Friday, September 08, 2006

This Old House

I've been spending my evenings bashing my fireplace. It's got that old rock piled high into the ceiling that had to go. But, of course, as these things go, there was a lot of bad wall behind it. So it'll cost more dollars and more time to fix it.

We've had several contractor types come and view our house. They come and write stuff in their little pads and measure this and that. They take their pencils from their ears and scratch their goatee and say: "Hmmm." Is that bad. What are they "hummming" about? Then they leave and I wait for days to get a phone call. It's like going to the doctor and waiting for the results of a test. "Is it bad?" "Is it terminal?" "Is there any hope for my house?" "It looked good before you tore out my wall!"

It is pretty rough. Carpets torn up, window frames missing, and walls with big holes where a crowbar went through. It's a disaster. Will it ever look normal? Every time I walk through the living room I trip over a piece of concrete from the fireplace. I think it escapes from the wall late at night when I'm not looking. It can't get much worse than this. Can it?

Meanwhile Ruth is busy putting in the tile in the downstairs basement. That way, we don't have to go on a hike upstairs to use the toilet and shower.

They say you should never tear up the whole house but do a measured project in each room. Otherwise it becomes overwhelming. I'm past being overwhelmed. I'm depressed. I'll be in treatment soon. I'm having therapy daily.

It reaches a point when in every direction I look there is a disaster pile: concrete, carpet, boards with nails, it's everywhere. And each project is linked to another. I can't start one without the other being completed before. For example, I can't rock the walls until we get one of the walls moved.

Do I just re-face the cabinets or buy new ones? Should we re-configure the kitchen or leave it as is? And the floors, I can't wait to start the floors but those have to be the last thing I do.

I could just put it on the market as is. I could just move out and leave it to someone else. The pods we used for the move were pretty nice. Punch a few holes in the sides for windows and I could be very happy living in them.

He who is carried on another's back does not appreciate how far off the town is.  -African proverb