Wednesday, January 25, 2006

In The House That Toby Built

In a golden rule kind of a way, Toby would build himself a house different than he would a customer. He has more patience with his patients than he does with himself. He never cusses at his cussomers though the cost for a costomer may be greater in a monetary way considering when he does work for himself, he never gets paid.

And it's a good thing because Toby's house would be a different kind of house.

I happen to live in the house that Toby's built a lot of things in and considering I'm almost a foot shorter than the man himself, I see things on a much lower level than he does.

To hang my coat up in our coat closet, I need a step ladder in order to reach the rod with my hanger. If I attempt to reach for the light bulbs stashed on the shelf just above the coat rod, I have to bounce and jump to try to get a more vivid view of the top side of the shelf. From where I stand, all I can see is the grain of wood on the underside of this child proof shelf.

You know how some people have those draw string ladders that you pull out of a little hole in the ceiling when you want to go up into the attic? I need one of those just to get the light bulbs stored in our utility closet.

Toby always changes the light bulbs in his house and it's no wonder because those light bulbs are all out of every one else's reach. If he didn't change them, we'd all be in the dark.

He never needs a chair to stand on in order to reach the ceiling lights either. It works well in our household to designate chores according to height. Toby gets the light bulb task since they're a dangerous thing for a short person to reach since the only way Shorty could get to them would be to shove them off the shelf with a broom handle. And unless you're good at juggling your hands in a fashion that would swiftly snatch the thin glass objects from thin air before they hit the floor in Toby's house, this uppity task is best left to those on higher levels.

Toby's house has unique places for shelves too. Not only are they unique but when peering from their locations, you tend to get a rather bird's eye view of your surroundings. It can tend to leave one falsely convinced they have a negative outlook on things because in order to see anything, you have to look down at everything.

One day Toby's wife was looking for a place to store her un-used kitchen things. Right off the kitchen heading down the stairs to the basement in Toby's house, there was a perfect little nook to put up a shelf that could store extra kitchen gadgets like a toaster, blender, empty jars, bags of chips and even boxes of un-opened cereal. Toby's wife suggested that a simple wooden shelf be mounted on the wall in the little nook that was so obviously lending itself to a practical shelf.

Toby is happy to upgrade his house and uplift his wife by doing charming things like making such rare conveniences like shelves for extra kitchen stuff so he cheerfully went about the task of completing the project.

Upon completion, Toby's uplifted wife went downstairs to admire her admirer's upgraded handy work. It was lovely but had a slight problem: the poor dear needed an extension ladder to even peer onto the edge of the shelf let alone actually lift a fragile item off with her own fair hand. It's since come to be a nice place to store the encyclopedias our kids will one day need in junior high or some other distance age down the road in case the internet is down one day. And they're right off the kitchen too.

I think if Toby built a house, it would be high. Everything about it would be high. Except for the floor, of course. The ceilings would be at least a foot higher than standard ceilings, the cupboards would be up to my chest and the door knobs would be so high we'd still be opening the bathroom door for our 10 years old kids. The bath tub would be long enough to lay an air mattress in and the shower head would be so high, the water would be cold by the time it reached your head.

Another thing with Toby's house would be books. Lots of them. Toby would calculate his finances and figure out on his calculator wrist watch the savings on drywall by building book shelves into the walls instead. Even if wood would cost more, at least he never had to pay money for drywall. He'd save on drywall that way.

Toby would fill those wood book shelves up with great quantities of books from the floor all the way to the high ceilings. The strange thing is though, most of them would end up piled high in the bathroom. For some reason, our books seem to always end up in the bathroom so I'm sure even with an adequate amount of book shelf space, the lavatory would still be the official library.

The other day, I was cleaning the bathroom in Toby's house and combed out a whole selection of a wide range of books with interesting topics. From dog stories to the dangers of demonism, our towel rack was littered with the leaves from at least a half a dozen books. After 3 blissful years of marriage and having as many books in my bathroom as I do towels and wash clothes, I finally put a special little book basket in our sacred little library to hold Toby's books.

I often wondered why they put quaint little coffee shops in book stores when if they just put up a whole line of bathroom stalls, they may get a lot more business. People would probably pay well too. Maybe that's why they put the coffee shops in there though: without the coffee the lavatory business would perish.

The house that Toby would build, would not be surrounded by a lush green lawn. With books to read and light bulbs to change and shelves to build, Toby is too practical to mow a yard with fast growing plants like grass. And since it rarely rains here anyway, he wouldn't have the time nor patience to water his yard of grass. He much prefers the free growing style of the slight shade of what looks like could be green that our currant lawn grows. It's somehow nourished by the few rare drops of rain we get once in a while.

Which about the rain, I really don't mind because with rain comes clouds and with clouds comes people like Toby who tend to get there head stuck in them. It's one thing to have a tall husband but when his head is in a cloud, that's a whole 'nother story.

If Toby designed and built himself a house, I would be more than happy to call it mine as well. Because at the end of a day of climbing ladders and stacking books, it gives a whole new meaning to have someone come down to your level just to give you a kiss after coming home from work.

Or, there is always the option to climb a foot high ladder when that I'm-home-from-work-kiss comes my way and then I get to be up on Toby's level for once... in the house that Toby built.


BrittLeigh said...

I love it, I love it, I love it! You're too funny, Toby's wife!

I'm so glad that you finally updated your blog too. Had it not been for the daily phone calls, I may have wondered if you had floated away on one of your husband's clouds, or perhaps a perilous fall from a step ladder could have sealed your fate. But I can be relieved now (if it weren't for the phone) that you're up and about, and filled with your usual humor.

Anonymous said...

Very good blog. I loved it. Your a good wife and mother. Keep it up.
Monica Martin

Anonymous said...

Aw, Court, be glad for your tall hubby - I think it's pretty neat. (Not that I think you're not glad for him, but just be glad anyhow...) Whatever.

Andrea said...

I echo Britt in saying, "nice to hear from you Court!" I chuckled through that one! I'll know now to add you to prayer list! Falling off step-ladders can be serious! ;-D