DiningDiarySquare-150x150 Monday, December 18, 2017. The Kitchen Power Is Removed And Restored. The electrician says that he is ready to go with our big rewiring project. He will be there at ten in the morning. I ask how long the job will take. “Hour, hour and a half,” he tells me. I know just enough about this project–after all, it’s been on our home improvement docket for at least two decades–to understanding the real meaning of his estimate.

“If everything goes well,” he adds. Uh-oh. I have heard that expression before. It means that the work will take much longer then he at first thought. “Sometimes we run into problems,” he says, unnecessarily. He doesn’t have to explain what exactly will be the issue. It will involve the curse I have encountered on every attempt at home rebuilding (and tuning up cars, straightening out computers, and everything else needing repairs.

The truth is clear. All fix-its come to a halt when the old hardware shows itself to be impossible to remove. This requires twice the amount of time that the installation of the new stuff will. In most cases, that will require at least one trip to the hardware store or the wholesale supply depot. And it’s all about having to chisel through the old pieces.

All of these predictions come to pass. One hour becomes five hours. It makes me nervous, because at some point I will have to put a radio show on the air. I can leave to cross the lake at around one-thirty p.m., and leave the electrician to continue working. With the dogs. Who are unpredictable. Or I can hope that the wiring will be finished at their last guess. In which case I will do the radio show from home. But if the power isn’t back by three, I am out of options. I need electricity to power my connection with the studio.

Miraculously, he does indeed finish on time, leaving me about twenty minutes to spare. I write his check, adding a bonus for his helpers. I fire up the radio connection and breathe a sign of relief. Actually, I need something like a week of such sighs. I am a basket case.

It would have been a wonderful night for there to be NPAS rehearsal tonight, but we’re in the off-season. Singing always calms me down. However, I do get an invitation to dinner from Mary Leigh, who is on her way home and has a hankering for a wedge salad with blue cheese dressing at the Acme in Covington. We split a dozen grilled oysters in our unique way: I get all the oysters and she gets all the butter, garlic, parmesan, and peppers to dip the toasted French bread.