About a decade ago the siding was crumbling off our house, necessitating replacement. My friend Vikki, now more-or-less retired but then a full-time bookkeeper, had several construction clients, and she recommended a guy named Dusty. She called him a “good man, and an honorable one.”
I found Dusty just down the street from my childhood home on Tincup Drive, working on the house that used to belong to my friend Jeff’s family and now was in the hands of the Crossleys (very nice people, even if their 11-year-old son who drew us a picture of a goat somehow recently graduated from college).
I explained to Dusty about our siding situation, and said my dream would be to replace it with straw bales, but I didn’t see that as a possibility. He said, “Why not?” Ultimately, though, he did decide it would be impractical, and we settled for blueboard and Hardie plank.
He replaced all our windows, too. I was insistent that we go through Gunnison Glass, because they were customers of mine, and Dusty did have a little heartburn because they recommended Sierra Pacific windows. He had worked for a time in the state of Washington, back when Sierra Pacific was on the wrong end of popular opinion regarding spotted owls. So he was opposed to them as a corporation, but after he installed the windows, he did admit they made really good windows.
I’ve always gotten along well with Dusty because philosophically we are in the same place: walk as softly as you can on the Earth, but it’s always good to be pragmatic as well.
And while he’s been dinged in these posts (and in our household as well), and I’m pretty sure we’re still giving him moments of heartburn (“Can you move this wall? Can you move it again?”), I’m glad we have continued our association for the biggest construction project I’ll ever propose. (You heard it here first: Never Again.)
He’s been gone this last week, and it’s felt like kind of a long week without him. It would seem we don’t make much of a move without him these months.
But work has continued in his absence, and now all the floors are down except the two bedrooms getting carpet, and that’s been ordered. Decking has been delivered, trim is installed around most if not all windows, and the interior doors that aren’t pocket are hung.
Apparently all I had to do was complain to the universe about the service Lynn wasn’t getting at the cabinet place, because they got back to her later that day and Lynn went and signed her life away yesterday. Her kitchen will get ordered Monday, and it’s still going to be about six weeks for delivery. I sat through the whole process — it felt like an hour but was only a half — but I served a useful purpose when I pointed out the wrong countertop was being written on the order. (Gone is the $10,000 “Azul Fantasy”; in its place is the much-less-expensive “Silver Fall.” It looked to me like that might come with some mica flecks, which would be cool.)
I still haven’t decided what to do about my bathroom vanity; I’m waiting for Dusty to return and help me out. And sort out my laundry room since I don’t know how to use a tape measure.
I’m sure his heart will be warmed, if not burned, to know that we missed him.
Herewith, a series of pictures worth thousands of words. First up, my bathroom, with nicely-trimmed window (I’m learning to love the octagon) and a floor. The actual color is best viewed in a section coming off the point of the shower.)
The Pumpkin Room, with newly-hung door. If you hate it, don’t come visit, because these are the guest quarters.
Finally (because I forgot to take a picture of Lynn’s bathroom), the room that only I will love (Lynn seems okay with it): the laundry, now with “Summer Pudding” Marmoleum. Can you believe it was on sale?