A Room Transformed for Father’s Day

by Rachel Creager Ireland

How would it feel if a new room magically appeared in your house? It’s a dream many people have, but I decided to manifest it into waking reality. We have some rooms here at the Prairie Fire Inn and Spa which cannot be rented, usually because of some plumbing problem. Parts of our 50-year-old building have antiquated plumbing in sizes that are not compatible with modern standards, which makes repair difficult and expensive, to say the least.

It took me a while to figure out that when Kevin disappears in the evenings, he’s often enjoying a quiet beer in Room 8, which hadn’t been rentable for I don’t remember how long. One day I went in to gather recyclables and it occurred to me that it wouldn’t really take much to make it a nice room for him to relax in, as opposed to a defunct motel room.

This week he got called away on a three-day business trip, so I took the opportunity to dive in and remake the room for Father’s Day. The kids helped with painting and other tasks. With help from resident handyman Steve Thompson, I dug some furnishings out of storage. The big pillows I made in college transformed the twin bed to a day bed. A fun electric organ which had been deposited at our place by someone leaving town found a new home in Room 8. The wheelchair belonged to my Dad in his later years, but Kevin and his former roommates, all fully abled, retain a common fondness for wheelchairs, which they developed in days when they shared a 3,000-square-foot loft. (You can ask him for the stories; I didn’t know him yet.) A vibrant Alex Wald poster which had been hanging in the hall in our house gets the visibility it deserves here.

I purchased nothing but paint and paint supplies. Everything else had been stored away in various, otherwise unused, spaces. I hope to add more art yet; we’ve got lots of choices but few are ready to hang. I couldn’t get that done in three days.

We love the new room, and it occurred to both of us independently that we could do this to motel rooms, rather than sticking with conservative decor which neither offends nor inspires. We’ll never please everyone; but we could be having a lot more fun along the way.

Next room to transform will become my writing and craft studio.

What magical dream have you had, that you long to manifest? What do you ache for, which lies just out of reach? It may be closer than you think.

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