The husband and I did something silly about a year ago, just as the pandemic was picking up steam in the U.S.  We initiated the long and arduous process of home construction.  We didn’t construct a whole home, mind you.  We value our marriage too highly to put it through that divorce-making nightmare.  No, we merely knocked down an old, rarely-used 3-season porch and put a mudroom in its place, then tacked a sunroom onto that to take advantage of the parklike views of the golf course out back.

There’s nothing like having your windows boarded up on a sunny fall day.

That it was silly to do this during a pandemic only became clear when we were in the thick of it, when we started hearing horror stories about other peoples’ construction and remodeling woes that ranged from “I can’t find any lumber” to “my refrigerator broke and it’ll take eight months to get the new one I want.”  The go-to answer for why these problems kept occurring was always “the pandemic,” which was also, either directly or indirectly, the reason for most of our headaches and delays (though the construction industry is perfectly adept at providing headaches and delays on its own and doesn’t require help from a virus).

Something else that’s occurred over the last year or so is that I’ve slowly—ever so slowly—adapted to WordPress’s Block Editor.  Case in point: I’ve only just learned how to get a pair of pictures side-by-side (hint: use “columns”).  One feature I’ve grown to appreciate, however, is the slider image option.

I’ve used this feature to great effect (if I do say so myself) for compare/contrast purposes in the final post of my Plan B Travels series and more recently when I displayed open and closed shots of my ingenious new luggage.

The slider image really shines, though, when used with before and after photos.  During a game of Free Association, when I say “special effects” you might blurt out Star Wars, Avatar, or Lord of the Rings, but George Lucas and his associates at Industrial Light & Magic got nothin’ on the slider image.  It may sound brazen, but I’d say look for this blog post on next year’s Oscar nominee list for best visual effects.

Our rosebush had to sacrifice much of its girth and height for the project.

I have this great construction joke, but I’m still working on it.
I have to hammer out a few kinks and nail the delivery. I just don’t want to screw it up.

Even the gate had to go on a diet and lose a few inches.

Which country has the best construction?

I probably should have vacuumed, but there was no way I was cleaning right before tear-down.

Did you hear the amazing story about the blind construction worker?
He picked up a hammer and saw.

The porch was mainly used for holding junk that had no other place to go. Ditto for the mudroom, but it’s a lot tidier.

Marble is a valuable building material and should not be taken for granite.

Dutch doors work better than “Keep Out” signs . . . because bunnies can’t read.

Despite all these modern construction tools, I think the shovel is the most groundbreaking.

In the winter months, the old porch acted as a walk-in fridge/freezer. I’m going to miss that during the holidays . . .

Last night, I watched a documentary about how they fix steel girders together.
It was riveting.

. . . but now we don’t have to drag the bikes and skis up from the basement before every outing.

I didn’t believe it when they told me my brother was a construction site thief.
But when I got home, the signs were there.

The bistro table set and patio chairs were brought over from out old house. I just couldn’t part with them.

Why do drills have no friends?
Because they’re always boring.

Thus, I needed a sunroom to house the beloved furniture.

The construction worker was discharged after being accused of murder.
There just wasn’t any concrete evidence.

Morning coffee, evening wine, it’s a room for all beverages.

Why did the busybody roofer do such a poor job on the building?
He was consistently eavesdropping.

That falling-down deck was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

What do construction workers do at parties?
They raise the roof.

A vast improvement, even if our bank account doesn’t know what hit it.

I was going to end with a little piece about how home construction is a lot like traveling, but after thinking about it for a while, I’ve decided it’s probably more akin to having a baby.  Now, I’m no expert on the subjects of pregnancy and childbirth, but I’ve seen enough movies and TV shows—and known enough people who’ve gone through the ordeal—to feel confident saying that the two have an awful lot in common.

  • Months of excited anticipation and worry? Yep.
  • Huge financial and emotional costs?  Oh yeah.
  • Unbearable feelings of impatience as the end draws near? Yesiree.
  • Extreme pain? Most definitely.

Yes, looking back at my little list there, I’d say pregnancy/childbirth and home construction projects are practically indistinguishable from one another.  (Moms out there – back me up on this one.)

What’s more, in both cases, after it’s all over, you’re left with something wonderful you get to enjoy for years and even decades to come.  And after a while, the brain can barely recall the pain to the point that, despite the oaths sworn during the most excruciating part of the construction/childbirth, you find yourself very open to going through the whole experience again.

Sunroom just before bedtime.

As for us though, our bouncing new fraternal twins—Sunroom and Mudroom—will not be getting a little sister or brother.  As the pandemic starts to fade and the last few construction loose ends get wrapped up, our minds turn more and more to travel.  But don’t worry.  We’ll always bring them back T-shirts that say: My parents went to _____ and all I got was this lousy shirt.

Why don’t I ever get a T-shirt?!

If you found the construction jokes excruciatingly groan-worthy, I invite you to vent your displeasure at, from whence they came.

19 thoughts

  1. You persevered and your new room is wonderful. All that you suffered through will soon be a vague memory, which of course is what women say about labor pains. I like how you’ve taken a *meh* space and made it useful and pretty. Very pretty. I also like those slider photos. They do a great job with your before and after photos. I give this blog post two thumbs up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. We’re very happy. I’d like to say we’re happy it’s all over, but there are still – almost 4 months after move-in – some loose ends that need to be wrapped up. I think we’re approaching a Guinness Book record for longest construction project.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, excellent job! I am so envious of your mudroom… I would love a place to store stuff neatly and out of sight. Plus, you have a place for your bikes! We went through a huge remodel when we bought our home back in 1994 so I know your pain. I love that slider thang too… WP made it so easy to use.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How fabulous! Well done you. It looks like a professional job… a far cry from our DIY projects. All that lovely warm wood inside makes a huge difference. And I’m voting for wine over coffee. Just sayin’…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I say yes to both, though I try to keep them on opposite ends of my day.
      I can only take credit for the design and overall vision – none of the actual work. Although… now that you mention it… I DID screw in one light switch cover myself, so thank you. Thank you very much (bowing)!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My brother lived in this home for many years and it was so good to take a trip down memory lane to see the transformation of that back porch. I spent a lot of time with my brother and his wife viewing the beauty of the lovely golf course after they transformed the old kitchen a number of years ago! We had some fun laughs on that old porch but it looks wonderful and I think my brother would smile if he could see it today..good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Judy. I loved reading about your times on that porch. Whenever we’ve done something to the house – new fence, built-in bookshelves, paving the driveway, etc. – my husband and I always look at each other and say, “I hope Robert would approve.” We have been and continue to be honored to take on the care of this beautiful home in its perfect location. We like to think we’re making your brother proud.


  5. Man, I could play with this all day.

    (That’s what she said.)
    (OK, that’s what he said, too.)

    Thanks for sharing. And I’m glad you came around to the block editor. “Gallery” will also get you side-by-side photos. We have Austin Powers on now, so I’ll end with a very fitting, “Groovy, baby!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, gallery will do that now, but when the Blockhead Editor first came out (and for a long time thereafter) whenever I tried to put just two pics into gallery, it looked side-by-side on my screen, but when I looked at it in reader view, they were one on top of the other. So annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

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