All that I want for Christmas

Well it’s been a quiet week around Lake Wobegone…oh wait.  This isn’t A Prairie Home Companion, I’m not Garrison Keillor and I’m not from Lake Wobegone.  Let me try that again.  Well it’s been a VERY quiet week here in the neighborhood of Barrio das Fontainhas, Braga, Portugal.  Not the town, per se.  That’s bustling with Christmas activities.  No I mean the activity (or lack there-of) on our renovation project.  Now I know what you are thinking.  “Rog…it’s Portugal.  It’s a slower pace of life.  Isn’t that one of the reasons you told everyone that you went there in the first place?”  Truer words were never spoken (or written as the case may be).  Still, as the old saying goes, “It’s minor surgery if it’s on you, but it’s major surgery if it’s on ME!”  Well, I love the slow pace of life here, except while I’m kept waiting!!!!

December 21
No kitchen for Christmas

Now in fairness, there are (as always) many factors that have contributed to this slow pace.  And I must point out that we are still (technically) on schedule.  The estimated date of completion was originally 21 December.  No way!  But, a few things have come up that have forced the project back.  This, of course, is the very nature of construction; especially remodeling.  The new completion date is December 26th (pardon me for a moment.  I must wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes).  No.  It’s gonna be a little later than that.  One of the delays was from an unforeseen flooring condition that necessitated the ordering of new tiles, which will take time, etc, etc, etc.

“So,”you may ask, “All you are waiting on is the tiles.  That means all the floor prep (the messy part) the drywall, the paint, the carpentry, the electrical and the plumbing are done.  You’re sitting in a relatively clean apartment awaiting on a tile floor.”  Hmmm.  Not so much.  All of those are things that (in my humble opinion) could have been worked on over the last couple of weeks.  But hey!  What do I know?  It’s not like I have 25 years of construction experience, 15 of which were hands-on handyman stuff like laying tile, hanging and taping drywall, running electric, plumbing, painting, etc, etc, etc.

Now before you become too critical in your opinion about our contractor, let me assure you that there are (mostly) reasonable explanations for (some) of these delays.  Not the least of which is to teach us the Portuguese way of life.  It’s like praying for patience.  God sends you trials.  So.  Here we sit, still very happy with our decision to move here, our choice of location and our choice of company to provide a solution to our apartment issues.  Soon (two weeks?) all will be well and this will all be a happy memory.  For certain, it has already been the source of many laughs for us, and I’m sure you as well.

Feliz Natal e Feliz Ano Novo

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