Personal Stories – My First Day without My Family

    What do I do when I'm alone in the house with no wife and no baby?  I spread lead everywhere of course!   

    On Sunday, my wife took our ittle baby to see her grandparents a few hours away.  Because she wanted to stay on a weekday and I wanted to finish some projects at home, I stayed behind.  This would be the first time is nine months that I wouldn't see my wife and baby when I woke up and went back to bed.  I thought it would be nice to not worry about the baby while I spread lead dust around and operated power tools.  Besides, it would only be a day or two, so would I even miss them?

            It turns out that I would, or I should say I did.  I missed them to the point of depression.  Well, maybe not that badly, but I was bummed out.  The problem was that I expected to be perfectly happy having some time to myself to work on my to-do-list, watch TV again, and enjoy the serenity of “alone time”.  My expectations did not meet reality.  The TV was a dull substitute for the conversation of my wife and the monkeyesque antics of my baby boy.  The big empty bed was not luxurious, it was lonely.  The project was also not as satisfying with no one there to see my accomplishments.  Perhaps during my wife’s next trip I’ll be better prepared for how I’ll feel.  I cannot make her stay at home (without being a jerk that is) so I’ll just have to learn to cope.

           The project I worked on, by the way, was preparing a damaged plaster wall for a few coats of plaster compound.  The wall was cracked and I had already removed pieces of loose plaster.  I gouged grooves into the cracks so I could later fill the cracks with plaster compound.  Our plaster walls are more like concrete than the white chalky stuff I would normally associate with plaster, and gouging the walls is hard work. 

All of the home improvement books I have recommend using an old-fashioned style can opener to score the cracks.  In my experience, this takes forever and is a good way to go through a lot of can operners.  I now use use a chisel.  This is a much faster to use if not messier tool.

I replaced the missing plaster pieces with drywall.  Cutting drywall to the shape of each hole is not quick and easy, but I have gotten better at it over time.  I prefer to save as much of the real plaster as is possible; drywall is feels soft and cheap compared to plaster.  How the wall came to full of cracks and holes is another story for another post.

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