It never stood a chance.
We recently renovated our kitchen and the last piece was the kitchen table.
The old kitchen table was a giant, dark brown behemoth that served us well.
Many family meals were enjoyed there. Christmas breakfasts, Easter dinners, and birthday cakes came and went.
Growing up, my parents were really good at sharing tips and advice.
One memorable piece of advice was: “Get that spaghetti out from between your toes.”
But, by far, the most common was: “Turn off the lights!”
Like ants swarming a cake at a picnic, the tiles were everywhere.
These 4-inch by 4-inch tiles covered our kitchen. Normally, the prospect of renovating our kitchen would excite me, but these tiles showed up years before our current kitchen renovation was even a twinkle in my eye.
No, these tiles were very much a thorn. They were for a large project my artist wife was fortunate to be working on with dozens of other artists alongside residents of communities across Canada.
That didn’t take long.
My artist wife spent 10 years without cleaning her art studio in our suburban, prairie bungalow. Her studio, the size of a living room, fills a quarter of our basement.
Paint-covered floors, canvasses stacked everywhere, and piles of paint supplies in the middle of the room were common behind the perpetually closed door. As sure as the sun rises, that studio would be a mess.
Yet, it took her the time of one my strength-training workouts to clean the place.
Seriously. One hour.
It hit me like a fly hits the windshield of a speeding bus.
With the kids at school, my artist working in her studio, and me on a day off, I had stepped out of the house for a couple of hours to put up some of our Christmas light display on our western Canadian, suburban home. With 8,000 bulbs in our display, it takes a lot of time and even more thought to set it up.
By the time I had another 2,000 bulbs on the house, I was mentally drained.
I needed to shut my brain off. I needed to feel my cold-numbed fingers and toes. I needed to go inside.
So, I did.