Editor’s Note: This is part of our ongoing series on Laughter is Often the Best Medicine.
Contributed by Sue Martin, Peer Advisor.
Partridge in a Pear Tree or Something Like That!
Three days before installation of our new floors, eighteen boxes of hardwood walked in the door. They had to be in the house for at least three days before installation so that the boards would be at the same temperature and humidity as the house. Who knew? I spent three days trying to remember they were there in hopes of not falling flat on my face.
The day of installation arrived. Not sure what I expected but watched as a squad of men trooped into the house. Ordinarily I don’t inform folks who come to the house to do work that I’m blind. Most of the time it just doesn’t matter. But these dudes were going to be here all day and the moving of furniture was involved. So, first thing, I said, “I need to let you know that I’m blind. And this is my dog guide. We’ll try to stay out of your way…”
One of the guys placed his hand on my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry. We’ll take care of everything.” And he was right. I did my thing and they did theirs. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
My home office connects to the living room and it soon became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to continue working there. I picked up my laptop and took it into the sunroom. It was okay while they were trooping in and out, just bringing in their tools and stuff. Then the commotion started. Sighing, I picked up my laptop again and retreated to a room upstairs. When they got out their power saws and started cutting the flooring I closed all the doors. Cranked up the volume of my screen reader and settled in for a long day.
Then, due to the sawdust, smoke alarms began going off! The small, battery operated smoke alarms have gone off before. I could have lived with that. But this time the smoke alarm wired into the security system started braying, for the first time, ever. And that sucker is loud. In a panic I leaped to my feet and raced down the stairs. It seemed to take about five minutes to go down the stairs. Five minutes in which I struggled to remember the security system protocol. Was I supposed to call them? Were they going to call me? Would a fire truck be roaring up the driveway next? As I raced by the security system keypad I realized it was beeping. Skidding to a halt I punched in the code, incorrectly. I got it right the third time and the alarm went blessedly silent.
After that they took their wood cutting activities outside. Then they really got to work. The background music on hardwood floor installation day was a combination of five busy workers,four exploding nail guns, three buzzing saws, two chugging compressors, and a partridge in a pear tree.
The next day we had carpet installed. Carpet installation is a lot quieter than hardwood floor installation! Trust me on this.