Archive:  Year 4 - Tuesday, October 6, 2009 "Blood, Sweat and Equity"

It has been one week since The Road hit the runway for the final shots for ‘Sweat Equity’ and I’ve only just lifted my head and begun to see beyond it.  I was working on remodle every available minute until the cameras started rolling.  The night before, George, Melby and I were working until 6AM framing windows, laying toe-stops, hanging pictures – whatever needed to be done to make her appear finished.  

And for all intents and purposes, she was finished.  The plumbing wasn’t all attached and some of the furniture was borrowed – but she was ready for the show.  Seemed appropriate, somehow.  Who hasn’t had to hit the footlights with a costume piece or two out of place…  

I was exhausted but still functioning in high gear when the network arrived.  The air on board was thick with sawdust, and the plants were still swaying from their rapid placement.  I tossed out the last dustpan of dirt and hid the last beer can, just as they arrived to capture the final reveal.  As a result, when they started rolling, it was also my first opportunity to really stand back and see the ol' girl in her new skin.

It’s kind of a big deal.

The new floors were shiny and – for the first time - uncluttered with power tools.  The windows were framed in bright white, and the walls a shimmering gold.  More thrilling for me, perhaps, were the unseen improvements.  Smug, knowing that the hardwood laminate is on top of a sturdy sub-floor; knowing that the pipes behind the walls are insulated; and the windows are water tight.  It was a sigh of relief even deeper than I anticipated.

But there was a more tangible payoff.

One of the key aspects to ‘Sweat Equity’ is to see just how much equity your sweat pays out.  The boat broker who had evaluated the Boat on the first day, was blown away when he came aboard after the renovations.  He ‘ooo’d’ and ‘ahhh’d’ and ultimately estimated that I had doubled the value of The Road!  He actually begged me to let him sell it…  Which I won’t.  But it felt great.  Comparable, I imagine, to getting a cat-call on the street.  Not an offer you’re going to take up, but it puts a little spring in your step.   

There was another hour or two of shooting and questions, then a final interview – and almost as quickly as they had come – they were gone.  

And there we were.

Me, Gracie and The Road – alone again.  

I gazed at Her awhile, seeing both how much we had done, and how much I still had to do.  I almost started working on it too, until the exhaustion – now untethered by anticipation – settled in.  A glass of wine and half a movie later, I was fast asleep.  

In the week since, I have worked on The Road everyday.  It has been at a snail’s pace, especially compared to the whirlwind that preceded it, but by the weekend I expect to enjoy actual finality.  This really only entails some basic plumbing and wiring, but catching up with the neglected tedium of life has occupied a bulk of my not-so-free time.  

But not for long, because in only a month it will be time to insulate and shrink-wrap for Winter.  Confident as I may be in the work that we did, I would prefer a month or two of moderate weather to discover any blunders.  Instead, the temperatures plummeted fast and it’s been five consecutive days of rain. 


Next Post: October 20, 2009 "Home"

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WATCH THE FULL EPISODE of Sweat Equity featuring me and The Road:  First aired - DIY Network, 2010.  © Dawn Brodey 2012