Desperate for the weekend? Stuck in an office? Just like the sod houses of early prairie settlers, your best chance for survival is to get creative with what you have on hand. All you need for this DIY cottage project is a well stocked office storage room and a boss who’s open to a bit of out-of-the-box(es) problem solving – at least on Fridays. Because sometimes the only way to escape an impossible situation is to story your way out…
“Well, dear,” says my realtor, “you told me you wanted a cottage property that’s easily accessible from work, and with your budget, I really think this is the best option you’re going to find.”
I’ve always tried to see the best in a situation – although a few exes might disagree – but, although charmingly designed, this sad little shack isn’t exactly screaming sunshine and sailboats.
“But it’s only twenty feet away from my office door,” I complain. “What kind of vacation is that?”
My realtor, a middle-aged firebrand with a forehead as immovable as her shellacked bob, isn’t one to give up easily, on youth, 80s style eyeliner, or a sales pitch.
“But look at all the features!” She points out relevant bits of recycling as she enumerates. “Bubble wrap window for light and built-in entertainment, foam paving stones – so soothing to the sole after a long workweek. You’ve got an end-of-roll doorknob, decoratively staggered tube fencing, garden area with overhang and canopy, and just look at that darling slanted roof.”
“What happens when the wolf comes and ‘blows it all down?” I can’t resist asking.
She ignores my sarcasm and plunges on, “And talk about environmentally green construction, this cottage and its landscaping are made exclusively of unaltered found materials.” (author’s note: because I had to put everything back exactly as I’d found it… sigh)
“Not quite, but the public washroom is just around the corner, opposite the office utility closet.”
“Seriously, Cymbria, for right now, for today, this is as good as it’s going to get.”
I know she’s right. That’s the worst of it. So I do what so many of us have gotten in the habit of doing when offered only a scrap instead of the whole – I take it.