More DIY from Hell

This is the spiral staircase edition of DIY from Hell, and it begins with foolish optimism and ends in near divorce.

Let’s start with some background. Here it is. Or, here it was.

IMG_0406

When I moved in with my husband, this is what remained of what I’m sure was once a glorious spiral staircase. This one made scary noises. The bottom step was held up by a book, and then by nothing. We added the mustache duct tape after a near fatal experience with our clumsy dog.

It was time to replace the spiral staircase. Riding high from our previous successes in painting and caulking and electrical work, we made a crucial error. We thought: Why not do it ourselves?

Here’s why. All of this is why.

Continue reading “More DIY from Hell”

Advertisements

Watching the kid get married

Reblogging this because it’s one of my favorites…

I met Ginny when she was 12. I was exactly 10 years and 9 days older. She had long brown hair and lived in a stack of bricks that functioned as government housing in the middle of Kansas. I’d moved to town a few months ago for my first job as a newspaper reporter and was looking for a friend.

There she was, in a pile of applications to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

She’d barely smiled for the Polaroid. Her questionnaire answers were bizarre, irreverent, winking at this entire match-making process. The only truth in the paperwork was that she liked to read and write. This was a strange kid. I couldn’t wait to meet her.

We went to Pizza Hut that first night. She wanted pepperoni, I think. Maybe I made that decision. She barely said a word, just stared at me from across the booth. She ate shyly, chewing behind a napkin. I asked her a bunch of questions, and the answer was almost always a shrug. She looked at my work pants and my thick black pea coat and determined that I was a boring grown-up who talked too much.

I drove home that night feeling old, wondering if I’d made a mistake.

Continue reading “Watching the kid get married”