My Cozy Reading Nook

IMG_5165Once again the home-improvement avalanche hit right on schedule.  Road crews have littered highways with orange drums.  Contractors have all hands on deck to take advantage of the warm weather for home and building construction.  Naturally I felt the itch to take on a big home improvement project as well.  Time to diagnose me with a chronic case of Spring Construction Fever.

This year’s project started with the very practical need to replace rotting bottom sills in the original windows in my home.  I investigated replacing the entire windows and deemed it way too expensive, and not yet necessary.  Several contractors agreed vinyl sill covers and fresh caulk could buy me ten or fifteen more years to save for replacement windows.  Quick repair.  Low cost.  The avalanche could’ve been completely avoided. 

Yet it wasn’t.

For reasons I didn’t completely understand at the time, I felt compelled to replace the two front windows, which were arguably in the worst condition, with a gigantic bay window.  Sure, it was a slightly more expensive project than replacing the two individual windows in kind, but I’d always dreamed of having a bay window.  Man would it open up the living room.  Think of all that sunshine transforming my home a happier place. 

Decision made.  I could not live another year without that bay window.

The second wave of the avalanche hit when my daughter turned six years old.  Suddenly she was a big kid, no longer trailing toddler messes in her wake.  Time to finally replace our ratty old carpeting with my dream hardwood floors I’d been saving for.  I guess I could’ve postponed that project until next year, but why rip apart my home twice when I could accomplish both projects in one messy swoop?  Am I the only one who follows the logic of that leap?

One chaotic month later, the avalanche has finally stabilized.  Rain delayed the window install a couple of weeks.  The floors were pushed back to the day before my daughter and I left for vacation.  Special thanks to Empire Today for working late into the night to ensure our home had flooring before we left town.  Extra special thanks to Laumer Builders for being our construction angels.  We left with old, rotting windows and returned to a completely transformed living room.  The bay window looks fantastic.  New siding. Fresh paint.  Even the furniture and rugs had been moved back into place for us. 

My daughter and our cat immediately crawled into the new window seat.  The sight literally brought tears to my eyes.  Finally I understood what this project had really been about.  All writers need a writing nook, which I had already created in my home office and several cafes that serve as my homes away from home.  But something was still missing.  Writers are first and foremost readers.  Without realizing it, I’d finally created my cozy reading nook.


About Jennifer Kay

Jennifer Kay is a KidLit author and Structural Engineer. She has a VCFA MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, is an SCBWI Rockford Network Rep, edits the SCBWI IL Prairie Wind, and belongs to Mystery Writers of America. Jennifer works as a writer, freelance editor, literary agency reader, and creative writing teacher.
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