Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

My ace contractor Dave and his team have my master bath remodel on final approach.  The cabinets are getting stained today, and the final installations – countertop, mirror, shower glass, fixtures – are intricately choreographed for Monday and Tuesday.  The guys are taking the goal of having the bathroom “presentation ready” by the time Akemi arrives home from Boston Tuesday night very seriously.

The history behind the almost-joke started when Akemi, a junior high-schooler, came home from a two-week summer orchestra program at Idyllwild to me undertaking a cosmetic up-do of the guest bathroom.  (For those of you who have asked what my next project is, it is the real re-do of that bathroom, although this will not be nearly extensive as this master bath project.)  “I go away and look what got into my mother,” was the gist of her reaction. 

Then a couple of years later, she came home from a long, demanding summer at the Cleveland Institute of Music’s famous Encore program to the kitchen and “big room” completely torn up.  Eager for home-cooked meals after her first exposure to “mystery” dorm food and the Midwest version of Asian and Mexican cuisine, we closed out that summer to her dismay with paper plates, Trader Joe’s, and the toaster oven and microwave on the bathroom counter.

So when Akemi heard that even with a late October start, it would be “no problem” that she would come home for winter break to a new bathroom, she scoffed.  After all, she did grow up with me operating in the real estate development world and her dad being known for taking years to finish a home project.  But as she has maintained her skepticism, Dave and Fred have maintained their sense of contractor’s honor that this will be done on time.  We’ve called a few audibles along the way to keep things on schedule, and truth be told, the Plan Bs have been better than the Plan As. 

Last week, I admit, was not ideal scheduling, to deal with the combination of treatment aftermath, drywall dust, and primer fumes.  I ended up spending more time in the office than I otherwise would have, because there wasn’t much point in being at home with all the construction commotion going on.

 I may not be moved into all the luxurious amount of new cabinet space when I return home with Akemi from LAX next Tuesday night, but this scene with the hole in the ceiling from a burst pipe repair, the rusted sink, and non-functioning toilet of the old bathroom now receding into the past to be added to the family folklore.  Some finish work might be underway while Akemi’s plane is on final approach, but everything is going to be looking very good by then.  Film at 11 for her reaction. 

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