Thursday, August 07, 2008

The One Where We Are Done...

And it feels *so* good.

Things had arrived at a standstill; we reached an impasse where each of three different subcontractors were waiting on something from the other.

These people are (alleged) ADULTS, and they couldn't seem to get it together. It was like dealing with a group of three-year-olds. Actually, that might be unfair to three-year-olds. Because these guys were just acting like *jerks*.

So, I finally got fed up, and called each one in turn, found out what each sub needed from the other. I figured out who had to go first out of the three, scheduled him to do what he could before the other two arrived, and repeated the process with the other two.

Within three days, everything was done.

As in, doneDONEdone.

Yes, Gentle Reader, it is true. All of the contractors, subcontractors, gardeners, landscapers, drywall guys, painters, plumbers, electricians, flooring guys, roofers, gutter-ers, installers, security/alarm company guys, lumber delivery guys, window installers, door installers, concrete finishers, appliance delivery/service/repair guys, and even the "general helpers" (who I always thought should wear some sort of military insignia, and who don't BTW answer to the title of "lieutenant") are gone.

Gone. All gone. The house is (finally) Ours To Do With As We Please.

And the very first thing we did was bring home all of our "stuff" from storage. It's all home again - I have finally started organizing rooms, hanging pictures, rolling out rugs, arranging furniture. It took two days, and two truckloads, but everything is finally here. After nearly a year in storage, it's been fun to see things we forgot we even had; it's a cliche', but every box we unpack has been like Christmas - you don't know what's inside, because the movers had helpfully NOT labeled the boxes.

So now we unpack - every day, a little bit more gets done, and with any amount of luck, by this time next week all of the boxes and packing paper will be gone to the local recycling center, and for the first time in almost exactly a *year*, everything will be put away, in it's place.

:::insert HappyHappy JoyJoy Dance here:::

To be certain, The Wrench and I have a punch list of our own - either little things that we simply couldn't justify *paying* someone to do, or things that we want done in a very certain, specific fashion. There are tiny little projects (like installing the new doorbell button) and medium kind of projects (like installing the new house numbers over the garage door) and then there are things like actually painting that garage door. (because our painter had a death in his family) TW & I try to get something done on the list every day; we don't always succeed, but we try.

It is lovely being Done. Until now, every day there were strangers in our house; every day brought noise, dust, and confusion. There would be scaffolding and tools to navigate around; and while we would try to stay out of their way we wouldn't always be successful. It has been stressful for all of us, but especially so for My Mom; the confusion and stress were compounded by her dementia. Twinks has been a champ through all of this - it hasn't been easy for her, but she has been a real champ, taking the delays, the craziness all in stride. All while getting straight A's in school, AND being perfectly accessorized as well! Best. Kid. Ever.

For the last year, we "camped out" in our own home; we rattled around in rooms with little or no furniture, and even then, each room was in turn emptied completely during the remodel. We learned what we really needed, really wanted in our lives. And we also learned what we didn't need, what really isn't necessary. We will live more simply now - the Salvation Army brought an empty truck, and it left packed half full of furniture, and stuff that we really didn't want or need - but didn't know it until now.

So, this, the biggest project we have ever had in our personal lives is Done. Of course, no house is every really "Done", because there is always something that needs to be maintained. But for this project, we are calling it Done.

And it feels *so* good.


Chuck said...

Congratulations! You should write an article with advice on how to deal with contractors. I know it's not easy, but it sounds like you've become an expert.

Suldog said...

Well, definitely, CONGRATULATIONS! Relax for a while and enjoy!

Melinda said...

Congratulations!! I love the way you wrote this post - my shoulders actually relaxed a little while reading about your own relief! Now comes the fun part of putting it all back together with all of those little touches that make a home, home.

ps. after reading your daughter's blog for awhile, I can certainly agree that she's set the bar of awesomeness pretty high for the rest of them :)

alpharat said...

Congrats! I am so glad to hear that your regular life can now resume...