I had to put my manuscript on the back burner for this week. Much as I'd like to get lost in working on it, I have to get ready to go to Chicago. This isn't going to be a relaxing trip and is going to be longer than I usually stay. It's all about remodeling the bathroom.
Whenever you have work done, it's as if your place becomes their work site. I am bringing clothes I can get into quickly as I'm sure they will be starting early. They will be taking out the toilet, sink, old flooring, plaster, etc through the kitchen door, which makes the kitchen off limits. There's a small second bathroom with a toilet and tub by the kitchen off a tiny bedroom that was meant as a maid's room. The building is over 100 years old and I guess it was a middle class thing to have a live in maid. But since all that is near the kitchen where there will probably be a lot of coming and going, it makes it kind of awkward to use.
The saving grace is my neighbor on the second floor has offered her place for me to use. She's half moved out and living elsewhere so I won't have to worry about being an imposition. It means I'll have access to a shower and a whole bathroom.
She and I have been trading favors. She was helpful with my mother when she was living there. And I took care of her cats a couple of times. She didn't want to board them or have someone just come and feed them. She didn't want them to feel abandoned, so I spent a lot of time with them. She was very grateful and would have not gone to Boston for her daughter's wedding if there wasn't someone to care for the cats.
I checked the weather, expecting typical January bitter cold, but surprisingly, it is going to be moderate with highs in the 30s. Also doesn't seem like it will snow which will make things easier. I didn't use to think twice about pulling a shopping cart over ice and snow from the grocery store. Now, it not so easy.
I will be hanging around my place most of the time. With a building that old, there are unknowns that will only show up when they're working. I hope there is nothing terrible. It all started because the very old toilet (was not new when we moved-in in 1961) was leaking on the downstairs neighbor's ceiling. It happened during the pandemic and I had to rely on my neighbors to let the plumber in. He shut down the toilet and put tape over the top saying: do not use. I had hoped that all I had to do was replace the toilet and maybe a pipe in the floor, but I was told that I had to get a new floor. Then what I thought was just paint coming off, was the plaster in the ceiling cracking. I'm keeping the claw foot tub, but getting it reglazed, but the toilet and sink will be new. I'm keeping the tile wall. I prefer to think of it as classic rather than old. The light fixture has to be changed and a switch added. The terrible squares of vinyl tile with be replaced by ceramic squares. They are going to put in plaster board and finally paint. It won't be fancy when it's done, but functional.
I'm taking my work with me. I have worked on manuscripts before when repairs have been going on and it seems to be okay. Will definitely have a crochet project with me. Something easy and meditative.
One thing for sure is I'm going to be a lot more relaxed on the trip home than the trip there