Remodeling Our Lives

Our bath remodeling project is actually three or eight projects. Call it “domino effect” or a royal “Catch 22” sort of a deal. The bathroom absolutely needed remodeling. The old cast iron tub was, well, disgusting. Pieces of an attempted re-enameling job from some previous era and millennium had scaled away. Rust had grown in a thick layer around what was once an overflow drain. In spite of repeated scrubbings the tub was still nasty looking.

The once-turquoise-painted-pink tile didn’t really offer much redemptive value, either. Not even the ones that hadn’t come loose on the wall. And the hexagonal pattern on the linoleum flooring had somehow lost whatever appeal it once had. The blackened soot stains along the top of the wall and on the ceiling over the toilet had their own special touch. In short, it was an ugly little room.

But it seemed a bit of a shame to go to all of the work of tearing out, replacing, repairing and finishing and to still have such a tiny space. And, there was the laundry area stuck in the kitchen. Move that and have a little space to expand the bathroom.

The old washing machine worked fine and for added luster offered a perpetual slow discharge of transmission fluid underneath. The dryer also worked okay but without the special bonus of discoloration on the flooring. There wasn’t enough space to allow for constructing a wall and doors to hide the washer and dryer.

Conveniently, we had an empty room by the back door that opens onto the small deck. It had been claimed as a bedroom on the real estate listing and in fact also included a closet. However, it seemed to us that any area that serves as the only avenue of access to the back door should not be claimed as a bedroom. Made perfect sense to relocate the laundry to that room.

Of course, said relocation involved moving the 220v outlet and some strategic plumbing adjustment. Additional opportunities for problem-solving and quality time in the crawl space of the house. And, as if all that were not sufficient inducement, moving the laundry out of the kitchen created the opportunity for strategic enlargement of the bathroom.

It’s not enough extra space to merit a feature on “Love It or List It” but it is enough to make it possible to walk between the vanity and tub without having to slide sideways.

Sometimes remodeling our lives is a simple affair. Just tear out an old wall, put down some new attitude and finish it off with a little extra touch of friendliness and there you have it: a new you ready to love and be loved.

Other times we’ve allowed so much of the wrong stuff to sprout up, take root and take over that it requires some pretty serious demolition and restructuring. What seemed like a fine fad at the time turned into unpleasant reminders of the past. There may well be a few scrapes and scratches involved and some wriggling through the tight spaces of our psyche but in the end, having a good place that accommodates the needs of residents and guests puts us all in a much better place. Some stuff can be cleaned and fixed and made like new and some of it will just have to be torn out and thrown away.

Let’s just keep reminding ourselves about the glory of the destination while we’re in the process of renovation. One day, all will be made new and the rottenness of what once was will be swallowed up in the beauty of regeneration.

It’s going to be pretty special seeing what God accomplished with these ole fixer-uppers.

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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