As I said yesterday, we have been in our house for three weeks now. We knew when we bought it that the formal living room in the front of the house (it’s an old 60’s style ranch with a walk-out basement) would become Justin’s office. Because we are planting a new church, Justin is working from home, so all of his commentaries and spiritually-minded books which have always been in his church office are now coming to live with us. There are lots of them. Lots and lots.
We went to IKEA in Charlotte and bought bookshelves. 18 feet worth of bookshelves, which, when finished, will go all the way to our 8 foot ceilings. In my mind, that would be enough room for his books and some plants, framed pictures of the kids, and other assorted decorative objects. Well, instead, it is enough room for his books. And little else. He received a box of books yesterday in the mail. I looked at the box and then looked at him. He said defensively, “Just because you know how many books I have now doesn’t mean I have to stop buying them.” There was a book on depression and a book by Richard Baxter (wise Puritan author) the size of a cinderblock. “Tim Keller says this is a necessary reference book to have!” he says while I give the book my squinty-eyed laser look.
Last week we decided to change out all of the electrical outlets on the wall o’ bookcases to accommodate three-prong receptacles. I googled the process and it all seemed straightforward, so while Justin was at a meeting, I decided to surprise him and get it done myself. I went to Lowe’s and talked to the helpful man there, and he told me that I could buy and install the new outlets, but it wouldn’t make a difference in a power surge because there was no ground wire. We went back and forth on various solutions to the problem, and I walked out of Lowe’s with a new GFCI breaker, that I was going to install in our breaker box, that would protect all of our precious electronics in case of a power surge.
Fast forward 45 minutes…I am standing in a dark basement with a head lamp on, sweating and praying that I don’t electrocute myself. The kids are yelling, asking when the lights are going to come back on. I cannot get the old breaker out, and it doesn’t matter because the new breaker wouldn’t fit in the same slot and I am not going to stand here re-wiring the breaker box all night long. I give in. I cannot DIY whole house electrical systems.
Turns out, from what our electrician friends tell us, that what I was trying to do would not have helped that much anyway (curse you, helpful Lowe’s sales person!), so we just leave it all alone and I return to things I know about. Like hanging pictures. Unpacking boxes. Laundry. Diet Coke.