When the Longs first told me they were going to try and save some money on their new house by doing their own demolition work before the remodeling begins, I volunteered to help out. I had no clue what I was committing to, mind you. My "building" experience is limited to roofing under a summer sun on numerous mission trips with youth. I know how to sweat. I don't know that much about tools and what exactly one is supposed to do with them.
But, as an enabler who is very self-aware of her family issues, I was more than willing to "help" -- whatever that might look like. The first glimpse at what I'd signed on for happened the first week. We were tearing out the kitchen cabinets. These stained fortresses to the kitchen gods were built with a bit more care than the ones I've encountered in the apartments I've lived in the last few years. I pushed. I pulled. I figured out leverage might come in handy and grabbed a screwdriver to wedge the hinges loose. I continued to push. I continued to pull. Soon I was playing a blues song in my head as I wondered if anyone was noticing that the non-handy-woman was still on the first assignment as they were removing large portions of dry wall and entire countertops.
When the sweat began dripping off the end of my nose, I found some new resolve and eventually, those doors came off!
Next we took on a bathroom and I held my own with a crowbar as the ceiling came down on top of my dirt-covered, sweat-soaked breasts.
This weekend we did the upstairs bathroom. Now catch that if you will, ok? "Upstairs" translates into trips both up and down, up and down, up and down as the various cabinets, wall fixtures, tiles, and bath tub pieces had to be removed and placed in the dumpster on the street.
This time I traded in the crowbar for a sledge hammer and took out three walls of tiles from Spain. I probably didn't look like a pro while in action but I got the job done.
Breathing was a priority in the heat-always-rises level of the slowly evolving home. Conversations were limited to "excuse me, did I hit you with that?" And/or "sorry ... so quiet ... just ... trying ... to breathe."
I must say that while there were definitely stresses and strains to the body, I was mildly amused at how much satifaction I found in destruction.
As I left the culprits who had engaged me in service to the final stages of the tear out, I had to laugh. "Thanks for saving me a couple of hundred dollars in therapy costs!" was about all I could muster.
They grunted and hit the tub one more time.