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I was not sure what to write tonight. I thought about “while the cat’s away the mice will play” meaning that when the construction crew is off for the night or weekend we work like mad using our tools in the garage trying to keep up with our DIY chores without holding them up or getting in the way. I think I really need to write a blog called “I hate drywall.”

I truly do hate drywall now. It is in my hair, it is in my clothes. It is on my floors even after I clean them on my hands and knees over and over. I vacuum and there is dry wall dust clogging up my vacuum. I don’t try to dust. It is silly. When you have to vacuum two or three times a day to keep the dust from turning the floor completely white why would you dust?

man with ladder putting insulation on walls of a house under construction

Add 3 parts insulation, 1 part dry wall and stir well. Yields a ton of dry wall dust

The cruise ship, as our basement apartment is known since it is the size of a cruise ship cabin, was an add-on to our house under construction. It was not planned. It is located in space stolen from my workshop, my husband’s storage for his antiques business and a future small bedroom and bath. We also lost our wonderfully spacious family entry from the garage where we could dump dirty hiking boots and all manner of icky things that seem to show up but you don’t want to take upstairs.

One of the great advantages of having the cruise ship is that we have a bath on the garage level. In our old house we did not have one. When we came in from hiking during mud season or the ground was particularly dusty as it is want to be in the high-mountain desert where we lived in Idaho, we carefully brought ourselves upstairs leaving the smallest trail of dust we could. We lugged our 50 pound dog up the stairs to a bathroom so she would not leave a trail. While not intended, the long-term luxury of the cruise ship is that we have a bathroom with a hand-held shower. Sophie can maintain her dignity and walk to the shower when she is dripping mud rather than being carried upstairs and unceremoniously dumped into the tub for a bath.

It is not only Sophie. I love mud. When I was a kid I made the very best mud pies. My spouse hates mud. He will walk around a mud puddle even if he has to go on tippy toes hanging on to a blade of grass with one hand and a twig with the other. The shower off the garage will be just great. He can toss me in when I am mud covered from gardening in the rain. I can toss him in when he is being grumpy because he bumped into a speck of mud.

Right now mud is not the problem. Mud season is on the horizon seeing as how it is March but right now we have 15 inches of fresh snow on top of a foot or more snow on the ground that has been there for several months. In a few weeks the snow will start to melt and the ground will be a hazard of slippery-slidy mud. Right now, it is white.

Which brings me back to dry wall. Dry wall dust, like snow, is white. Did I mention I hate dry wall? I have decreed that any future house we build will be of plastic and wood. No dry wall. When we proposed living in this house while it was being built people thought we were crazy. Our contractor raised an eyebrow and reminded us that we would be living in an “active building zone.” We were so desperate to not be paying rent and to not be living in someone else space, moving over and over living in an “active building zone” seemed trivial.

In reality it is trivial. The banging and dropping of heavy things like scaffolding parts don’t bother us at all. We have even gotten used to the big compressor that powers multiple people’s pneumatic tools. Last week there was sanding. Lots of sanding. Lots and lots and lots of sanding. Dry wall. The sanding was not bothersome although it was interesting to wake up to the sound since it was a new one we had not heard. Sanding makes dust. Dry wall dust is the dustiest dust I have meet. I thought the late summer pulverized rock baked to a fine silt that covered all of the trails where we lived in Idaho was the dustiest dust.

Late summer dusty-dirt-dust is a lot more satisfying than dry wall dust. When we got truly dusty dusted, we could stood in the shower see it turn the water brown as it washed off your body. Sophie needed two baths, the first to de-dust and the second to get clean. The benefit of that dust is that it left good evidence that you were, in fact, as dirty as you felt.

Dry wall dust, on the other hand, like snow, is white. You and your hair and your clothes can be inhabited by dry wall dust and when you wash you don’t see it. The water is a bit milky but soap makes it look that way too.

No matter how hard I try to keep us clean, the dust is there. Tonight I cleaned the garage of dry wall dust for two hours. The dust is everwhere. It is in my hair, on the counters in our kitchen, it is in the closet and the bath. It is even in our electronics.

I hate dry wall dust but it is small price to pay for having walls for it to cover. After cleaning the ashes of our house that died in the Charlotte/Mink Creek fire in 2012 I remember that I am grateful for dry wall dust. We have a house to clean.