Ingrid Gorman

Searching for sanity in home improvement: "The drooping cabinet door nobody cared about for years is now a disappointment."
Ingrid Gorman Pic

The author in front of her beautified shed. (We asked her to humor us and take that selfie anyway. She obliged.)

I’m comfortably ensconced on the couch when a fluffy cobweb catches my eye, stuck to a corner of the ceiling. Out comes the duster, and an impromptu sweep of the whole house ensues.

A splash of coffee on the kitchen tile becomes conspicuously apparent and rigorous sponging begins; soon, all the cabinets gleam.

The drooping bathroom cabinet door nobody cared about for years is now a disappointment, spurring a quick run to the toolbox to fetch the screwdriver.

The closer on the screen door decides that a global crisis is the best time to give out. With a rush to the hardware store—gloves and mask donned—a new mechanism is purchased, along with emergency petunias and marigolds. Never mind that this is not an emergency, on either front. I fetch the drill (the old holes aren’t quite right) and presto, no more slamming shut and pictures flying off walls.

However, my close-up inspection of the screen door reveals the massive dirt pile-up on what was once surely a white surface. I fetch the paper towels and (aromatic) cleaning spray and another gleaming object is born. Plus, it now smells pretty nice.

I return to resting, only to gaze out back and notice that the clutter in the shed is showing through its tiny windows, delivering yet another blow to the order I crave. I immediately buy fabric online (yellow roses to match the siding) to create curtains to hide said clutter.

Our hardly used sewing machine groans and the bobbin thread persistently breaks. Surely it needs oil, but time is of the essence. Curses spew forth. The curtains get made, and then they are hung, and all is good.

But wait—isn’t there a spare pretty wreath in the furnace room and a hanger in the cupboard? And the new flowers will do nicely in the tiny window boxes, I’m sure.

The shed is complete. I consider taking a picture of the finished product—a selfie of me in front, wearing the mask I also made with the fabric leftovers. I could post this on social media and caption the photo with an amusing quip about my eroding sanity. But upon reflection, I do not. There are more important things going on in the world than this.

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Categories: Covid Chronicles