The Way We Live Now

See Lulu, watching warily three weeks ago…
…as Eddie signs a contract authorizing ace contractor Roger "Butch" Malloy (click here to inquire about Butch’s services) to spend a few weeks ripping our house to shreds and putting it back together again with the rooms and walls rearranged.

At the end of it all lies a new bedroom and bath designed especially for Eddie’s mom Evelyn.

These will replace what has heretofore been our living room, on whose sofa Lulu is seen relaxing in the photo below, which was taken shortly before the destruction began.
Below: Same room, same corner, a few days later. Lulu’s sofa is now across town in storage, the carpet in a dumpster.
Below: Same room, lotsa new lumber now. The walls of the new bathroom and closet are beginning to shape.
Below: Although the heaviest of the recontruction slated for elsewhere in the house still lies ahead, it’s not too soon for carpenter Billy Langlois to bring the wall down between our dining room and what has heretofore been my workspace.
Below: Lulu explores the suddenly airy space where my iMac, printer, scanner, work table, cabinet, three filing cabinets, four flat files, and numberous CD-racks have been residing for the last four years.
Meanwhile, electricians Jim Boland and Brian Therrien are engaged in converting Evelyn’s former bedroom into what will soon be my new, relocated studio — around a dozen feet west of the old one.
Below: And here I am moving my stuff into my new professional quarters. Out of camera range are about thirty boxes of books, comics, and video tapes stacked from floor to ceiling awaiting new closet space now under construction. The door to my new workspace will be installed later, once enough boxes have been cleared away to allow one to open and close.
Below: Then there’s what for lack of a better term we call the "middle room," which is currently filled to the brim with furniture, books, and other items that have been displaced from the former living room as well as the eastern portion of this very room itself.

And guess what? Soon everything you see in photo above must be cleared out to make the final stages of renovation possible. Where will it all go? Where will we eat? Where will we watch TV?

Uh… We’re working on that.

For now, though, I can keep up with the Presidential campaigns without knocking anything over, as long as I don’t make any sudden movements.

Oops! What’s that crunching noise I’m hearing behind me even as I write this?

Why, it’s yet another wall meeting its maker (or un-maker) at the hands of Billy Langlois!

And how is Evelyn faring during all this craziness? She has taken up temporary residence at nearby Williamstown Commons Rehab Center after a suspiciously convenient (and happily brief) hospitalization a couple of weeks ago. Once she has regained her strength she is (to put it mildly) eager to move into her newly created bedroom, where in the best possible scenario she will be able to shut her door, remove her hearing aids in order to obliterate all sounds of hammering and sawing, and pretend that everything is normal in the rest of the house until Eddie and I finally peek in to tell her that she can now make her way to the kitchen without tripping over a sawhorse.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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0 Responses to The Way We Live Now

  1. Pingback: Loose Cruse: The Blog » Blog Archive » Return to White River Junction

  2. I will be praying for your sanity, my friend. Over the past couple of years, Barb and I added a family room to our house, and also redid the kitchen and two bathrooms. Our original contractor almost put me in my grave and I live for the day when I can dance and piss on his. Indeed, it took the threat of a television expose to get him to finish enough of the work that we could turn the rest over to more competent and honest contractors.

    I think I’ve been traumatized for life.

    Hope your work goes better than mine. Much much much much better.

    Best wishes,


  3. Ye gods, what tumult! I would be unable to remain productive through such extensive renovation. I would be unable to take photos. You guys are saints.