Wallpaper Woes

You know that thing that happens where people complain obnoxiously loud about something just so they can be relieved from their duties? Eventually someone else steps in and says, “Here, just let me do it.”

My kids are pros at that. They know if they fumble around long enough with my glass pitcher while they’re unloading the dishwasher, there is a good chance I will say, “Here, just let me do it.”

Apparently I’m pretty good at it too.

Remember the other day when I was beside myself about the cement-like wallpaper in my bathroom?

I had decided to just put shiplap over the whole thing and call it a day. My incredibly encouraging tribe (that’s you!) suggested I try, try again and piped up on Facebook with all kinds of tricks of the DIY trade. The best piece of advice? Rent a steamer.

I went over to the neighborhood rental store, and when I was done visiting with Shirley (the 80 year old woman who still works 45 hours a week) and Rich (her son who owns a Kona Ice truck and frequently brings it to our house), I was the proud temporary owner of one very heavy duty steam machine.

But that’s not all. Rich mentioned that his girlfriend (who is also my friend) has flipped numerous houses and loves to renovate. He was positive she would want to come and help me rip wallpaper.

I thought that would be an awfully big imposition, but I promised I’d give her a call.

The next day, Kim loaded up her truck with tools and I loaded up my minivan with kids.

The bathroom is tiny, so it wasn’t long before Kim set me free from steaming and let me pull carpet out of the basement instead.

When I walked back upstairs, the bathroom floor was covered with pieces of blue and yellow paper, but huge chunks of the wall were not.

When it was time for me to leave, Kim asked if she could stay. She said it was like therapy for her.

I drove home thinking about how I had stumbled upon such kindness… with Kim, with Shirley and Rich, and with all the people who cheered me on when I wanted to block off the bathroom door with caution tape. Even the handyman who dropped in for the day assured me that it was all going to be okay and that there is light at the end of the renovation tunnel.

Stripping wallpaper might be therapy to Kim; counting blessings is therapy to me.

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