Michael has been in orientation all day, all week. He is at orientation more hours than he was at his full-time job in Florida. I kid you not. So since I do not yet have a job and our non-luxury apartment is not exciting or particularly pleasant, I volunteered to help the Crookers* move into their Finger Lake cottage.
*Do you know about Kass and Marilyn Crooker? They are fantastic people who we, and our families, have known for many years. We have laughed and cried with them, skied with them, played countless rounds of Mexican Train, and Marilyn played all the ridiculously complicated music at our wedding. To give you an idea of our relationship with them, you know how when you babysit your nephew and he's super cute, but he's not your child so you can give him back at the end of the day? That's how the Crookers are, but on a parenting level. Not that we'd ever want to give them back, of course. Michael and I have perfectly wonderful sets of parents and are not in need of other parents. But the Crookers sort of stand in the middle ground. They are not family but at times you realize they're not 'just' friends, either.
Anyway, they live near Ithaca, so we'll be able to see them a lot this year, YAY! During the winter months (which, I think in upstate New York is actually October through May) they live in a regular house in the area, but in the summer they spend their time at a gorgeous place on Cayuga Lake. It's awesome. But when you have two places, there's that inevitable 'transition' stage. You have to move your clothes and food and whatever else you don't have duplicates of down to the lake. This would be a task in itself. But Kass and Marilyn decided to make is SUPER exciting by RENOVATING THEIR ENTIRE COTTAGE! (The exciting part is the renovation is almost done. So close you can taste it! I hope to be invited to the champagne celebration party)
Seriously. They are crazy, but the good kind. And when I say renovate, I mean renovate. As one tiny portion of the renovating, everything in the upstairs bedrooms got taken downstairs and piled in the living room because they had brand new floors installed and sanded and stained and sealed and polyurethaned. (I have never typed the word polyurethane until today! What do you know) The floors look beautiful (what? floors can definitely show beauty) which mean the rooms could get put back together. This is where my assistance comes in.
Kass, who is on treatment this week, is slightly less of a Superman than normal. Basically, he has to stop working when mere mortals would have to stop instead of trudging onward. Don't worry, Marilyn continues to behave like a superhero. This meant that Marilyn and I were in charge of sweeping sawdust and wood shavings and assembling four bed frames before the mattresses could be put back. For people with a lot of college education, we're pretty dumb when it comes to assembling beds. It's ok; we figured it out and we both have many other talents and skills.
Now for the exciting part. The upstairs stairway is super narrow (a little wider than me. Probably the exact width of my Dad) and has a 90 degree turn. Those of you with excellent spatial relations skills will realize it is impossible to get box springs and mattresses up the stairway. So what's the solution? That's easy! Hoist them onto the roof of the kitchen and shove them through the window! I am not kidding. Here are the steps, if you are ever interested in repeating this insanity on your own property.
- Remove screens from north bedroom.
- Set up ladder along outside kitchen wall, extending to roof.
- Have Marilyn and Julia** climb ladder and stand on roof to receive box spring.
- Have Kass and neighbors hoist box spring up ladder.
- Julia and Marilyn 'catch' it.
- Julia and Marilyn feed the box spring through the window to Millie, who is waiting inside the bedroom.
- Marilyn climbs down ladder and walks through the house, up the stairs, to meet Millie in the hallway and walk the box spring to its proper bedroom.
- Repeat for remaining box springs and all 4 mattresses.
- Drink some wine when you're done.
**For the queen mattress, Millie will need to join M & J on the roof. Call another neighbor so there are enough people on the ground hoisting, and another person inside to receive.