I Wonder What The Sky Looks Like

The condo complex in which I reside is in the midst of a makeover. The HOA sued the builder for faulty construction and won, a lawsuit that unnerved me as I wondered what “faulty construction” meant, exactly. Apparently it’s nothing major – just the windows, siding and roofs. Whew! As part of the settlement, they hired a construction crew to do repairs, an eight-month job that includes replacing the siding and all windows. This has been a pretty big disruption, one that got worse last week when they finally reached my building. I was asked to remove all my blinds, and on Friday they came in and put up a “dust barrier” – covering every window in the house with plastic sheeting.

I used to have windows there.

I gotta tell you, this just sucks. Makes me feel claustrophobic, like I’m living in a cave. The worst part is, I have no idea what the weather is like. Yesterday, it was snowing – SNOWING!! – and I had to learn this through Facebook. Through the plastic sheets, the world outside looks like a dreary shade of gray. Which, let’s face it, it probably is – this is the Pacific Northwest, after all – but still, I hate not knowing. Tara suggested I cut out little eye holes, a brilliant idea but one that would surely meet with resistance from the construction crew. Personally, I’d rather deal with a little dust than not be able to see outdoors. That’s why they invented vacuum cleaners, after all. But it’s not my decision.

Without blinds, it’s too dark during the day and too bright at night. About the only advantage to this situation is the fact that I can now walk around the house completely naked. Of course, it’s March, and we’re having record cold (see “snowing” above). Why couldn’t they be doing this in August??

My friend Steven said I ought to decorate the plastic with drawings. He suggested little cars, trees, ghosts, etc. I loved his idea, and when I mentioned it to the kids, they were all in. Saturday morning, we got busy on the plastic covering the sliding glass door. I added my own flourishes – peace symbols, a math equation straight out of A Beautiful Mind, etc. I was tempted to draw a geoduck, but…umm…I don’t really want my townhouse looking like a page out of Playgirl magazine, thanks all the same. We wanted Rusty to dip his hands in red paint and put up bloody handprints on his second-floor bedroom window, but that might startle somebody on a ladder, and I don’t need a broken neck on my conscience.

A few of the drawings decorating my windows.

What I do need are suggestions. From you guys, my faithful readers. Since this construction is going to last six to eight weeks, I’m looking for ideas on how to have fun with the whole thing. How can I make lemonade out of lemons? Turn living into a cave into something that doesn’t drive me batty? Short of staying away (and I do plan to make many daytime excursions to other places that actually have functioning windows), what can I do to make the experience more palatable? And if I do have to stay away, where should I go? What should I do? What types of adventures might I embark on to take my mind off the fact that I’m holed up in a bunker back home? And what exciting blog posts can I spin from these little getaways?

The best idea will WIN!!!

What’s the prize? My gratitude. But hey, that don’t come cheap!



Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

16 thoughts on “I Wonder What The Sky Looks Like

  1. This is not my area of expertise, but may I suggest you consult my other friend Mark who blogs at “The Idiot Speaketh?” He’s on my blogroll and is the perfect person to come up with some kind of practical joke you can play.


  2. “I gotta tell you, this just sucks. Makes me feel claustrophobic, like I’m living in a cave.”

    OMG, I can so understand what you mean by that because a few years ago, the high rise building I live in had to do some MAJOR repairs on the outside of the building. Therefore, for THREE months I had tarp and scaffolding blocking all four windows in my studio apartment – Oy Vey – talk about feeling like I was living in a cave. And it was during the HOT summer months!

    Hey, but I’m glad to hear you got snow yesterday. WOW…lucky you!!!

    Love your friend, Steve’s, idea about the drawings.

    Well, my suggestion would be to take an eight week trip, to say, Japan, while writing a book about how much better they are at non-faulty construction, than we are here in the U.S. – HA!

    Sending ya ‘good vibes’ that this works out faster than they anticipate.


  3. What about cutting out peep holes? Cut out the holes 7/8 of the way, leaving a little flap attached at the top. Then when you want to see outside, you lift the little flap & peer out through your peep holes. You could even put a little piece of velcro or something to keep the plastic in place when the peep holes are closed. This would satisfy the requirement for dust barrier.
    That’s my best & brightest Idea. We got snow here in Edmonton today! All fluffy & white, almost as much snow as we’ve had all winter! This has been a crazy winter up here!


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