Trying to find a place to put the bits of paper that sit on the desk and plead to be saved is difficult because of the remodelling plans. Some plans are the classic scrawls on the backs of restaurant envelopes, artistically incorporating the bean-soup stain and the dash of color from the taco sauce. Other serious plans are all neatly executed in that handsome technique of the draftsman, which in his youth earned my husband a rather sketchy living.
Many others exist only in the pigeonholes of my brain, to be studied on nights when sleep comes late.
Doors on some of these plans open so often in the middle of the night that I have a distinct feeling of having lived in the imaginary addition.
The two-story atrium was to be added at the back of the house where the man-floor sunroom (because of the slope of the lot) sat a full story above ground. The sunroom would have been a balcony overlooking the pool. We abandoned that one when the bids came to $40,000, not counting the pool. (That was a number of years ago. That price today, though still horrendous, doesn't seem as frightening as it once did.) Why we save the plan, I don't know, because we sold the house that it went with five years ago.
When we went for lunch, and the waiter apparently is sent to catch the chicken from the henyard, we while away the time adding a workshop to the back of our present house. This marvel would also shelter the basement steps, so that water and leaves won't constantly spill down to stop up the drain. It would also make it possible to dash down the steps to put the laundry in the dryer while the hamburgers are browning.
What lures us on here is the concrete patio that was there before we were. It's a fine concrete slab. (If you like concrete slabs. I do if they have a brushed exposed aggregate and are in neatly defined blocks, separated by redwood strips. This concrete slab has, of course, none of the above) And so we feel that if you think of an addition as having six sides (wall, roof, floor), we're already one ahead. We'd start tomorrow except my husband is convinced that the weight of the addition might sink the patio to China.
We could, of course, add a room on that deck just off our bedroom. A grand place for the harpsichord. Or what about a guest room on the deck off the library, with perhaps solar collectors for a roof? A screen porch to the south, big enough for all of us - and the piles of Sunday funnies - to have breakfast, or perhaps a tiny breakfast room, too small for the children to come and interrupt?
We could make a great glass corridor between the house and the parking space. Or we could stick to worrying about how we'll pay the January heat bill for the rooms we already have.