Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hosting guests while renovating

My grandparents are at my cousin S's college graduation today.  (We're so proud of you, S!)  Our house is roughly halfway between my where my grandparents live and S's college, so they were able to break their trip at our place, and spend two nights with us.

We've been looking forward to their visit for several weeks now, but we aren't nearly as far along with our renovations as we had hoped.  Instead of having a lovely guest room, most of our furniture and belongings are still in storage.  P and I have been talking for months about getting ourselves a new mattress and setting ours up in the guest room (so we actually have a guest bed), but we can't agree on how soft/firm we would like it to be.  He wants to solve this problem with a SleepNumber bed--he slept on one in a hotel once, and loved it.  I'm not thrilled about how expensive they are.  They adjust firmness by inflating or deflating a series of airbladders, and I just can't believe that design is really durable.  Then again, I haven't heard anyone complain about their SleepNumber mattress not lasting as long as they would like, so maybe I should just get over that one.  So, back to the part where it's really expensive.

Does anyone know of a manufacturer that sells a queen bed where you can get one side firmer than the other?  We've only been able to find that option with a king bed (or a DIY king by putting two twins together), and I'm not sure we want anything that large.

But I digress.  I was supposed to be talking about my grandparents.  Luckily, they're fantastically good sports, and are up for nearly anything.  They also remember what it's like to be where we are.  Fifteen years ago, they began building a new house for their retirement.  But they were concerned about whether they would be able to sell their previous house.  The real estate market was quite slow there; several other houses on their street were listed for sale, and some had been on the market for as long as two years.  So they listed their house for sale several months before the new one was scheduled to be completed--and of course, it sold in less than a week.  They put all their belongings into storage, and spent the next few months living first with my uncle's family, and then in my family's guest room.  So they can definitely relate to our current situation.

P and I have been sleeping on a mattress laid directly on the floor, while the frame and box spring are in storage.  So we dragged the mattress into our smallest bedroom, and proudly surveyed our new guest room:  the mattress laying on our newly refinished hardwoods, and a neatly folded pile of clean towels for our guests.  We'll call it the minimalist look: no bedside table, no lamp, no clock.  But the floors!  They were beautiful!  And our guests would be in such close proximity to them, with no box spring or rug to interfere!  Pretty good deal, right?

Next up was making the hall bath inhabitable for the guests.  The most important order of business was rehanging the door that I had taken off the hinges to paint.  (Who wants to use a bathroom with no door?)  So the newly painted, crisp white door was rehung in the still cream colored door frame.  Then, to clean: I removed the bits of stripped wallpaper from every surface, chipped stray bits of spackle off of the countertop and out of the bathtub, and wiped construction dust off of everywhere.  Finally, I got nice and thoughtful, and put soap, shampoo, and conditioner in the shower, a dispenser of hand soap on the counter, and a throw rug on the floor.

I was really quite pleased with myself for cleaning the place up, and P was quite impressed with how good it looked when he got home.  Want a peak?
Yeah, it's all about perspective, isn't it?

As I said, my grandparents are great sports, and didn't complain a bit about anything.  Though my grandfather did get stuck in the bathroom, as I had neglected to put the new doorknob on the door, so you need a screwdriver or other implement to open the latch once it had closed.  (As soon as I freed him, he put the new knob on for me.)  And after quietly observing the situation for 24 hours, they politely asked if I would mind if they took the full-length mirror that was laying on my "to junk" pile outside and propped it up in their room, so they would be able to comb their hair the second morning.  My grandparents are pretty good problem solvers!

We had a great time on their visit--it was a great excuse for us to see some of the local attractions and try out a new restaurant--all things P and I had been meaning to do, but hadn't made the time for until we had guests.

And we have several more guests coming soon!  So thanks for breaking us in (and getting that doorknob on the bathroom), Grammy and Pa!

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