I’ve achieved the “American Dream“.
I own my own home.
I love my house and I have a nice yard. We even have more room than we need…
… but, there’s a price to pay …
The price of owning a home does not end with the sale price or your mortgage. A home is like a child with special needs. You love him, but you keep on trying to improve, fix or maintain… continually.
I pay the gardener and the pool man. I had to pay to repair my driveway; to cut down the trees, fix the broken sprinkler system; rebuild the hill that slid down into our yard after a storm; and add more gravel to our southwest front-yard. (Imagine – paying for a southwest yard, when you live in the Southwest.)
I paid to replace the floor; to remodel the kitchen; and to paint the inside and the outside. I pay the plumber to snake through our clogged main pipe, to clear the roots from the beautiful trees which enhance our yard. Get it? We want to maintain the trees because they give shade and beautify, but then they do what trees do, and we have to work against it! We try to force nature to conform to our urban living conditions…
And this is just regular maintenance. Some we have to do, and some we choose to do.
However, I didn’t choose to have a leak on my deck a week ago- the same deck that was resurfaced only two years ago by someone who promised that it would last forever. He also promised some other things … and his name will go down in infamy as the one who got away.
As rain water penetrated our living room, I was thinking that it’s a shame that my training in using weaponry will go to waste. I should have listened to my husband and renewed my shooting skills, and then go and find the guy who lied to us. I am kind of stuck though, as I don’t own a gun. I am sure that I still remember how to use a Uzi. You feel about your Uzi the way you feel about riding a bike: You never completely forget!
Oh fantasies … fantasies.
I don’t want to be in prison, even though I could probably do some counseling there.
Can prisoners use a PC on a regular basis? I can see it now: “Blogs from a cell”. It has a nice ring to it.
And then there’s the new leak that’s like a “rebel without a cause” – the leak that cannot be blamed on anyone.
The solar heater had a leak and the water penetrated our walls, cabinets and who knows where else. Fabian, a great plumber, was here yesterday and removed the solar heater from its perch; and it is now lying down in our yard like a befallen service-man on a battle field. He was an old solar system … it makes sense.
But it also makes us less environmentally responsible. We had solar for 28 years, practically before anyone knew what solar is. Now we are looking at the demise of Mister Solar. Now, it’s gas only.
A leak here and a leak there…
As I am writing this blog, we have two gigantic dehumidifier machines in two different rooms in our house injecting warm air to dry the walls. They were installed after my insurance company recommended doing that. Oh, did I mention paying for homeowners insurance and earthquake insurance in California? I think not.
Yesterday I had interactions with a contractor who gave me an estimate on my deck; the plumber who removed Mister Solar; and the emergency response company with the dehumidifiers.
In between dealing with three guys working in the house (there was a lot of testosterone in the house), I was also talking to the insurance company while also watching the man who came to measure the humidity-levels in our walls. He was using a magical instrument called a Protimeter. Can I have one of those? If you are anxious about a leak – you can measure it all by yourself. Am I anxious about leaks now? Does waking up in the middle of the night running from room to room to check for water puddles qualify?
So the bottom line is this: You can either be- or marry a super handyman, or forget about owning your own home. Even if you are financially comfortable and you can afford to pay and fix all these problems – who would want to spend their days interacting with all these people? They were nice; they were helpful and cordial, but I would rather meet them at a coffee shop.
So if you don’t own a home, and you believe that you are missing out by not fulfilling the American Dream, trust me, it’s a dream.
I don’t want to sell my house. I love my house. Tomorrow, though, we may have a leak from our washing machine, it is kind of old…