Remodel from Hell

Someone once said “No good deed goes unpunished” and that seems to hold true in about every area of life that I can think of.

No matter what you do to try and help some people, it seems like your good efforts bring on some form of punishment after the fact.

I recall most vividly helping my church do some work only to see all of it torn out a year later for yet another new addition and although there was no real punishment involved there, it sure felt like it to my soul.

Most of you can relate to having something like that happen in your life and it sure leaves a sour taste in your mouth for the next time that same person is looking for volunteers. Trixie is the ultimate helper and she will bite on the same bait over and over even though she is pretty sure there is a hook in it. Even a fish with a pea brain learns pretty quickly not to take the bait over and over.

But not Ol' Dutch, no siree Bob. Ol' Dutch has gotten a tad wiser with time and it’s easier for me to pass on the pain when it’s offered. Well maybe not wiser but more cranky and with that comes the ability to say no.

I pride myself on being able to put aside a sure road to hurt and pain when I am asked to volunteer and that my friends is true personal empowerment. No longer do I have to look forward to having my feelings hurt after helping someone and their ultimate slam of some part of my participation. I go about my life happy as a pig in a mud hole with nary a care in this world although I have to live with a certain amount of condemnation from well-meaning folk for not helping.

There are only two people I never say no to and although that gets me in plenty of trouble, it’s probably natural for a father to dote on his two kids above all other people. And no one dotes more than Ol' Dutch.

Most of you are up-to-date on our recent trip to Pocatello, Idaho, to help my Daughter Cricket and her husband Cap remodel their house. For those of you not so fortunate to have read my past columns, last Christmas they held a party at the newly acquired home and tore out all the plaster walls and ceiling. This led to what is called “freezing” as Idaho winters do not tend to lean toward tropical and balmy.

Ol' Dutch is not a stranger to helping out his kids as I remodeled their basement one time in Lawrence, Kansas, and last summer went back to Kansas to help the No. 1 son remodel his house. Whatever it is about these two kids that make them buy houses and gut them needs to be addressed quickly as I am getting too old to do this year after year.

So here we are in Idaho and although just saying Pocatello does kind of give me a pleasurable sensation in my mouth, this project has drug on into overtime with no sudden death in sight. For my part, I have been doing the wiring and for a normal house this is not that hard of a job but with these two, it has extended into something akin to illuminating the 2016 World’s Fair in scope.

I have never seen so many outlets, lights, three way and four way switches nor miles of wire in my lifetime of construction. These two kids have decided that if one is good four of anything has to be better.

Our weekends usually involve some planning sessions for Ol' Dutch so that I am on the same page as to what they want done for the week. Of course that seems to change by the next weekend and Ol' Dutch is back to moving things around, stringing countless rolls of additional wire and it’s the redoing that is worst of all for me.

Now of course they never say it, but since I have Trixie as a witness it’s the old “oh no, you did it just like I told you to,” before I have to tear it out once again.

Like I said, I have gotten pretty good as avoiding volunteering at about every venue I am at and if I can get Trixie to quit volunteering we still will have a shot at the “good life.” Now if I can just find a good psychoanalyst to address these two kids “remodeling” issues Ol' Dutch will have conquered life for sure.