Friday, August 27, 2010

Preparing for the Grant Park Tour of Homes

When first asked to be on the tour of homes, you feel honored; you love your house, and while it’s not a “show place” as some homes on the tour tend to be, it’s comfortable, eclectic, and beautifully lived in. And, you think, what a good reason to get a couple of projects done around the house. Great, we're in!

Then reality sinks in; strangers will be traipsing through your home, looking at it with fresh eyes. You start to look at your house a little more critically and soon realize there is a lot that goes unnoticed during the day-to-day routine of life. Where did that crack come from? When was the last time the baseboards were cleaned? How many years (yes, I said years) has that bookcase gone unstained? Before you know it, what started out as a simple “freshening up” turns into patching, repairing, painting, sewing, and spending, spending, spending.

When your husband tells you he has to go to South Africa for a week, you file it in the back of your head and think about how you’ll be able to work into the night without having to stop to make dinner (not that you’ve made dinner lately, being too tired from working on projects all day). Or perhaps you’ll go ahead and push yourself past the point of reason and paint the dining room and study while he’s out of town. Realizing you have only four weekends before the tour, you sit down with the calendar to plan out what still needs to be done—since someone has to work, Mr. Man is only available to help on the weekends, so you save certain “manly” projects for him (like pouring concrete foundations for the rain barrel stands)—when it hits you that his trip to South Africa begins on a weekend!

So, you find yourself sweating in the 90+ degrees of a humid August Saturday afternoon, planting, raking, and mulching the garden when your glasses break. Not the a-screw-fell-out, easily fixed kind of broken, but the I-need-new-frames kind of broken. Every time you bend over they fall off, missing one arm as they are. Normally, you’d be thrilled to get a new, funky pair of glasses, but who has the time; not to mention the money considering you’ve bought enough chalk, spackle, sandpaper, paint and paint brushes to single-handedly raise the price of Home Depot stock.

Sometimes things are not as easy as they sound.

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