My world was falling apart. I had to fix it. As a widow, you quickly learn life has a never-ending question: “Now who is going to fix THAT?”
I found my solution this time with two brothers who know how to do just about anything and everything which is a good thing because just about anything and everything needed doing at my place.
My gutters were filled with debris (a yearly gift from my towering oaks and sugar maple) SO I asked them to clean those out and then install gutter guard so I wouldn’t have to convince my son (who is afraid of heights) to climb up on the roof and repeatedly hit me in the head with a garden hose while trying to wash them out. (And off to Home Depot I went, to buy 92 sections of gutter guard.) My deck was in desperate need of waterproofing, the exterior window and door frames needed painting, two of my ceilings and one tile floor needed repairs, and my son’s room needed a new ceiling fan. Oh, and the exterior was growing mold from all the rain we’ve had so the oldest brother said, “Annhh, we’re gonna have to power warsh it first.”
Under the watery pressure of a power washer, the mold slipped off the house and flew right onto my window-panes. (Another job that now needs doing. It’s just like dental work, one job always leads to the next.) The first day with the brothers went fine. They started early and finished by noon because, “It gets too danged hot after lunchtime. We’ll see you tomorrow!”
Which brings us to day 2, or was it 3? No. No, it was 4. Four days went by before they showed back up again. Now I don’t know how it is where you are, but here in the mountains, contractors work with their own time-frame—one that exists somewhere outside of your reality.
As they waited for the exterior to dry, because it rained on the days they didn’t show up, they started on the interior. They moved things into the center of the room, pulled up the loose tile in my office, and uncovered an interesting problem.
It seems the contractor who built my office just stuffed the crevice in between the foundation and the floor with sand paper when he ran out of plywood. And of course the sandpaper couldn’t hold the weight of the tile, which happened to be in the entry way to the office where it was continually stepped on. I asked if I needed to go buy wood but the younger one said, “Naw, we got a piece back at the house, we got you covered.” When they showed up 3 days later, they built a tiny new piece of sub-floor, which had to go around the HVAC vent, which may be why the other guy didn’t do it. Because did you know… “You got to use a jigsaw for that, see? I got one but don’t look like he did. Not everybody does quality.” Yes, I see that.
So while the one brother worked on the subfloor issue, the other one moved furniture from my living room and hallway up against the walls so he could begin to repair the plaster ceilings using a drop cloth, of course, because they DO do quality. I was pleased to see that.
But I’ve not been that pleased to see all the rooms stay that way for what is now three, no four, no five weeks. But, I readily admit that not all of the delays are their fault.
Because you see, in between when the brothers did and didn’t show up to work, a whistle pig (That’s mountain vernacular for a ground hog.) took up residence in my backyard. That whistle pig drove my hunting hound nearly insane for over two weeks. (Don’t tell the game warden but Dot’s a serial killer—she’s killed 32 squirrels.) She stalked that thing day and night, while Mr. Pip, my part-Jack Russell, part-Besenji that looks like a Tater Tot with legs, dug so many tunnels to connect to that pig’s tunnels that all his white places turned brown. And in their dogged pursuit of that whistle pig they managed to completely destroy the latticework that girds my deck, the deck that was being waterproofed. Yes, my dogs meticulously tore apart almost fifty feet of lattice until that whistle pig finally encountered its date with destiny near the goldfish pond. The pig was so busy gorging itself on an enormous mushroom that mysteriously appeared overnight that it never saw death coming.
Anyway, when the brothers showed back up, that was the first thing they saw. “Oh Lord, look at that! I think the big-in kilt it! She’s pullin’ the guts out its hole.” Stop! Too much information! “Yeah, well that ain’t all she done! Look at that lattice. It’s all tore up, we cain’t stain that now. You’re gonna have to replace it.”
So off to Home Depot I went to get 50 feet of 6×9 lattice and another 5 gallons of deck stain.
Now, with the whistle pig gone and, on the occasions when they have shown up, they’ve done an amazing job restoring my property and yard. Even if they did clipper my blueberry bushes almost down to the ground, saying as they got in the truck, “We took care of them shrubs in the backyard for you while we was at it.” Shrubs? What shrubs in the back yard? Oh no…
So like I was saying in the beginning, a widow quickly learns two things. One, when your own man isn’t there to fix it you just have to call someone and two, there’s no problem several thousand dollars won’t cure. I’ll give you a heads up when they’re done. When will that be? “Oh, should be about middle of next week.” Should be, but you’ll notice I’m not holding my breath. “Aww. Don’t you worry about it. We got you covered.”