Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Day 1.7 at the Depot
I pass the tile aisle, the carpet space and the appliance rows, all bringing memories of purchases past, and I laugh remembering how great they all looked on display but never quite filling the bill once installed, laid or wired up.
I get to the lumber section and cringe at the inflated prices. Past the insulation stacked to the ceiling and hardware where we now pay for nails and screws individually. I chuckle thinking that they need to rename the vinyl coated sinkers to a more appropriate moniker, instead of a 16 penny, better a 16 buck.
I wonder for a moment how much I have spent here over the last 30 years. How many times I opened the monthly statement to find the total more than I make in a month. I think about the time it took to buy, haul, unload, measure, cut, sand, paint and assemble.
I am in the roofing section, a locale that I have spent many hours trying to figure the proper combination of underlayment, felt, tyvek, flashing, caulk, bear-shit (asphalt sealer that resembles its nickname), roll roofing, cedar shakes, aluminum and torch-down.
I grin and walk past the smiling check-out cashiers. This is weird I think, I am not pushing one of the carts loaded with expensive building materials and wondering if this might, at long last, fix the leak, stop the drafts or add function to the nightmare that comes from 30 years of adding rooms, wings, spaces, bathrooms, kitchens and media rooms without a grand scheme, a design, any formal plans and a rebellious disdain for convention. Code being something that is written and used with computing, not required by the country building department.
And it hits me.
I don't have to shudder when it rains, buy ten more one hundred dollar tarps or wonder if the black mold is causing my respiratory problems. No more.
I do not have to second guess my motives, color choices or how my bandit building will eventually be handed down, fall down or burn down.
I am not a home owner any more. I pay no property tax. I do not have to dedicate every weekend in the summer and every day in the winter to the fortification of my castle, albeit a tiny cabin in the woods.
I am walking out of Home Depot without making a purchase. I need nothing. There is nothing to add, nothing needing subtraction. That pesky roof and the bootleg septic is now the headache of the guy who cashed me out almost one year ago.
I am at once saddened by this realization and elated by its reality.
I am still trying to settle with my spirit, as I miss that cacophony of color and the warmth of the wood stove when cooking spaghetti in the darkness of winter. I miss the tree house and the funky kitchen. I never took the keys from ignition, nor locked the front door for three decades.
But I do not miss loading my truck with 2x4s and working in the rain.
It is an unmistakable emotion that I can only label as an incredible being of lightness.