In the midst of noise, trouble, and hard work

There’s a ladder living in our bathroom.

A small seven-word sentence. It doesn’t even have an exclamation point at the end. Although it should!

In 2011, when we became official owners of this little cottage, the bathroom was the first room we intended to refinish. It’s small, we thought; yes, start small. But then we ran into a few problems, so Mr. H.C. decided it would be better to redo the kitchen first. Now, six years later we are finally starting on the bathroom. The photos below show you what we’ve lived with for lo, these many years…

Yes, it would definitely win the Ugly Bathroom Contest. And just so you won’t think us total Appalachian hillbillies, I will show you the finished door that goes in to this contest-winning bathroom…

Through these years, we have collected most everything we need. Remember it was the first room we were going to tackle? Practically the first thing we bought for the house was the bathroom vanity and mirror. They’ve been against the wall in the garage bedroom covered in plastic all this time. The truth is often Not Pretty; but there is a glass-half-full outlook  — We already have:

  1. the sink,
  2. the sink faucet,
  3. the shower head and handles
  4. the vanity,
  5. the mirror,
  6. the lights,
  7. the toilet,
  8. a lovely cabinet with glass doors that was left over from the kitchen project,
  9. the tile for the shower floor,
  10. the tile for the vanity top, and, drum roll please….
  11. the pull-down attic ladder that will go in the ceiling — which was the initial problem that stopped this bathroom project all those many years ago.

That long list above, makes the list of still-to-purchase items rather short: subway tile for the shower walls, a shower pan, some incidental plumbing materials, and ceiling boards. Oh, and paint. And maybe a glass-block window. We haven’t really decided about the window yet. That’s the least of our worries; we haven’t gotten to that wall yet…

But can I just be honest and say, this prolonged bathroom project has made for a lot of anxiety and needless tension? The last unnecessary comment I made was earlier this year: Mr. H.C. thought maybe we could invite some folks over for dinner.
We have a lovely kitchen.
We have a lovely dining room.
We have a lovely porch.
We have a lovely living room.
Did I focus on any of those? No.
I said, “No one is getting invited here for dinner until the bathroom is finished.”
I mean, let’s face it: you can’t invite people for dinner and then shove them out the door right after dessert because you don’t want them to use your bathroom….

Bathroom wall — looks like old Italian plaster, eh?

Yes, there it is again: the ugly truth. It’s right up there with those ugly bathroom walls.

And no, I never have had peace about living in the midst of a really ugly bathroom. Oh, every morning when I take a shower, I’m grateful for the hot running water. I lived without running water for several years, so I know about praise for hot showers…

It’s just that I really appreciate beauty, and there’s been no beauty in this bathroom for a long time…except in my mind’s eye. And I can’t show you any pretty photographs yet, because we are still in the midst of noise, trouble, and hard work. In fact, it’s only just now begun… But I can say that it is certainly easier to have peace knowing that the noise, trouble, and hard work will soon morph into that finished bathroom that has lived in my head for so long,

The longer the wait, the more we appreciate.

6 thoughts on “In the midst of noise, trouble, and hard work

  1. I am astounded that you have been in the cottage for 6 years!!! I imagine some days it feels like more! I thoroughly understand about the bathroom and guests. My 2 big hangups were the kitchen floor and the main bathroom. We replaced the kitchen floor several years ago (long enough to have it all marked up!) and the kitchen about 2 1/2 years ago. I am SO HAPPY that we redid the bathroom!!! I understand completely. Hope things go smoothly for the renovation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Many things can go wrong in a bathroom redo. Like having the attic steps land right in the middle of the shower. But that might be another post.

      Technically we have only been here full time 3 years. But Michael’s mom Clara died July 8, 2011 and by early August we had started ripping out orange shag carpets. New floors can make a huge difference — glad you got yours. 😀


  2. cannot wait to see this particular finished product because I know how superbly constructed it will be from start to finish I have been fortunate enough to witness all completed projects thus far and the labor, dedication, and attention to details is unsurpassed. Good luck!


    • Oh thank you!! You guys have been our biggest cheerleaders and we thank you for it! It’s a good thing you didn’t see the brand new attic ladder — just installed — unfold and hit the shower and go no further. It was about three feet from the floor. It’s working now, but there was a lot of muttering and extra work involved…


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