet, building more shelves in the garage and weeding my wife's flower beds. I've read one of the books, added the new shower head to my list of leaky faucets, and I still have a few oak trees to chop down in the flower beds. I have found time for the shelves in the garage, of course. I had to find a place to put all the new tools I acquired while building the addition.

THE "TO-DIE-FOR CHAIR"

Robin and I had only one serious argument about the addition. It involved heat ducts, and for once, I won. However, I paid a heavy price. I promised that when the addition was finished I would buy her a Lazy-Boy. Not just any Lazy-Boy, it had to be a "to-die-for chair", the kind of chair that is so comfortable that a person can only be separated from it with counseling and a radical surgical procedure.

My job caused the deadline for the addition to be pushed back, breaking my heels caused the deadline to be pushed back even further. Continuously putting off the completion date on our addition made it seem as though the work would never end. As a morale booster, we would periodically visit a nearby furniture store. Robin would sit in her ideal chair to dream of the day when we would have the space to bring her chair home.

Constructing the addition went from an eight-month to a two-year process, during which empires were built, roof beams raised, trenches dug and 2X4s mercilessly slaughtered. I consider the two-year time frame to be reasonable. That a project will take three times longer than the estimate is a rule of thumb in the do-it-yourself addition-building industry. (At least, my projects work out that way.)

Sad to note: two months before I finished the addition, the furniture store we had been visiting went out of business. When the addition was done, Robin and I searched the city for her "to-die-for chair". Evidently, the company had quit making the style of chair with which she had become enamored. In the end, she had to settle for a "to-get-wounded for chair". It was all the same to me. I never met a chair worth dying over.

THE FINAL ACT

On the Sunday morning after our final inspection, I was bleary eyed, but satisfied with the world. I grabbed the Sunday paper and my first jolting cup of caffeine for the day. Resolved to enjoy our new master bedroom, I woke Robin long before her 12 o'clock noon wake-up call.

She grumbled. Nevertheless, she perked up when I tossed the comic section of the newspaper in her direction. I began my weekly perusal of the Home section.

I grunted at each home ad and slurped my hot tea. Robin hates the way I slurp. More, she hates toast crumbs in bed.

She rolled over, accidentally nudging my arm. The dribble of hot tea stained the front of my T-shirt.

"What? Are you doing eating toast in bed again?"

I ignored her and the spilt tea. I set my cup on a built-in shelf. "Look at this, Sweety," I said in my best Sunday morning voice. "Here's an ad for a house just like ours, same number of bedrooms and baths. Can you believe how much they want for it?"

Robin eyed me suspiciously.

"If we sold this place," I continued, "we could buy a ranch out in Montana and build our own place..."

Suddenly a face full of pillow made it impossible to say another word.

"We aren't going anywhere," my lovely bride informed me.

I spit out a few feathers and took a swipe at her with the Home section of the newspaper. "And why not?"

"After all the work and heartache we've gone through to build this addition, we're going to stay right here for a few years!"

I thought over her insistent attitude. A smile slowly creased my face. I decided to be glad she appreciated the work it had taken to give her the new master bedroom. "You're right," I said, "we may as well enjoy the fruits of our labor." The ranch in Montana could wait a year or two. Until then, I would enjoy slurping my tea in bed and dream about a REAL building project.

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About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

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