By Patrick Murphy

Our house is a mess.

It’s a good mess, though. We are having the kitchen and a bathroom remodeled, so everything is torn apart, and we are living in temporary chaos.

My wife’s brother-in-law and her niece’s husband are spending the next few weeks at our house putting in a new shower, vanity and lighting in the bathroom and new countertops and lighting in the kitchen.

It’s going to be great when it’s done, but until then our lives are a little out of order. It’s funny how we settle into routines, and when those routines are interrupted it’s like our lives have been turned upside down, and we don’t know how to handle it.

Since we have just one shower in the house, which is now out of commission, we have a make-shift shower in another bathroom, and it is unconventional to say the least.

We rigged a shower hose and nozzle to the faucet in our whirlpool tub and hung plastic curtains around it. The hose is pretty short, so I end up having to bend over to wash. It’s quite a scene I’m glad no one can see.

It’s funny how changing your routine can make things seem so new and confusing.

In the old bathroom everything I use was in the same place in the shower and in the bathroom cabinet. I could probably grab whatever I needed without looking. Now, I have to look for everything in a new bathroom cabinet, and every day I have to think about where everything is.

Every morning I have to sort through the cabinet to find what I need, and even though I put things back in the same place every day, I have to think about where things are and move stuff around instead of my muscle memory knowing where everything is supposed to be.

My wife and I also are sharing the same cabinet, where we used to have a cabinet big enough we each had our own side for our stuff. 

It’ll be the same way at first when the new bathroom is remodeled, but I’ll get used to it. It’s different when something is new. You try and find just the right place for your stuff and don’t mind getting used to the new surroundings. Soon it’ll be a new routine, and the old one will fade away.

The kitchen is just starting to be torn down before it’s remodeled, so that adjustment is still coming.

I think that will be easier to get used to than having to use a make-shift shower. If the kitchen is out of commission for a while, I can always use the microwave, go out to eat or grab something to go. None of that requires hunching over.

We are starting to get a little peak at what the new digs will look like, part of the shower is in place and one of the kitchen countertops is installed, and that’s exciting.

This is the first time we have had a house renovated like this, so it’s kind of fun to watch it get done. Every time I come home for lunch or at the end of the day I check around to see what was done. I have no carpentry skills, so I marvel at people’s ability to take apart a room and make it into something totally different and so much better - especially if I don’t have to hunch over to shower.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.