Thursday, February 18, 2010

Welcome to Hell

Before I contribute anything of true interest to the worldwide blogosphere, I would like to take this opportunity to be blisteringly critical with myself and my audaciously ambitious wife. As co-owner of our gargantuan turn-of-the-century monument to habitation, I need to point out that we have bitten off far more than we may ever hope to chew. The sheer volume of improvements and updates required by such an old and forgotten hulk of a building is just now beginning to impress upon my stunned mind. It is all I can do to keep myself from instinctively curling up into the fetal position when the subject of Home Improvement is brought up in conversation or even daydream. One question nearly paralyzes my gumption: Where do I start?


…There are the smashed corpses of stray kittens rotting in our crawlspace. The attic is a deathtrap with a broken window and a ceiling perforated with rusty nails--patched with heavily over-laden spider webs. The back porch was obviously built by a dangerously anti-social sadist who designed it (with pressboard) to quickly decompose and fall apart at the first misplaced step. Raccoons, like evil spirits, haunt the front landing and use the flower beds as a combined storage area and toilet. The composite roof shingles are fertile soil for moss and mold. The detached garage floods with any amount of rain (or even mist) so it holds standing water for at least 350 days of the year. The back yard is lumpy and covered in gravel while you can’t even step in the front yard without slipping in the neighbor’s dogshit.

I could go on…but after writing it all down…I feel a little out of breath…but…I actually feel a little better too.

I can see that there is a lot to do, but there is plenty of time. I still have the scraggily remnants of my once vibrant youth. All we can do is take it one day at a time: one step of one section of one major project at one time. We’ve already done quite a bit as you can see from Lacey’s latest updates to the blog. I guess the key is to not get lost in the big picture. Each little improvement is one step closer to the ultimate goal, no matter how small that step may be.

Overall, the biggest thing our house has going for it is a plethora of unrealized potential. In fact, the wellsprings of this potential flow so strong that I have a very real fear of drowning! We may yet choke to death on this monstrosity of love--this cavernous shelter--this collection of aged oddity and bastard spirits from years past; however, if we do, we shall die with smiles scratched across our parched and well-worked faces. We shall die with contented bellies bloated with love.


  1. I was not aware of the kitten corpses. I may never visit again. Kidding! But that is sincerely creepy. You have the right attitude: one project at a time. Your house is absolutely gorgeous and I can understand why you guys bought it. It will be fine. You have the next 50+ years to get all the shit done. Right? Right?

  2. One day at a time, one project at a time. This is why Dave and I built a new home when we could afford to do so. Older homes are always in need, but they have character and charm. Your house has both, and with love, it will be a home forever.

  3. Apparently, meth will make you extremely productive... and make you feel invincible. So for the days when it seems like there's too much to do...

  4. Our first house was is much worse shape than yours. No pressurized water system (over a 1/2 hr to draw a bath and no flushing during), no real foundation, lack of exposure to sun, ....). But we truly were happy there. I am proud and amazed at the things we did there. But when we could afford to (thanks gram!) we jumped at the opportunity to have a new house built (going on 27 yrs ago). Good thing you guys are younger than we were when we started and I am sure Ralph is a big help too.