A house turned upside down

2012-12-06T00:00:00Z A house turned upside downGeorge Grenchik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
December 06, 2012 12:00 am  • 

I knew it was coming. My wife, Marie, was working a lot of overtime. A large expenditure must be looming.

Carpets. With some painting thrown in. Possibly curtains and blinds.

As often happens, I find myself acquiescing somehow in the initial decision; then it gets out of hand. And once again I am astounded by the complexity, not to mention the expense, of these kinds of domestic adventures.

You have two sons home for a holiday visit and once they start tearing carpet off your floors there’s no turning back.

Re-carpeting most of the house means you are going to move most of your stuff and pile it in different areas. And, well ... we have stuff. There are currently places in my house that could get an audition on those hoarder TV shows.

There was a somber message for me from the gentleman who came to make the measurements for the carpeting. I told him I had to explain to people who live in my house (my sons don’t live here permanently, but most of their stuff does) that you can’t keep everything you ever owned. He replied in a mildly sarcastic, deadpan tone — good luck with that.

I had better say, since my wife will read this, that I have been known to save a thing or two.

Right now, things look bleak, but I’m thinking it will all work out. New carpets, freshly painted rooms, and with some sorting out of things, heck, we might even have a little less stuff when it’s all done. And it is less expensive than the kitchen was. At least so far.

I’ll keep you posted.


Congratulations to the local football teams from Crete-Monee and Mount Carmel on winning their respective class 6A and class 8A state championships.

Mount Carmel is pretty far into the city, but they draw quite a number of students and players from our area. Their coach, Frank Lenti, lived for a while in Calumet City and his wife, Kim, helped me coach volleyball at St. Victor some years back. As a varsity starter at the U of I, her volleyball knowledge for surpassed mine.

One of my old kids (student I taught), Mark Antonietti, has been assistant coach and English teacher at Mount Carmel for years. He was one of the all-time St. Victor School characters.

I wrote a few weeks back about Veterans Day. I want to note the passing of a proud veteran of World War II, John Chuchla.

John outlived his wife and had no children. Due to our closeness with his niece, Dorothy Chuchla, who became his caretaker as John aged, we were like family to him.

He would tell us about his time in the war. There were no great battles for John. He was a cook in the Navy; a baker to be exact. We would listen to his stories, even when he began to repeat them.

But he was proud of the role he played. And we are all grateful for John and the many others who so well served the cause of freedom.

And congratulations to his niece, Dorothy Chuchla, for taking such good care of this proud old veteran. Rest in peace, Uncle Johnny.

Thanks for reading.

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