RENOVATING my bathroom was going to be quite a project, but my children had convinced me I needed to do it. From where I stood in the doorway two weeks into the job, the room looked like a disaster area. My contractor, Jeff, poked at the wall behind where the bathtub had been. “It’s soaked through,” he said. “And there’s a lot of termite damage. The whole wall will need to be replaced.”
“Oh,” I groaned. Sometimes it seemed like this whole project was a big mistake. Why had I agreed to take it on?
My original plan was to go to one of those big companies that promised to do the job in a day. That proved to be way out of my price range. I asked around about local contractors and every single one was busy. I finally met Jeff through a neighbor whose bathroom he’d remodeled. Jeff was a self-proclaimed Kentucky hillbilly, and my neighbor said he was the best. He brought along his assistant, Woody, to help. Now we were two weeks into the job that was supposed to take five days, and Jeff had discovered the termites!
“Don’t worry,” he said, hearing the disappointment in my voice. “I can fix it. In fact, do you mind if I take a look in the garage to see if you have any materials I could make use of?”
“Sure,” I said. Jeff and Woody went off to scour the garage.
I took another look at the mess. Jeff isn’t worried about it, I thought. I shoul