Romancing and Remodeling

Romance is in the air with Valentine’s Day coming up on the calendar. Makes me remember that there is romance in remodeling. Are the words “romance in remodeling” an oxymornon? Can those two words be in the same sentence? Isn’t it a contradiction to say there’s anything remotely endearing about renovating a house? I remember one incident which felt very romantic. We were doing a major remodel of a Cape Cod in the Chicago area and were behind schedule getting new insulation installed in the crawl space. An unexpected cold front rolled in and was dumping piles of snow. When the wind shifted to the north the pressure was on because we knew the lack of insulation and wind direction could freeze the pipes.

It was getting dark outside and we found ourselves crawling around on the gravel in the frigid confines of the 3 1/2 foot crawl space with only a work light to guide us. Gene cut the pink insulation batts and secured them between the floor joists and I followed with a staple gun to fasten them to the wood. We didn’t stop, we didn’t talk, we just moved as quickly as we could in the uncomfortable and frigid conditions. As the last staple went in we just sprawled out on our backs on the gravel, noses running, near frozen to the bone and laughed at the absurdity of the situation. But the good feeling of completing the task, beating the odds, and doing it together, was so real and intense it was a moment I’ll never forget. If that ain’t romance, I don’t know what is.

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