June 20, 2010

This. Is An Ex. Gutter.

Nobody can say I'm not doing my bit to keep the American economy on the track to recovery.

Well, my poor dear house is getting a whole new roof (including some replacement wood), new gutters, plus fresh siding on the dormer.  We're also having the chimneys properly capped (the Kludge Family had used--get ready for this--paving stones).

Unfortunately, we took on a bit of water during the brief but incredibly heavy storms last night.  Once again, we went on a mad dash through the house to find plastic vessels to catch the drips.  This morning when the crew came by, they spotted the problem pretty quickly--the main roof was tarped beautifully, but the rain came in along where the box gutter had been removed.  (Or what was passing as a box gutter.  It was really more of a heavily-painted piece of tinfoil.)

The past several days have settled into a new routine...  we rise early (not I'm-working-Morning-Edition early, but still well before I am constitutionally equipped to rise cheerfully).  I get ready, herd the cats into my bedroom, and wait.  George and his guys show up, usually around 7, and soon large chunks of the largest purchase I am ever likely to make start hitting the Dumpster. 

After a while, George comes in with pictures of the most recently discovered piece of half-assed maintenance perpetrated by previous owners.  We go to look at the rotted box gutter or the drainpipe that is composed of disparate widths of pipe.  He apologizes again for being the bearer of bad news.  I tell him to fix it, remembering fondly my $8000 tax credit and my freedom from debt. 

You are officially in for interesting times when your contractor says "You're in a Money Pit situation here".

It's all worth it, of course.  I sometimes pat the walls of my house and tell it that we're going to make it all better.  (I also sometimes hug the doorway in my office, because I feel sorry for my poor doomed building.  Don't worry, I wait until nobody's watching and then I never tell anyone.)

I keep thinking of how beautiful it will be to have a sound, professionally-installed roof.  To have all my walls up again.  To have bathroom flooring.  Also to sleep in until 7:15, but seeing as George gets up at 4:30 to start a full day of manual labor in the hot sun, I feel kind of guilty indulging my self-pity.

It still beats renting.  I may not have the ready cash I did a month ago, but I have my very own home.  (I still grin like an idiot when I realize afresh that I have a library.)

Someday this work will be all done, and it will be quiet again.  The neighbors will stop being pissy about the Dumpster.  My roof will work properly, which means we'll not notice it. 

It's amazing what you have to go through to achieve boring old normality.