The Christmas Trees Won't Fit in the Bathroom
I can write about this now, because it's over. But, I've danced perilously close to the line between sane and crazy these last few months...
Sugar and I are blessed with a large family, and we are grateful for each and every loved one. We love it when they all come over to visit. We were not, so much, prepared for five of them to move in for an extended stay. But, the economy and other disasters made it necessary. This is what family does, right?
The guestroom became an extended-stay bedroom, which meant all my off-season clothes had to either fit into my closet or be stored in the basement. Both my office and Sugar's also became extended-stay bedrooms, which meant that everything in those offices, including all the stuff stored in the closets, had to go downstairs. All of this had to happen quickly, which meant we ended up with what looked like the aftermath of a tornado in the basement.
When we first bought our current home, the partially finished basement served as an overflow area. It was eclectically furnished, and we could hang out there when all the family was around, or when we felt like rounding up a group of friends for Karaoke and didn't want trouble with the HOA. (The sound doesn't carry outside from the basement.) Also, there was a nice-sized storage room, the laundry room, and a pre-plumbed, but unfinished, bathroom.
We tried carving office space out of the storage room, but the Christmas trees wouldn't fit in the bathroom, which was the new storage room. With all the stuff now in what used to be the unfinished-but-not-too-bad Karaoke/Family room we were low on space for everyone to hang out separately when we started getting on each other's nerves. And, as I am slightly--okay, maybe much more than slightly--OCD, the chaos in my house was driving me to the brink of a breakdown.
Suddenly, the basement we might finish one day became the basement we needed finished lickety-split. All the stuff that had just been moved to the basement had to be moved to the garage. The cars had to be parked outside. Never one to pay someone else to do something he can conceivably do himself, Sugar drew up a construction plan, got a permit, and got to work--during the one day a week, some weeks, but not all, when he was home.
Progress was slow. Nerves frayed. Construction dust drifted upstairs and covered everything, no matter how often we cleaned. After about eight weeks, Sugar looked at me and said, "Call somebody." I did, and the work is mostly finished now. We had a few bad moments when we were cleaning the aftermath and moving things back in from the garage. Several pieces of furniture are worse for the experience, and one didn't make it.
But, we have a fully-functional family/Karaoke room now, with more than one bare bulb and a disco ball for lighting, and more than one electrical outlet to replace the two power strips and spaghetti bowl of extension cords. The Christmas trees have their own storage space. Sugar has his office back, and I have a killer new writing cave. And boy, does that extra bathroom come in handy.