Joys of Homeownership

Everyone say to plan for the unexpected. Owning a home is a big responsibility. Just when you think you’re finished something breaks or bursts or busts. Now you need more time and more money and a way to keep the cat away from the pieces – especially when she’s the cause of the breaking!

I knew all of this going in. I thought I was ready. I’m a pretty laid back kind of person when it comes to most things. Unless it’s dangerous, most things can wait to be taken care of at a more convenient time. I could just work around any issue I didn’t have the time or money to deal with just yet. But it’s all the little things you don’t think of.

I don’t cook often and even when I do, cooking for one doesn’t result in many dishes. My dishwasher usually takes awhile to fill up. I make sure to rinse all of dishes before putting them in to avoid any rotting food smell. My dishwasher looks newer and there’s no visible signs of rust or build up anywhere on the inside. Yet, my dishwasher had a rancid smell anytime I opened it, even if I had just ran dishes through! What could be causing this stench?! I have no explanation. Finally, I went out and bought a bottle claiming to be dishwasher magic. Following the instructions, I left the bottle in the dishwasher and set it on high. I came back a few hours later and found a lemony scented dishwasher! No more gross smell each opening! It’s been a few days now, and the smell hasn’t come back. Fingers crossed this fix lasts.

Now I’m outside. The lawn needs cutting, but the storms last week have completely covered my lawn in sticks and branches. There’s full limbs down in my yard! I gather up the smaller sticks and twigs, stacking them behind my garage to use as kindling when I have my next fire. There’s four branches longer than I am tall and about as thick as my first. Of course, I have no way of cutting them up. I have no saw – electric or man powered – and they are way too thick to snap by hand. I move three of them easily enough, placing them behind my garage to deal with later. The last one is the biggest. It’s longer than my garage is and has a bunch of limbs spreading out from one end. I pick it up and almost loose my balance as I’m no where near the center of the branch. I drag it with the others so at least I can mow the lawn. Then I call Dad and beg him to bring me some sort of cutting instrument for these small trees that have fallen in my yard.

Moving to the front of my house, there’s a piece of siding pulling away. It should just need to be snapped back into place, but of course I don’t own a ladder. I always got by with just a step ladder inside my house. I have my dad’s A-frame ladder in my garage, but that isn’t quite tall enough for me to get onto my roof. Another call to my dad asking if he can bring his extension ladder with the saw and maybe utilize his lack of any height related fears to fix that siding.

I move on to something I can handle. I have all afternoon and a new kitchen table set waiting to be built. I open the box with scissors from the kitchen because I don’t own any utility knives. The box is heavy so I pull out pieces one by one. Finally the box is empty. I look around and realize the pieces have completely covered up my two-and-some-extra car garage. I can do this I think, as I move the 6 packages of hardware and the instructions to my workbench as my home base. I pull out the pieces I need for the corner bench and get to work. I actually have a Phillips head screwdriver thanks to my Mom! It takes me 5 hours to almost finish the short side of the corner bench. By this point my hands are stinging from screwing in dozens of screws into holes not quite big enough and not quite forgiving enough to give way to the screws sharp edges easily enough. I need an extra set of hands just to hold all the pieces together and push hard enough to get the screws in! I give up with 3 screws not fully in yet. Yet another call to Dad… This time I ask to borrow his electric drill when with the ladder and the saw.

It’s the little things that add up when trying to finish a project. Homeownership is a perfect example of one step forward – two steps back. I have the intention to continue improving my house and keeping up with the maintenance – I just don’t have all the tools! More on the table once it’s finished and in the house. Hopefully Dad is okay with my keeping his tools for a bit!

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