Sunday, January 13, 2013

Old Christmas Tree - Part 2 - The descent into beige

Click here to read part 1 of 2 - Part One: Grandpa almost burns down the house.

Grandma.  She whose house had been almost burnt down by Grandpa's carelessness.  You could see the once-pink roses now charred brown on the wallpaper all the way up the living room wall. Grandpa had tried to use the Christmas tree as fuel in the basement woodburner stove.   Grandpa's life had now been changed into a lifetime of Home Improvement Restitution.  A Christmas tree that would be held over Grandpa's head for the next two years. 

The Two-Year Beige Project.  Beige.  Grandma wanted beige, and so, now that Grandpa was over the barrel, there would be beige. Lots of beige.  First came the living room.  The dark green wallpaper with the large pink and white flowers, some of them charred brownish, was the first to go.  

Over the next two years, I became adept at soaking off wallpaper, and it was kind of cool to be working on an actual ladder when my friends stopped in to see where I had gone. Grandma was terrified that I would fall off the ladder - it kind of reinforced the element of danger in the job.

We soaked off all the wallpaper, primed the wall, and Earl Korban, Grandpa's brother in law, installed a beige and ivory 8 x 15 foot wallpaper mural of the Taj Mahal on the wall with the now forever-cold chimney.  Next came the dining room, no more flowers - beige painted.  Then the rest of the living room.  Beige sofa. Beige Nauga-hide chair. Of course, that didn't go well with the striped wallpaper hallway in the front room - so we had to take that down, and apply beige paint.  Then the stairway to the upstairs needed to be done.  And the living room rug, and hardwood dining room floor were replaced by wall-to-wall beige shag carpet.  Meanwhile, at the upper end of the stairway, the hallway upstairs, and the bedrooms - first the pink wallpaper soaked off, and then primed and painted - beige again. And then the wall-to-wall carpet came rolling out.  Even the ceiling was painted sort of beige-white.  Even the carpeting on the steps to the upstairs had to become beige.

By the time we were done with the beige transformation, all traces of Grandma's house as we remembered it from childhood had been replaced by a uniform shade of beige.  We now lived in the present, and the present was beige.

Thanks for listening and contributing. I'd love to hear from you.

1 comment:

Leslie Hanna said...

I remember beige. No more fires, huh?