- by Charlotte Hubbard
Happy Mardi Gras to you!
And Happy Birthday to me!
I can’t ever recall my natal day coinciding with the world’s biggest party, but I think it’s kinda cool! And because I moved from Missouri last week and we’re remodeling our new Minnesota home now, I’ll be bringing in a home-cooked N’Awlins lunch for my carpenters, my wallpaper removal/paint guy, and the Realtor.
That’s my birthday party this year…coz right now, before I’ve made other new friends, they’re my best buds!
But I’m totally OK with that! In the past couple days, these guys have ripped just about EVERYTHING out of the house—including the carpet, the kitchen, entire walls of smoked glass mirrors, and a black Jacuzzi dating back to the 70’s. I’ve dubbed myself a Mistress of Mass Destruction…but it’s part of this total transformation thing that goes with leaving a home of 21+ years to start fresh in new place.
All you see in this photo is now gone—except for the tile, which will soon be covered with a brick-pattern slate backsplash in shades of terra cotta, gold, and slate blue.
This total transformation project echoes my writing life, as well: I’m now working from a tabletop office with three stackable plastic drawers holding office supplies and files. The collage for this new Amish series/book I’m writing—under my new pseudonym, Naomi King—hangs on the wall I face so those characters can remind me how I’m supposed to be spending my time!
It could be at least a part-time job, keeping ahead of Bart the Builder as we deal with lighting, entryway tile, new kitchen cabinets, etc. but no! I have a book due on June 1st! And Bart can’t write it for me in exchange for my calling the fridge technician and finding matching bathroom tile for him.
I hope this new writing project will be like finding surprises in this house (well, the good ones anyway! It wasn’t fun to discover that Jacuzzi had serious plumbing problems.) Beneath the laminate flooring in the kitchen and dining room, we discovered ¾” parquet oak floors—in pretty decent shape, too! Bart is almost as jazzed about this discovery as I am. And this morning I saw two wild turkey hens peering into our sliding glass doors—even though we’re a suburb of St. Paul!
We writers always hope such gems and unexpected delights will pop out at us as we uncover our characters’ foibles and tell their stories.
Stay tuned! The transformation is underway—and meanwhile, Happy Mardi Gras to you! I’ve gotta go sample some red beans and rice!