Family steps up to home improvement

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

There's more to exercise than treadmills.

The stairs at our house can be just as taxing.

Joni and I found that out last weekend when we decided to overhaul Bailey's room.

It all started because Joni found this lovely bedroom set -- two white, wooden dressers with colorfully decorated drawer fronts and an attaching, large mirror. A friend of ours did the artwork.

The price was right and we couldn't resist the chance to brighten up Bailey's room.

It's times like this that I appreciate that we don't have to depend on a compact car.

We hauled the furniture in our van, making two trips to avoid having the dressers rub up against each other.

Before long we had them back at our house and firmly planted on our driveway.

That's when the work really began.

Our 10-year-old daughter's room is on the second floor. Hauling solid wood furniture up a flight of stairs requires a little muscle.

We managed to get the furniture upstairs, a few steps at a time.

By the end of the day, Joni and I felt like we had spent all day working out at the gym.

The inventor of stairs clearly never figured on moving a lot of furniture to the second level.

I keep thinking it would be nice if Joni and I had time for a makeover to our bedroom. But our children's rooms keep calling for attention.

Becca has a new ceiling light and this weekend Joni has scheduled quality time to paint Becca's walls teal.

I had hoped for a more traditional color, but our teenager wouldn't hear of that.

Apparently she's been watching too many of those home improvement shows.

Actually, we're all hooked on those shows. But I must confess they've made home improvement seem more like entertainment than hard work.

It looks easy when you're sitting on the couch and watching other people work on a TV show. Even the designer conflicts are entertaining.

But that's not the case in real life.

One task always leads to an unexpected chore.

Take hauling of furniture, for example.

Before we could haul the furniture, we had to take a couple seats out of the van. After a quick look at the vehicle manual -- it'd been months since we had taken the seats out -- we managed to wrestle the seats out of the van.

Now we had room for the furniture. But having removed the seats, we also discovered the van was in need of a massive cleanup.

Since the National Guard troops were in St. Louis helping clean up after a storm, I figured we'd have to do it ourselves.

After transporting the furniture, I found time to stop by a car wash to vacuum out the inside of our van.

I dutifully put my quarters into the machine. Nothing. I used my mechanical prowess, pounding on the machine. Nothing.

After getting my money back, I tried the companion vacuum. It powered up immediately.

After several dollars worth of quarters, the van looked a whole more presentable.

And I owe it all to moving furniture.

Mark Bliss is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: