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?