It isn’t that hell has frozen over—not exactly. It’s just that around here, there is real time, and then there is Mr. Ashbury time. And, well, something has taken place over the last couple of weeks that bring that cliché I quoted above to mind.
Y’all know I love my husband to bits, but it does take him a while to get around to doing some things.
For example, shortly after we moved into this house, the shower bar—the one that holds the shower curtain in place—had a bolt snap at one end. This happened just when someone was about to take a shower, so Mr. Ashbury, being a student of his fellow Canadian Red Green, reached not for duct tape, but for a stick pen. Yes, he jammed a stick pen into the hole to keep the shower bar in place. That pen stayed in service until he finally got around to replacing the shower bar this past August.
We moved into this house, by the way, in 1989.
Not long after the shower bar episode, (I’m thinking no later than a month after we moved in, tops), we decided to pull up the carpet that was on the kitchen floor. Carpeting in the kitchen, plus my kids at the time, was just a really, really bad idea. Once the ugly, cheap indoor/outdoor carpet was up, we discovered that the floor beneath it was in serious need of repair. The tiles were cracked and broken with pieces missing, and two spots in the floor were actually really soft—and, subsequently, needed “boards” placed over top of them to prevent people, dogs, or cats from possibly falling through.
Mr. Ashbury took one look at that floor and said, “I’m going to have to replace that floor one of these days.”
I am pleased to announce that “one of these days” commenced a week ago Saturday.
Yes, after only 24 years, Mr. Ashbury went out, bought the supplies, and announced that he was going to hunker down on our Victoria Day weekend and finally begin to replace our kitchen floor.
I asked my best friend, whom I know to be a Christian woman, to say a prayer over this situation. As I have already reminded y’all, I love my husband but if you look up the phrase “higgledy-piggledy” in the dictionary, you’re as like as not to see a picture of him there. I’ll also remind you of the “tiles” he did in the living room a couple of years back—but not under the area rug and not under the furniture or the bookcases. The floor there does look good, as long as you don’t look too closely.
My friend who loves me and Mr Ashbury, and is very wise told me she prayed for an extra measure of expertise for him—and an extra measure of patience for me.
Mr. Ashbury’s plan was simple. He was going to put down new wood over top of the old—5/8th tongue-and-groove aspenite and then ¼ inch mahogany underlay over that. Then, the plan was to tile over top of this new surface.
Eight four-by-eight sheets were required of each of these materials to do the job. My beloved observed, after the second one was down, that this was going to be a lot more work than he’d originally thought it would be.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that when he originally thought of doing this job he was, in fact, 20 plus years younger than he is now.
Of course, he’s a clever man, is Mr. Ashbury, and very well aware of the fact that he’s not as young as he used to be.
I’m very proud to report that as of the writing of this essay—a week and a day after the job was begun—my new kitchen floor is done, and it is beautiful! My husband did a wonderful job, as good as any professional could have done.
He credits that to the fact that he didn’t rush into doing the job too quickly, instead letting time pass while he considered the procedure in all of its many, myriad aspects—over the last twenty-three years.
I think I’ll just credit my best friend’s prayers, and leave it at that.