One could make the argument that I really ought to be a whole lot more knowledgable about home improvement than I am before starting on a project like remodeling a bedroom (or bathroom, for that matter). I visited Lowe’s yesterday to explore exterior window trim options. I came away even more confounded than when I went into the store. I came home and read up on window installation and replacement in two different fix-it books. They did not help.

Just one email exchange and phone conversation with Joe, though, and the clouds have parted. He patiently explained every last detail of the process to me—twice, admittedly, because I’m not exactly quick on the uptake in this area—and at the end of it all I finally understood how this thing is going to work. Man, what a relief! Ignorance may be bliss for some folks but for not me. I’d rather be in a state of full awareness as I mess stuff up.

One of the things that dawned on me—and why it’s taken this long I have no idea—is that home improvement is a game wherein you take certain pieces like piping, wires, and wood and work through the puzzle of putting them together so that they look good. God willing, they’ll also work. That’d be nice. It’s an interesting conceptual framework for understanding the use of a hammer, saw, pipe wrench and so forth, and one which I’m eager to try out. Surely, it can’t be any worse than blindly groping about. I’ve been trying that, and if I had to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being “works perfectly for me; sets me in a transcendant state of total consciousness” and 1 being “feels like total renal failure,” trust me when I say it’s a lot closer to 1 than 10.

I’ll let you know how it goes.