Drywalled to Distraction

Detail from Labor mural in lunette from the Fa...

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It is the way of my people. When stress rears it’s fugly-ass head, we demo walls. When stress head-butts us across the room, we break out the full-on remodeling guns.

Last Thursday, through sobs, I called my dad, asking for him to pack his tools and drive the four and half hours to our house. I had a floor going in on Monday morning, and could not see a path to making that happen on my own.

By Thursday afternoon, my mother was on-board with our plan, tools were packed, painting clothes readied, and they arrived Friday ready to rip the place apart to get it ready to drywall, tape, mud, texture, paint, trim, wire, etc.

I’m not sure what it is about my family, if it’s our German and Norwegian roots, or what, but when most people retreat to a sandy beach, drink themselves into a coma, or flee the scene…we bust out the manual labor, usually in the version of a remodeling project. Although, we occasionally supplement our downtime (you know, like while the paint’s drying) with grueling yard work.

In the case of my house, that’s an easy thing to do. My ADD, coupled with my genetic predisposition to tear down load-bearing walls first/ask question later, makes for a never-ending supply of large-scale unfinished projects, all of which drive my type-A family members INSANE.

Until the emotional roller-coaster of my life settles down, I will seek solace in assembling cabinetry, priming and painting, and taking intermittent breaks where I lay flat on my back in the middle of my new Marmoleum floor and just stare up at the ceiling, wishing things were further along. Things like life.

At the end of each day, I can stand in the shower, hot water washing off drywall mud, splotches of paint, blood from cuts and scrapes, and fight the urge to sit on the bottom of the tub and sob in a heap of humanness. I fight the urge to get down onto the shower floor because I fear it is my abyss, the one I cannot cross twice.