Hard Work

I like to tell myself that it’s because of my creative nature that I often start one project, then another and another before the first project is finished. I tell myself it’s because of the stimulation of ideas that I have a partially remodeled kitchen, bathroom, living room, mudroom and garage. I just have too many ideas to focus on only one project, too much creativity to contain.

I’m suspicious that my wife might have a different explanation. Given the opportunity, I think she might suggest a plausible theory or two that would introduce truths that I do not want to embrace. Therefore, I generally avoid giving her that opportunity.

I know that I’m capable of sustained focus; I’ve proved that a few times over the years through jobs, projects, relationships and my career in education. Completing my dissertation ultimately was more about determination and persistence than about intelligence and insight. When I finished it, I felt a profound sense of release and escape. Without having any actual experience on which to base the comparison, I suspect that what I felt was very much like what convicts feel upon their eventual release from prison. It seemed more about survival than about accomplishment.

More likely, it was both. It’s not on the same scale but I’m experiencing similar feelings again; the kitchen is very nearly done, dude!

Thanks to an extended Christmas break at the college where I work and highly focused encouragement from Randa, the remodeling is finished except for a few pieces of trim. Lord willing, they’ll be installed today. Over the past three weeks, I’ve installed and finished end treatment for a partition wall, removed old oak wainscoting, repaired damaged plaster, removed wallpaper and painted two walls, repaired and repainted a section of ceiling, installed baseboard and quarter-round, installed crown molding, repaired and repainted a door frame, fabricated and installed base and end trim for cabinets, filled and sanded and painted old trim and done a few other detail jobs.

The upshot of all this is that now Randa can work in the kitchen and see a bunch of stuff she likes instead of seeing cracks and holes and exposed framework. She is enjoying her kitchen, which means, ultimately, that we both are enjoying a finished kitchen. I’ve had homemade ham and bean soup twice in the last week and there’s fresh Kansas Coffee Cake coming out of the oven at this very moment!

Sometimes, working hard for someone else is the most selfish thing we can do…

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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