Hello, again. It’s been a long time. My last post was over 8 months ago. March, to be exact. 260 days. Yep, it’s been that long.
Long enough to have a baby. A baby moose. Or 2 pigs. Or 1 black bear. Or 8 bunnies.
I couldn’t remember the last thing I wrote to you. I had to go back and look it up. Sad. Sad.
Or not. We all have a life! This is just for fun.
The last thing I asked of you was to find me a shack. Beware what you ask.
My guy and I lived in a designated “historic” district of our little town. The neighborhood was, at one time, stately, then it declined. The whosits and whatsits in our little town decided it needed rejuvenation, so they formed a committee and declared it historic.
Owners now had to have their approval on remodeling and landscaping.
Unless, of course, if you lived in a dump. Dumps had a free pass.
It was all so quaint. So…eclectic.
Except for the drug dealer down the street. Or the hooker that occasionally walked by. (I didn’t figure her out until the mailman clued me. I thought she was just a toothless, friendly, old gal. He said there was a house a block over that had 6 girls living there. Hard working girls.)
There was also a CPA, an attorney, several elderly folks. And us.
We found ourselves in an eclectic neighborhood on a good day and the ghetto on a bad one.
My guy & I had talked about moving for several years, but economically it made sense to stay. Until it didn’t.
Finding the right house became a second job.
We looked at all of our stuff. Two old people with decades of stuff. My guy can’t pass up a discount. I can’t toss my kids’s childhood memories.
We packed. We discarded. We sold. We gave away. We abandoned.
We have a friend who’s a real estate agent. Every offer on every house fell through.
She made a suggestion. It worked.
We began refurbishing a little cottage on a lake south of town.
Payton was the first neighbor we met. He followed us down the drive and shows up twice a day for treats.
And it became the neverending story.
We’re convinced the house has gremlins. We’ve had one of the toilets installed 3 times. Countless leaks repaired countless times. There are 3 electrical receptacles on one wall less than 3 feet apart. There are lights without wiring. We found 2 dead birds in the house.
We removed the pop corn ceiling. Yea!
And found the ceiling sagged about 5 inches. 3 new ceiling beams. Boo.
A couple of years ago, my guy’s shoulder was bothering him. The doctor said it was old injuries and arthritis. He would eventually need a new shoulder, but put it off as long as possible.
The first month we started the project, my guy pulled his back. The doctor said it was a pinched vertebra. And his shoulder worsened.
Second month in this project, I came home from work sick with a cold. The movers were due in three days. Four days later, my guy makes me go to the emergency room. Double pneumonia.
Never move with pneumonia. The damage to our furniture was astounding. Nice guys. Careless furniture-padders. Certain boxes are still missing. I don’t think they’re gone forever, but the movers, without my direction, just piled things up. I bought new towels because I didn’t find the linen boxes until we’d been moved in six weeks. I’m still missing my tupperware box.
Third month, my guy gets the first of three epidurals in his back. After the third, his back finally calmed down. But, his shoulder had become constant torture.
And we’re still working on the house.
At seven months, he had his shoulder replaced. They whack off the humerus (the top part with the ball), drill out the remaining shaft, and cram a new one in the hole with super glue.
It actually works.
This isn’t all that happened during this time, just some of the top notes. Actually, the most tip-top note is this: We have two new grand-babies! We’re now at 9.
Today, we’re almost finished with the interior repairs. It’s cozy and comfortable. This is not a mansion on the lake. It’s a lake cottage. We’ve been mindful of costs at every point. We’ve made mistakes and we’ve had successes.
It’s a good fit for us. And there’s room for our family and friends to visit. It’s lovely here. Our life has changed. We can literally sit for hours watching the lake. Even when fog covers it up and you see nothing.
It’s been a much bigger job than expected. A 2 month project became 8 months and counting. The things that we need on a daily basis are complete. There’s more to be done.
I wish I’d taken before and after pictures, but there were times this was overwhelming. And the pneumonia took the last of my energy. I will show you after pictures soon.
I miss my herb garden, but I’ve found a good place for a new one. That’s my next project.
We were talking the other day. If we had it to do over again, could go back nine months. What would we do different?
Pack up enough clothes for a week and walk out. Start over. Between what we paid to pack, move, repair, and replace, we could have started over with less headache.
Or we could have had a polar bear.