Small Steps: Proof of concept

Someday, and I don’t know how long it may take, we’ll have an office in our home. I’ve got visions of his-and-her desks (one already in use, the other raring to go after a little TLC), a few other pieces of furniture, and even a little school desk for our boy to do homework at in a space currently unfinished in the attic. Great lines, we can wire for power and CAT5 to our hearts’ content, and a door that can shut out the noise of the rest of the house for those times you need to hunker down and get it done. And the space in the living room where we currently stash a desk and various electronics that make up our office would instead be home to an old quartersawn oak round table and four chairs, great for playing board games, craft projects, studying maps, reading the paper, whatever. But I haven’t been fantasizing about it too much.

There’s a few things on the to-do list ahead of that dream, so we won’t be acting on it anytime soon. Though it would be a mighty fine big, grand gesture. In the meantime, something’s been kind of nagging at my inner Type-A Harpie over in the office area. It has to do with wires.

See those wires? I've been staring at them nigh on 8 years now.

That I am married to a geek I count towards the blessings column. He’s always thinking a step or two ahead about what’s a sensible solution for our home’s needs, which makes it easy to forgive some of his impulses and short cuts, like the Great Home Automation Motion Sensor Holiday Lights episode early in our marriage years. (Squirrels were running around our back yard, tripping a motion sensor-controlled floodlight that was cross-wired to a pre-programmed X10 module that we plugged our Christmas tree lights into. You kind of had to be there.)

Shortly after we moved into our house, he set up our wireless network over in the office area of our living room. And a few other devices. And as he was more focused on making everything work well together, those wires kind of sat there. Things are connected and working together very well, but those wires. They bugged me. They often got in the way of a lower cabinet door closing securely, and I knew there had to be a way to hide the wires.

Opportunity knocked when my husband was trying to find a permanent home to set up a charging station for a new device he had acquired. I reminded him of an outlet that was hidden in one of the cupboards, and how a grommet hole or two would provide quick and easy access. That got him thinking about creating a series of grommets and channels under the counter to hide the wires from view.

When he had a few days off, he spent the better part of one of those days with a hole saw attached to a power drill, creating little cut-outs in the cabinet shelving, and assigning me the tasks of cleaning up, purging some unneeded items, and helping put everything back together again – which I was more than happy to do! And now…

There's clutter above, but no wires below!

Seeing that smooth expanse of wood running the length of the wall with nary a wire in sight is balm enough to keep me from going crazy over the things that still populate the top of those cupboards. It’s a small step that goes a long way in terms of mental health and a healthy marriage. It made me very glad for the ingenuity and attention to detail my dear husband will devote to small projects like this. It feels like a bigger deal that way.


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