Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I hope you enjoy your home-cooked meals, at your own table in your own home.

Me and mine? We’ll be chowing down at a local inn. There will be no leftovers. No week of turkey soup, turkey casserole, turkey sandwiches. No leftover pie.

No homey Thanksgiving for the Linguini family. Everything is packed away in a storage facility because 89 years ago we thought we were “just about to move.”

(Those of you who happen by because you know me have already endured most of this post. So go get a cup of coffee while I complain to everyone else.)

For the past 150 years we have been building a house. To save time, we decided on a house that is stick built elsewhere and then comes in on several tractor trailers (not exactly modular, but using the same concept). After all, as the company advertised, weather no longer becomes an issue if the house is stick built in the plant. We even visited the plant and watched someone’s house roll off the assembly line, completely done, shingled and sided. We ordered ours, a fun process because you get to pick out your tiles and fixtures and colors.

That was approximately 115 year ago. Even when, 20 years later, they got back to us to finalize our choices, we laughed and said, “You know what they say about building your own house…it’s never done on time (chuckle, chuckle).” We had figured, after 20 years, we’d be living in it, you know? But, Dirtman and I, we’re easy to get along with.

The house was delivered 78 years ago, looking like this:

I don’t recall asking for my siding to say Tyvale and it might be hard finding shutters to match…

Okay. So it wasn’t quite as done as we were led to believe. I guess I should have been more specific when I said I wanted a house with a bay window.


So, we put our crack crew on the job and now, 78 years later the house looks like this:

You know, that siding is really starting to bug me.

There is a siding guy somewhere and he assures us we’re on the list. In fact, I understand we’re on the list at the phone company, the electric company, the fuel company (who came by to fill the tank they hadn’t delivered yet), the drainfield contracting company, the electrician, the plumber and the paving company.

I want to know exactly which list I’m on.

There are only two dependable entities in our crack crew: our carpenter Tony and his dad and our swimming pool contractor Dale and his crew. (I know I’ve just lost the sympathy of most right there. Swimming pool contractor? I know. But I got over being guilty about complaining when I hit the 105-year mark.)

Tony and his dad show up every day, even some weekends, even in the bitter cold. And they never laugh at us. We are abysmally stupid about most construction issues and they never laugh – to our face anyway.

When we mentioned in passing to Dale we needed a whole lot of fill dirt, it became like that Mickey Mouse scene in Fantasia where the brooms keep dumping water. Every day we arrived there was another pile of fill. Only no backhoe guy to spread it around. But we’re on his…oh, never mind.

Meanwhile, since we’ve started this process, I’ve watched vacant lots being sold, built on and inhabited three times over. One is even up for sale again.

So enjoy your turkey and pie, everyone. (Sigh) We’ll just sit on our boxes, watch the Macy’s Parade and tell Heirs 1 and 2 about how, in the future, they will live in a house with more than one bathroom and a basement where the tide doesn’t come in and out and where you can blow dry your hair without blowing a fuse. I’m sure they and our grandchildren will enjoy it and they can come to the nursing home and tell Dirtman and me all about it.

It really ticks me off about no pie, though.

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