As we got into the car to go look at the house, the General made it clear: "If we get there and they've done nothing, I want you to stay calm and not say anything." Was she suggesting that I create undue stress in her life? I didn't ask for a clarification.
Rather than tell her that I have a Constitutional right to express myself, I simply said: "Yes Ma'am." It was late afternoon when we arrived, and there was not a vehicle near our home. As I stopped the car, I immediately had the sense that the drive had been a wasted effort.
Miracle of miracles, I didn't rant and rave. I know what you're thinking, "me rant and rave - impossible." After all, I'm so laid back and easy going. I'm the guy with the calm demeanor - right?
Okay, I admit it, I have my moments, and they are not all finer-moments. I try never to raise my voice. Effective communication precludes screaming at someone.
I've shared it before, but the first year the General and I were married, in settling conflict, I sometimes screamed, and she cried. The second year, she screamed, and I cried. The third year, we grew up a little and embraced better communication skills.
In terms of verbal communication, I still have memories from childhood of Mother threatening to wash my mouth out with soap for articulating an expression I had heard another kid say at school. I was about seven years old at the time, but she effectively let me know that even though it was not cussing, it was not acceptable.
Though I expected to find nothing changed inside the house, we got out of the car to walk through the house anyway. The General wanted to get some measurements. In her methodical way of determining what goes where, she wanted more information.
I saw it as an exercise in futility. Our furniture has been in storage for so long, I don't even remember what it looks like, much less the dimensions of each piece. I bit my bottom lip and opened the back door to get the tape measure from the floorboard. Have you ever wondered why the floor of a car is referred to as the floorboard? There is no lumber in the car.
Getting back to the house, we walked into the garage, and I stopped in my tracks. The trim work was completed in the garage. It may have been a visual hallucination, but there appeared to be an open door where previously there had just been an opening.
We walked into the house, and all we could think is "Wow! Wow! Wow!" With one or two exceptions, the doors were all in place, and the trim work was primarily completed throughout the house. Even most of the closets were quipped with shelving and clothes rods.
We are having the interior of the house finished in craftsman style. Maybe we are old school, but we like the look, and the house will definitely not fall into the "cookie cutter" category.
We emerged from the walk-through with a level of excitement associated to the house. It will be worth the wait.
All My Best!