I like Home and Garden TV. I like to watch happy hosts take a house that just doesn’t quite suit the people that live there, and use power tools, hammers, drywall and paint to turn it into something that brings the residents to happy tears. I think beauty is important, I like to see problems solved, and I like to see happy people.
One of my favorite shows was “Surprise by Design” where 2 designers made over one room in a house while one of the family members was out for the day. I loved the “Surprise!” at the end. So I decided to try a couple of my own “Surprises” for my husband.
For the first one I convinced my parents to come help me fix up our dining room table (putting on sturdy legs and sanding off the old finish and adding a new one) and add shelves and a mini-rose garden in pots under the full-length dining room window. We did it all in one day, and we were worn out, but my husband was surprised when he came home.
What I learned is that it takes more than a day to do these things, so for the next surprise I gave us a weekend while my husband was gone on a 4 day trip. It turns out that part of the surprise was on me. It really takes about three days to install back splash tile all around the kitchen, install a new microwave and do a faux finish paint job on all the walls. That’s because things go wrong, there are missing parts, mortar and grout has to dry, not to mention that I didn’t know how to install a microwave. In the end my parents and I were exhausted, and though we all enjoyed surprising my husband, we decided enough was enough. No more surprises!
Yes, I should have known that what happens in 30 minutes to an hour on TV is really the result of weeks or months of work. But I don’t think I’m alone in my confusion. When we don’t see the mistakes along the way, like the problems that turn a 1 day project into a week-long ordeal, we sometimes think that life really is as easy as what we see on the surface.
We can even make the mistake of believing that what’s hard for us, is easy for everyone else, or that we’re the only ones to make silly mistakes. That’s why we’ve been sharing stories about what happens in real life: so we can learn from each others’ successes AND miscalculations. We’ve got the whole series from Jenn Colby as she worked to get her own farm. There’s Jay Lavery, whose trip to farming was round-about and viral. And this week, Chris Jordan shares his own mistakes to let you know you’re not alone. And next week, we’ve got another story in the same vein.
If you have your own stories to share, we’d be happy to have them. Your fellow On Pasture readers can learn a lot from you! Drop us a line, or add to the comments.
Thanks for reading!
Kathy and Rachel