Demolition and Renovation

How many episodes of HGTV’s “Property Brothers” and “Flip or Flop” have I watched?


            For God’s sake and my sake, why?

            Neither require a single ounce of concentration.

            Turn on the DVR and veg out.

            Any other reason?

            As I grow up, less DRAMA is better.

            What is my favorite segment of each episode?


            Ripping out kitchen cabinets.

            Sledge hammering and poking holes in ceilings.

            Finding the life-threatening problem hidden behind the “wall-that-has-to-come-down.”

            OMG! Asbestos! Leaky pipes! Knob & tube wiring!

            It’s the end of the world.

            Commercial break.

            Quick! DVR through the endless commercials.

            The world is teetering on the edge of disaster.

Thank the Lord who created the world and who cares enough to deploy Property Brother Jonathan to come to the rescue. With both skill and imagination, the “fix” is found. The renovation is completed on time and on budget. Tears of joy trickle down the property owners’ cheeks.

Thank the Lord that “weeping may linger into the night, but joy comes with the dawn.” Flipper Tarek’s “unrealistic-to-begin-with” $30,000 “reno” budget” may be shot, but Christina’s decorating genius saves the day. The flop is flipped quite profitably. “Now it’s time to find the next house to flip.”

           All is right with the world!

In the course of human events, sometimes television’s fake dramas “take on flesh and dwell among us.” We bought a house in Rhode Island. The kitchen and bath were, to quote Flipper Tarek, “total tear downs.” We decided to do much of the demolition ourselves. Lo and behold, it was as much fun as the Brothers, Tarek and Christina made it out to be. It is great therapy. Rip out those gross old kitchen cabinets and take a sledgehammer to the ugly green 1920’s tile on the bathroom floor and do not worry about making a mess. It does not matter. In demolition there is no harm and no foul. Once the wall comes down between the galley kitchen and the dining room, resurrection will be sure to follow, even if the Lucifer of knob and tube and asbestos wrapped pipes lies trapped behind the ancient lath and plaster. All will be well. The expert contractor and crew come on Monday.

            Go home.

            Take a couple of Ibuprofen to kill the pain from over doing it.

            Peacefully nod off to Never-Never Land.

A revelation: Maybe I have found my retirement calling: “Holy Moly Demolition & Destruction Company, LLC.”

A serious footnote: Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could demolish so simply the old stuff from the past that haunts us and trust that the future will be taken care of by an expert? Then, we really would be able to peacefully sleep.

A second footnote: Perhaps the One we acknowledge as Divine, the expert Higher Power, will help us take a sledge hammer and de-construct the residue of painful pasts and free us to face the future unafraid.

Maybe it’s time to offer the Divine Expert a job.

John E. Holt, Cotuit, Massachusetts

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