150 Days

Day 1
October 29, 2009, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today I moved into my parents house. We have sold our home and have five months until our new home is built. My parents have offered us accommodations and storage until the new home is ready for occupancy. There are so many words to describe my expectations for this arrangement, none of which accurately describe the chaos that has made up Day 1 of this journey…

After two days of moving a four bedroom home’s crap into my parents garage, I have decided to set up my queen size bed in my brother’s old bedroom in the basement of my parents split entry house. The basement will be home for the next few months, and boasts a full bathroom and living room. The spacious living room has been cut down to a 4’x4′ living space as it now holds three couches, two televisions, three night tables, four guitars, some random antiques that my mother has collected and a large computer desk.  I have seriously got too much crap and realize my parents do as well.

In an effort to provide for my family – wife and dog – I realize that my efforts to set up the bed may be delayed by the dark blue mold growing in the corner of my new master bedroom. Basements are damp. This basement has not had a human being in it for five years. It turns out that my wife is not fond of the dark blue accents on the carpet and baseboard. I am relieved that I do not own a gas mask or ventilator, as I would have been asked to wear one creating at least one awkward conversation with my parents (Hey mom, thanks for the room. Soooo…we’ll be sporting some ventilation head-gear for a bit as we try to control the mold problem…yes, I know the house is clean…yes I realize that you’ve scrubbed it down…no, I like wearing this mask…).

Quick to distract my wife from the floor fungus, I suggest we unpack the bathroom accessories. Moving the first box into this bathroom/laundry room combination presents another challenge. In the corner I spot three small black pieces of mouse shit. Awesome. Another hazard to the human respiratory system, it is quickly caught by the observant eye of my wife. To describe her reaction as calm and collected would be the total opposite of the reality that unfolded. Drying her tears, assuring her that mice probably don’t live among us and that we will not be attacked by an army of rodents, I promise to buy a dozen traps and address the situation with my parents. I’m never sure how to tell someone that they have creatures living in their home, especially if they do not already know. In this case I was told it was mud. Small pieces of mud in the corner of the bathroom. Mousetraps will be purchased tomorrow.

Okay – one last paragraph. At 11:30 the house was finally quite. The parents went to sleep. My wife and dog were in our bedroom getting ready for a much needed rest. I was in the bathroom hunting mice. With the precise sadistic timing that only happens during these situations, a cold drop of water landed on my head.  “Odd” I remember thinking, “I don’t recall this basement having access to the open sky”. I look up to find a three-foot bubble in the drywall on the ceiling. It appears that the bathroom is a few minutes away from flooding. Catatonic with rage, as my selfish hopes of having a warm shower are slowly stabbed out of my brain by a slow drip of water, I decide to handle the situation in the  most unobtrusive manner possible. I enter the garage and locate my toolbox. I remove a box cutter from the toolbox. I shut off the hot water and the water main – just in case. I then place myself under the leak and jam the box cutter into the ceiling, proceeding to cut out a 3’x3′ hole. Water, mud and rotten ceiling fall into the bucket that I’ve strategically placed on the floor. Most of the drywall ends up in my eyes and mouth.  My stealth action has not been as silent as expected. My folks come down stairs. “You had a leak.” to which my mother responds “Look at our son, isn’t he handy”.

Only 149 days left.


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[…] my father is a competitive man. Today I witnessed the aftermath of such competition. During Day 1 when I was looking for a bucket to hold the water that I was about to release from the ceiling, I […]

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