Be humble to see your mistakes, courageous to admit them, and wise enough to correct them

Our story so far: In the finishing phase of renovating the 126-year-old Methodist church into a home, a quarter inch—or foot—made the difference between something fitting or not. We found out the hard way missing steps meant going back to retrace them.

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The upstairs bathroom was particularly vexing.

When the lights I’d ordered months ago were delivered, I unpacked the fixtures for the vanity, and a knot formed in my stomach. What I had unpacked was beautiful, but I knew instantly the wiring—around which had been drywalled and painted—was in the wrong place. The electrician did the best he could with the direction he got—from me—but I was wrong. The wall would need to be ripped into, re-drywalled and repainted.

upstairs lighting fufu
In order to get the lighting fixtures in the right place the second time, I made templates of the mirrors to show exactly where they would hang. No more by guess or by golly. Note the exposed two-by-fours that should be behind drywall.

We had invested in a standard shower stall for that bathroom, and a standard glass door. Both had been delivered in March so the stall could be installed before we built walls around it. When You-Can-Call-Me-Al got to installing the door, he realized it was too tall. After rummaging around in an inches-deep pile of receipts, we remembered we’d purchased it at Lowe’s. Tyler made a phone call. Thank goodness, the Big Box store had a lenient return policy. I boxed the door back up, drove a half hour to Lowe’s, stood in line twenty minutes to return it, purchased a new door with Tyler’s specs and drove back to the church. You-Can-Call-Me-Al set to installing the new door, and he determined it was now the correct height but the wrong width. Back to Lowe’s. Apparently, “standard” comes in a variety of sizes.

On the last day of our plumber Glimfeather’s work, he brought two helpers and powered through a lot of plumbing details. In the last hour of his work, he announced he was nearly done; he had only to install the bathtub faucet. Where did I want it to be installed again? We surveyed the tub, and I fixed the point. I went about some other task, leaving him to his work, only to be called to the tub a few minutes later. The faucet—a beautiful one we’d coveted, ordered and paid for in April—was designed for a vanity sink, not a tub. “It’ll take forty minutes to fill your tub with that faucet,” Glimfeather said. “The water will be cold before you’re done.” Alas, the plumber’s work was not done after all. We’d have to track down the correct faucet, and he’d have to come back.

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Today’s headline is a quote from author Amine Ayad.

Tomorrow: A litany of little snafus pops up. Read about them here.

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