For the sake of partnering natural light maximization with energy efficiency, I spent an arm and a leg on new windows for the house. For that reason, I find myself pig-headedly determined to preserve my so-called other arm and other leg by acquiring doors for the house at a discounted price. For the past two rain days, I have hit up salvage and overstock building materials places such as the Habitat thrift store, Blue Ridge Salvage (on Johnston in Asheville), and Home Discount Warehouse (discount, my ass...) Yesterday I fueled up the Lil' Nugget and drove her on over to Greenville, TN to pay a visit to locally renouned "Bargain Salvage."
I'll stop the story here for a little commentary. You'd think it would be simple. Just drive over to Greenville, enjoying the scenery along the way, march into the warehouse, look at the doors, see if any of them fit the description of what you are looking for, and buy them or not...
Well, the drive over was pretty simple. I enjoyed the scenery, cruising alongside the rushing and muddy Little Laurel River on 208. I saw an otter standing on a tiny section of rock sticking out of the rushing river. It braced itself with its head down and then dove into the rapid. Bottom fields lay dormant along the road, but not for long as the weeping willows have already leafed out and everything else is budding strong. I stopped and marvelled at raging chocolatey water rushing over a dam as I entered Greenville; mist hovered over the powerful whirlpool below, and the whole thing was scary and lovely. I detoured through downtown Greenville, enjoying the rain and the weird little aspects of the small east Tennessee city.
I found my way to Bargain Salvage and purused the ample door selection, taking note of the sizes and whether they were left or right handed. I realized I didn't quite have quite the mental grasp I wished I did of what right or left handed doors meant, so I had to stand there for a long time walking and talking myself through the mechanics of it all, while trying to visualize the house and its doorways. I mean, I did that for kind of a long time. I got myself good and hungry and anxious and all turned around. I mean, after all, what do I know about doors and which ones to buy? Somehow, the whole thing didn't seem very simple at all anymore. I decided to go sit in the truck and eat my bag lunch and study on the whole thing for a while.
I sat in the truck for a good long while, ate the food and thought on the doors. Even after infusing my blood with good sugars from my cold spaghetti, and making a couple of cell phone calls to consult with trusted North Carolinians, I still didn't know which way was up when it came to those darned doors. It's funny, both "ha ha" and "peculiar," how a little hunger coupled with some old fashioned decision making can turn a simple situation into something downright complicated and confusing. All kinds of questions swirled themselves into tense, stressful knots in my head, causing a head ache and a bad mood to ensue. I sat in the car asking god: What is a crappy door? What is a good door? What is a steel door? What is in there? Will the window in that door suck? Where was the door made? Can you paint a door? Does a painted door look stupid? Can the door be trusted? Will the windows in the doors break on the way home if I buy them? Will the doors be open a lot in the summer? Where will the people be sitting when the doors are opened? Who will the people be?
This is the point where it is wise to step away. Just pack up the spaghetti stained tupperware and call it a day. When the questions start swirling around like that, and a lot of them are irrelevant to the situation, and the others can't be answered on site, it is best to leave it alone. Luckily, the Bargain Salvage employee man, although he couldn't give me a brand name or a source of the doors in question ("I don't know ma'am- our framer guy just gits 'em and frames 'em up for us"), allowed me to place a hold on the items for a few days. That way, if I so choose, I can return soon, with a clear mind and padded blankets, to purchase the steel doors of mysterious origin, which CAN be painted and WILL NOT look stupid.
My neighbor Greg, who recently moved into the house he has been building for years, is fond of informing me of some average number number of decisions a person makes when building a house. It is in the tens of thousands. God help me Daniel Boone, I'm chipping away at them one by excrutiating one.