I Can’t Ikea

I set off today with great plans to put together a bed frame we bought from Ikea for the spare bedroom.  I successfully put the slatted sections together, then hit the wall when I tried to assemble the bed frame using dozens of unknown pieces and parts and instructions that have no written words.

IMG_5144Seriously, what’s with the piece that looks like a piston, anyway?  What ever happened to simple bolts and screws?  Messing around with the tiny wooden dowels and plastic snaps and and rubberized tips and random straps and odd metal contraptions made me want to get out a ball peen hammer and start pounding on things on general principles.

Rather than put the bed together the wrong way, and have our next guest experience some kind of disastrous bed failure, I decided to chuck it and hire someone to do it for me. There’s a reason we have “handymen” in the world, and Ikea is one of them.

School Project

IMG_5131About a block from our house, a titanic home renovation project is underway.  Actually, it’s a school-to-home renovation project.  A wealthy Columbusite bought the St. Mary’s School building and is turning into a house.  For months a construction crew has swarmed all over the building and grounds, and now that spring is here and the weather has improved the pace of the work seems to have intensified.

The notion of turning an old school into a house is a very intriguing one.  I’ve never been in the St. Mary’s School building, but it reminds me of Rankin Elementary School in Akron, Ohio, the first school I ever went to.  Like St. Mary’s, Rankin was a multi-story brick building, and inside there was a lot of polished wood floors and stairs, high ceilings, an auditorium, a cafeteria — and of course lots of classrooms, desks, and blackboards.

IMG_5133When your think about what a creative remodeler might do with such space, the mind reels.  How much of the hardwood flooring do you keep and use?  Do you retain the configuration of the rooms, or knock down walls?  Of course, the heating system and the kitchen appliances would need to be replaced, and St. Mary’s School wouldn’t have had air conditioning — but the kitchen probably is big enough to . . . well, prepare a meal sufficient to feed an entire school of hungry kids.  And the St. Mary’s School has the little flourishes that were always found in older building but almost never in their soulless modern successors, like the little turret room at the top of the school that would allow you to walk up and survey the rooftops of German Village like the captain on the bridge of his ship.

Of course, our curiosity about this remodeling project in our midst will probably never be satisfied.  One day the work will end, the workers will leave, the barrier fence will come down, and the new owner will move in, and we’ll never know exactly what the St. Mary’s School has become.  Still, it’s been fun speculating.