#thepersonalside: On the Homefront

In past years, my husband and I had been giving our home a lick and a promise most of the time. It hasn’t been just the cleaning either. We neglected to keep track of repairs and upgrades too. I hate to admit it but some of this was due to laziness. However, a larger part was due to health issues, lack of funds, and lack of motivation for the future. It’s remarkable how the scarcity of vision can wedge a person between a hard place and a rock.

That changed at the end of last year when husband applied for Social Security and, therefore, gave me the option to do the same. I couldn’t have qualified on my own because most of the time I was working, I was with the state government, which didn’t participate in the SSA program. Because husband’s pay from work is low, he’s able to still work fulltime and collect full SS benefits. This spurred our interest in upgrades and repairs knowing we could afford to have someone else do the manual labor.

We aren’t living any differently than we always have, pinching pennies until they squeal like little pigs, so most of this extra income is going for improvements to our home. We’re doing it one project at a time as the money become available to us.

First, we got a new metal roof. Our roof was leaking, creating a stain on the living room ceiling. We went through the homeowner’s insurance first, which ended up being a disaster. The insurance company had three men here working, yet not one of them did much good. The stain reappeared within a month’s time. [Yes, we’ve changed insurance companies.]

Husband wanted the metal roof so we wouldn’t have to worry so much about damage from storms. I wasn’t completely keen on this idea because I kept on envisioning the racket I’d heard from rain or maybe hail. Nevertheless, I agreed to it because even though there might be the commotion, leaking wouldn’t even be half as likely.

I was so impressed by the man and his crew who installed this new roof. They came from a neighboring community of Mennonites. [Mennonites are similar to Quakers and Amish but usually aren’t as strict with their rules for everyday living.] Jon had a slightly older man working with him and his fourteen-year-old son. They were here less than three hours and even laid wood down before laying the roof. I’ll be recommending Jon to anyone needing roof work done.

That happened the last of April. In May, we finally bought a new patio sliding door. The original one didn’t have a screen door and the panes were milky. Because we got it from Lowe’s, we had them find a crew to install it. Once again, I was impressed. The two men who arrived with our door had it installed within two hours even though they had to add frame because the size was a little smaller.

This last Friday we trudged over to Lowe’s again in search of a new dishwasher. Ours had irrevocably died. It sits along with the lower cabinets looking sad with its almond-colored front showing its age. We’re not sure when our new one will be delivered and installed. We wanted to be sure to get a Frigidaire so all of our kitchen appliances matched. The next shipment may take a full week to arrive. So be it. I will continue to do the dishes by hand until the new dishwasher is installed. I really don’t mind.

When I think about the money we’ve spent so far this year, I’m stunned that we have enough money for our regular monthly expenses. Yet, our bank account is doing all right.

§

Life is okay these days despite living where I’m not comfortable.

How are things with you?

“You may not attain the highest height with one leap but my dear; you will reach your destination.”
Jaachynma N.E. Agu, The Prince and the Pauper

 

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12 Replies to “#thepersonalside: On the Homefront”

  1. I learned a valuable lesson years ago from a man who often acted as my mentor. It’s good to have others do work you’re not good at. They make money, are happier. You’re happier. And really–that’s what money’s all about.

    We’ve had the ‘bathroom fan’ on our Fix List for two decades. I’m starting to wonder if it will ever get repaired. We did finally fix the shower in the kids’ bathroom after five years. Now they don’t have to use mine when they visit!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Our bathroom fan needs to be fixed too. It’s a relatively easy fix too, but I’ll want a professional to come over to do it because, although husband is handy, he isn’t a young man anymore and he’d have to go up into the attic.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really glad that things are working out for you. Good that some of your servicemen have done a good job. A leaky roof is a no-go – we put up with ours for years before we were finally able to replace it as it wasn’t salvageable. Now you can get back to writing without worrying so much. I hope the peace of mind and more comfortable house lets you get into your creative mode.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The sliding door was the one that has made a huge difference. I’m not a fan of a/c, but because of the humidity here, it’s a must-have. However, now that the door can be opened without the cats getting out, I’m not using the a/c as often. You wouldn’t think having an open window where I sit at the PC would make such a difference but it does. I don’t feel so closed in.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve done a lot of projects around the house, but I’ve also let some slide for years and years. Some are too complicated in that a-leads-to-b-and-then-c type way and some just don’t seem to bother us enough.

    I’m glad you’re getting some of these things done. So, how is the noise with the metal roof?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The noise isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but that’s because of the wood Jon laid down first before putting the metal on. 😀

      We have some projects we could easily get done if we’d just stop purposely forgetting and just do them — like recocking the windows. It doesn’t bother us now in the summer, but just wait until this next winter. We’ll be complaining about drafts.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve often thought the most frustrating thing about home ownership is that there is always, ALWAYS, at least one thing that needs fixing. Fortunately, my husband is handy at most repairs, and those we can’t fix we put on a list and hire others to fix for us as money becomes available. Even then, as you know, the trick is finding someone reliable, prompt, and knowledgable to to do the work. The whole thing is exhausting!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Because of the problems we had with the insurance company, husband doesn’t want to own our next home. My brother is saying the same thing in Aurora, CO. My sister [well, stepsister] has refused to buy a home and has been renting ever since her first job. Her only problem right now is how expensive it is in Colorado. She’s thinking of moving to another state.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I had to replace my AC unit last summer, so now I have a loan payment for that. It’s not much, but when there’s not much extra to go around, such occurrences always hurt. I didn’t replace my furnace at the same time, so hopefully it last a few more years. The house is 18 years old and little by little all of the original appliances are going to start to wear out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Does it get hot up there in Idaho? I know that in Colorado [another Rocky Mountain state] it can get in the 100s on the high plains. It isn’t that hot here in the Tennessee mountains but the humidity is so high 85 degrees can make it miserable inside without a/c.

      I hope your furnace lasts a while longer. I know your winters can be harsh.

      Like

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