The cracks are starting to show in the veneer of excitement surrounding the great renovation adventure of 2015. The current challenge is learning how to live in a house divided. Literally.
Imagine living in a four-level split-level house. The upper level contains the main bathroom and the bedrooms. The next level - the ground level - has the kitchen, living room and front door (no bathroom). It is connected to the upper level by a staircase and to the third level - which contains the family room, office, powder room and back door - by two sets of stairs (presumably to allow those 1970's kids the option to chase each other around and around the two sets of stairs). The lowest level is the basement, accessible from the third level. Now imagine that the staircases that connect the top floor to the ground level and the ground level to the third level are inaccessible, draped off by enough plastic sheeting to make Dexter Morgan jealous. That means that if you are in the kitchen or living room and need to use the facilities, you have to go out the front door, around the house and in though the back door.
A first world problem, most certainly, but one that we are finding takes an inordinate amount of planning. It turns out that the cat - who is meowing at the front door to come in while you are down in the lower level - doesn't understand the concept of come around to the back door, even when accompanied by helpful arm gestures. It means that the Spousal Unit, who gets up for work at 4:30AM, has to stumble his way out the back door in the rain, unlock the front door in the dark, and then wind his way through the living room and dining room because direct access to the kitchen is tarped off, just to turn on the coffee machine, to get that first cup of coffee which would have helped him navigate that maze in the first place. It means that, even though I have not slept in my own bed for over a month, I have now been kicked off even the wobbly old spare bed and onto an air mattress in the basement.
You know that feeling of walking into a room and not remembering what you came in for? You don't want to do that when you live in a house divided by plastic sheeting, especially since the rains of June have settled in. You quickly learn to scan the room carefully before making the trek to the other side, anticipating every need - every future move - like a world championship chess match is on the line.
The upside to being driven out of the house by the eye-searing fumes of the hardwood stain is that I have now finished all the errands and shopping that I have been putting off for the past year. The fallout might be that the cat gives up trying to figure out which door to use, packs her little suitcase and hitchhikes to the coast.