Happiness is free delivery

Our story so far: Spring arrives, and with it, a new phase in the more than five-month-long renovation of the 126-year-old Methodist church into our home: Drywall.

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Upon mentioning the advent of drywall, friends in Great Britain who coincidentally were renovating their kitchen remarked on the differences in English terminology. In Wisconsin, drywall came in panels made of gypsum plaster pressed between thick sheets of paper. In Great Britain, a dry wall was a wall of stones without mud in between them. Brits, my friend informed me, use either wet plaster brick or block external walls; plasterboard—the equivalent of drywall panels—is used on internal stud walls. I was reminded of the old days when I visited London frequently for work, stuffing my luggage in the boot (that is, the trunk) and dining on lunches of prawn sandwiches garnished with rocket (shrimp sandwiches with a side of arugula).

drywall delivery
The church gulps in sheet after sheet of drywall.

Day One of drywall was delivery day. Tyler removed windows on the first and second floors, and two fully equipped guys pulled five tons of drywall from a flatbed truck into the church in a couple of hours.

drywall stacks
This stack represents only about one ton of drywall.
drywall warning
Kudos to the guy (or gal) who developed this brand name: RockSteady. For a drywall stabilizing company. Clever.

We got rid of two thirty-yard dumpsters full of extra weight, and now we were replacing all it and then some. Drywall was so heavy, as a matter of fact, it was dangerous. The delivery guys wired stacks of four-by-twelve-foot sheets against the walls of the church with little warning clips: “Warning! DRYWALL IS HEAVY! Attempting to move may cause injury or death.”

Not that I needed another reminder of the weight of construction materials. There is a reason you don’t see old ladies with no upper body strength working in the construction industry. I struggled to lift pretty much everything. (Except insulation. That was easy to lift. Hard to manipulate.) Lumber was heavy. Five-gallon buckets of paint were heavy. Tile was really heavy. Sledgehammers? Solid-wood doors? Drywall? Rebar? Brick? Well-constructed cabinets? All of it reminded me how little strength I had ever, let alone now in my fifties. Before our construction project, I puffed up my chest when I was able to open a bottle of spaghetti sauce by myself. I wasn’t built for this.

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Tomorrow: Day Two of drywall doesn’t go so well. Read about that fiasco here.

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