• October 19, 2004

How Did I Get Here?

What it is really like to restore a house

Restoration Diary, ,

It’s 10:30 at night and I am lying underneath our house in a 3 foot crawl space, wedged beneath two large intersecting pipes, wearing a bra and blue jeans in the semi darkness. The washer and dryer aren’t hooked up yet because we are still working on the back porch. It is much easier for me to get dirty and take a bath then for my shirt to get dirty and need to be hauled across town to the laundromat.

Rocks and dirt are cutting into my back as I wait for David to push one of seven coaxial cables through a small hole where our cement foundation connects to a floor joist. My “job” is to reach my hand into the small hole, grab the cable and pull it through to hole.

D (yelling through the floor boards): Do you see the cable yet?

H (yelling back): No.

D: How about now?

H: No, I don’t see anything. Shine the flashlight in the hole. No, I still don’t see the cable.

I hear David pulling the cable back out of the hole and putting it back in at a different angle.

H: Ok! I see it. Stop! Stop! Stop, pushing the cable.

I finally grab the cable and pull it through. With one hand, I keep pulling…and pulling…and pulling the cable.

H: David. DAVID.

D: Yeah?

H: How much cable is there?

D: About 15 feet.

H: We are going to be here ALL night.

D: Keep pulling. Just keep on pulling. Keep on pulling. Ok, keep on pulling.

H: Stop. Saying. KEEP. ON. PULLING! What do you think I’m doing?!

D: Ok. That’s it. Stop pulling. Stop pulling!

H: Oh, thank God. David, you did put the cable through the hole in the wall stud before you put it through the hole in the floor, right? David?

I see the cable frantically moving back up through the hole in the floor.

H: David? DAVID?! David, tell me you are kidding.

D: I’m not kidding. Sorry. Ok, lets do this again!

H: How many of these cables are we doing?

D: Seven.

H: David.

D: Yeah?

H: I’m in the dirt, in my bra, in the dark.

D: We’re almost done. You are doing a great job.

How does he know what type of job I’m doing? Why am I the one underneath the house? He’s not going to be winning a limbo contest any time soon I think to myself as I shimmy between the two large pipes, trying to find a more comfortable position.

Comments { 3 }
  1. Kati

    Thank goodness we’re not the only ones with that experience! I just sent it to my husband and we’re LOVING that there are others out there doing the same stuff!!! Keep up the good work (although in truth, I guess we don’t know what kind of job you’re really doing either) ;)

  2. heather

    HI! I was hoping that someone out there would relate to this experience. I read a lot of house restoration blogs and noone really talks about those times when tensions run high or when you are working on the house late at night and it is the last thing you want to be doing. :)

  3. Robin Dickinson

    I know this post is about a million years old in home-restoration years but I laughed so hard I cried. I’m so glad its not just us! Our friends and family think we’re nuts. I think we’re nuts. Next time I’m showering with a hose on the back stoop or assisting my husband with a project with my toddler tied on my back, I’ll think of you! I’m also relieved to see you’re still working on it in 2011. We started in 2004 and the work continues.

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