"You and I are going to take out the hearth in front of the fireplace," said The Lady of the House. She loves home improvement projects.
I rolled my eyes.
"It's all good," she said. "Shouldn't take us more than an hour."
Those were fateful words.
"I'm sure it's just a plywood box covered in fake rock," she said, referring to the soon-to-be-dismantled hearth.
We started chipping at the 30-year-old fake rock, it fell away like magic. We began to do a little fake rock dance as we carried away piles of the ancient material, whistling as we worked.
Then the fake rocks came off to expose a layer of cinderblock.
"So much for a wooden box," I said.
We worked away at the cinderblocks to find a concrete box filled with compacted sand and construction rubble.
What we thought would involve just a hammer and chisel now required a shovel and buckets.
"Time to call in reinforcements," said The Lady of the House. Son Justin was called to the house.
"Will you help us carry this stuff out back?" asked The Lady of the House.
Justin rolled his eyes.
"Well, maybe we'll find hundreds of thousands of dollars buried in here," he said.
"Really?" I said, spending the fortune in my head.
Bucket after bucket of sand and rubble was hauled out back, our shovel never uncovered a mother lode of cash. I did find a popsicle wrapper. I opened it up to see if I could figure out what year it was from. No luck.
When it was all done we had added about 16 square feet to the living room.
"Isn't that great?" said The Lady of the House, admiring our work.
"Next we can strip the walls and put up shelves."
"We're hiring someone to do that," I declared.
The Lady of the House just rolled her eyes.
Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.