Me and Jim Blandings
Today, the remodeling work on our house began. Our house is a gem. It's a beautiful 1923 bungalow in Spokane's wonderful Manito-Cannon Hill neighborhood. The house was nicely renovated about six years ago by a prior owner. The prior owner, however, we suspect, started to run short of funds during the course of the renovation project, and so a few flaws were left in our gem. A big flaw -- the antiquated wiring -- we had taken care of immediately. A few other flaws have persisted until now. These consisted mainly of a ghastly downstairs bathroom and metallic exterior touches from the 1950s.
Fortunately, we are having the work done by a very fine local company, Integrity Remodeling. (The two fellows doing the initial work are Jason and Troy, as if this weren't enough of an odyssey already.) Whenever work of this scale is done, though, I cannot help but think of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, by Eric Hodgins (1946). I have to admit, I have never actually read the book, but I love the classic 1948 movie that was made from it, starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. Jim Blandings and his family have outgrown their New York apartment. So, they buy a house in Connecticut, not far from the city. Of course, everything goes wrong and the project ends up costing a fortune, by the standards of that day. (But then he ends up with what would ultimately amount to a multimillion dollar estate, which makes the movie even more amusing to watch now).
Fortunately, we've seen examples of the work done by Integrity and are very happy with the work they done for us so far. The cats, on the other hand, are not pleased about being barred from the basement for the time being.