All morning on Friday, I was counting down the minutes until 12:30. No, I wasn't hungry for lunch. I planned to take a rare half-day to start my move to Wickford, and I couldn't wait to get started. Editing press releases was taking place at the speed of a tortoise and the seconds couldn't tick by fast enough.
Remember a few weeks ago when I hinted that my new apartment was about to fall victim to a Fraser sister remodel a la "While You Were Out?" Yeah...that happened.
First, let me explain that no one in my family is quite as adept at home improvement than my sister Heather. By the time I stopped to get her and I some lunch and headed over to the apartment, it was about 1:30. Heath had been at the apartment since late morning, and when I opened the door, I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing.
One of the rooms had already been painted once over.
By herself, with one roller, she had painted an entire room.
Yup, that's my sister for you.
I joined in shortly thereafter, but to be honest, my contribution was minimal. My first addition to the work that lay ahead of us? I stood on a chair to paint a piece of wood trim, a plate of paint in my hand. I looked up at the piece of white wood in front of me and, focused on the task, slowly began to tilt the plate toward me, spilling paint on the wooden dining room chair and all over the tarp below.
Not a great start.
After I wiped up the paint and let out a few choice words, my sister rolling her eyes at me on the other side of the room (at this point she was ready to lap me), I tried again. I eventually hit a groove, but my speed was far from the pace Heath was working at. I can safely say that she painted three-quarters of the room by herself.
Once the first coat was down, it was only 4:30, and the third Fraser was nowhere to be found. She planned to come after work, but little did she know we were flipping houses at the speed of light. We putzed around; clueless of the fact that Kel was about to set us in motion again. Kelley arrived, admired the paint job, and questioned why there was nothing else to do.
I guess, in my haste to paint the apartment's second room, I hadn't thought of all the items left in my Cranston place.
Leaving Kel to grade papers in Wickford, Heather and I drove back to Cranston and filled my car, which, let me say, was surprisingly efficient. My little Aveo fit my coffee table, curtains and rod, rug, end table, art, ottoman and my favorite candlesticks. Not bad for a chick car. It was nearly dark by the time we got back, but we had enough props to agree that a change of floor plans was in order, switching the bedroom into the living room and the main space into a studio-style apartment.
The ladies were in agreement, but the work ahead was daunting. The new living room was almost presentable, or at least passable, but the other room was chock full of cleaning products, painting materials, furniture and just about every knick-knack to be found. My anxiety grew with every glance around the room. How was I going to fit all of my stuff into this teeny tiny apartment? How was I going to finish putting the apartment back together before Will got home? And once I did, was he going to love it or was he going to kill me?
The only respite from my anxiety was exhaustion, and that bitter pill would come soon enough.
I woke up early on Saturday because my nerves were eating through me, and I wanted to get the living room-turned-bedroom/office/kitchen into some semblance of a living space.
Once again, Heather came to my rescue.
We picked up the Beacon van, which has no seats in the back and comes in handy when moving anything bigger than a car trunk. And the list of moving items I'm about to describe is not an exaggeration. Standing no taller than 5'2'' each, the two of us little ladies carried down a three-flight winding staircase (and across a lawn and into a van) and then up a narrow, outdoor wooden staircase: an oversized red chair (and when I say oversized, I mean loveseat-sized), a TV stand, a floor lamp, a bookcase, bedside table, buffet table, wicker basket, a heavy brass mirror, two centerpieces and various pieces of art.
We put the apartment back together, eased my fears and had it all finished in time for William's return home.
The good news? He loved it.
The bad news? My back and arms are still killing me.
On an unrelated note, I challenged readers last week to give me ideas for next year's Halloween costume and I have to say that Phyllis Santilli came up with my favorite group costume to date: the Village People. Let's just hope my cousins aren't reading this column.