Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's 4PM. Do You Know Where Your Mother Is?

One day earlier this week as I walked the alley from the office back to my car, I called up my mom on her cell phone to see if she had by chance fed the animals at the Einsel House. She told me that she was at the house and that she could feed the animals, but could I stop by anyway because she “needed my opinion on something”.

Twenty minutes later I pulled the van in the drive, walked through the kitchen, and as I entered the dining room it occurred to me that perhaps we shouldn’t allow my mom quite so much unsupervised time at the Einsel House. She was sitting cross-legged on the bathroom floor in front of me, the circular saw on the floor by her right knee, the sawzall on the floor by her left knee. In front of her:

A few posts ago here I jauntily mentioned reaching the “putting back together phase”. I obviously spoke too soon.

Although Charles and I had no plans to rip out the bathroom floor, mom was not unjustified in attacking it with multiple power tools. Remember that directly under the bathroom is the beam we just spent several months slowly jacking back to (almost) level. You can see it clearly in the picture above. (That beam measures 10x10 by the way.) When the Einsel House’s previous owner remodeled the bathroom he worked with the sagging beam, placing shims under the bathroom’s subfloor so that it was level. Then we send contractors in who raise the beam several inches. And suddenly the bathroom floor is no longer level. Mom had the floor ripped up before we could get an exact measurement, but she’s guessing that the floor dropped about an inch over 2-3 linear feet.

So up came the carpet, and down came the circular saw. Two layers of subfloor came out, but only one (3/4”) will go back in. And although the floor still won’t be perfectly level, it will at least be much closer. (Perfection would require removing the tub, toilet and sink cabinets, which even my mom admits would be more work than would be justified by the reward.)

It’s another entry on the list of things Kimberly-could-have-lived-with-it-as-it-was-but-she-knows-in-the-end-she’ll-appreciate-having-it-fixed. Or, as my mom said, “I know it was perfectly safe before, but you’ll thank me someday anyway.” And she’s right.

As my dad is wont to remind me, I’m a lot like my mother. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that I have a hard time getting upset with her, even when she does things like chopping a hole in the bathroom floor without asking permission first. Truthfully, it’s possible that I would have beat her to that crooked floor if I had her collection of knowledge and tools. And chutzpah. The Einsel House may be expanding my own knowledge and tool collection, but I’ve got a long way to go before I’ll ever come close to my mom in chutzpah.

1 comment:

  1. Somehow this comes as no surprise! She will fix it. And it will be nice. And it probably won't take long all things considered. Just don't let the guys see a hole of that size in a bathroom!