Saturday, April 24, 2010

These Are the Times That Try a Woman's Soul ...

Not much time to write as I'm having to post this piece from the computer at the library. Comcast hasn't figured out how to connect my Internet, phone, and cable service in the six days since I moved to my new place. They won't be able to do so until Monday, which will make it eight days without service.

How difficult could it be do you suppose to make this transfer? And when they finally did show, someone forgot to tell the workman that the house had never had cable before. (But that, as they say, is another story ... )

Anyway, I'm trying to keep it all in perspective since it has been that kind of week. The plumber went to fix the shower that has been bugging my sister for about twenty years, and after he left I noticed he had made three saw cuts through a pipe or something that had come out the back of the shower wall right into my newly painted bathroom wall. Sawdust everywhere and three lovely new holes.

How difficult would it have been for him to check that, do you suppose?

Then there was the fancy dancy oven from Germany, the only one in all the world that would retrofit into my kitchen oven space. Cost a fortune and it practically cooks for you, plus, somewhat curiously for an oven made in GERMANY, it has what is called a "Sabbath Feature." If I were Jewish I'd hesitate to find out what that meant from an oven produced in Berlin.

Anyway, when we put it in we discovered there was a gap at both the top and the bottom between the stove and the cupboard. Not big gaps. Just about an inch or so. The plumber and the electrician and the cabinet man stood around and gave me cheery suggestions about how to overcome this minor flaw.

"Oh you can have a couple of stainless steel pieces fabricated to fix that," said one.

"Oh you can just go to Home Depot and pick up a piece of moulding that will fix that," said another.

"I don't know, that stain color on the wood will be pretty hard to match," said the third.

And then they all went home. Do I look like an expert in fabricating metal or moulding or in finding people to do this?

How difficult would it have been, do you suppose, for this fancy German company to include a trim kit, for such eventualities?

And then the plumber tore out the drywall in the laundry closet so he could re-do all the plumbing for the washer. And the electrician tore out some more so he could re-wire everything for the dryer. Then we had to, of course, install more drywall. But no one wanted to paint it. So I'm on my way to the paint store now.

Do I look like a painter to you? How hard would it have been for one of these many work people to do this for me?

And that wasn't even the best of the week. The best of the week was yesterday when the appliance delivery man arrived at the house two hours late and became the most unpleasant person I'd met all year. He didn't want to bring anything into the kitchen. He didn't want to unpack anything. He started out by giving me all the reasons why he could not do these things. I didn't listen and told him where to he could put it, I mean I told him where he should place the appliances. They ended up mostly in the center of the kitchen but by that time I just wanted him out of there. He was annoying and belligerent and those were his good qualities.

Before he left he stopped and looked at me and told me that I was going to have to answer a phone survey about his work and that he needed a "10" so he could keep his job and continue putting food on the table for his his family.

"Really." I said with a blank face.

He smiled back at me with a sinister smile.

"Really. A ten. You unnnerstand?"

I unnerstood exactly. And now I really wanted him out of there because now I knew he knew where I lived. Thank goodness for Rommel, my German shepherd, who growls at strangers.

On the bright side, the place is gradually coming together. The morning light in the country kitchen is a sort of lavender color and the fire in the fireplace (the one with the copper hood) is comforting on chilly mornings and evenings. I miss my Dad and I wish he were here too. But we don't get everything we want in life.

I did find some letters of his the first night I was back in the house. He'd written them to me during the two years before I moved back to California and they were lots of fun to read.

"We're having a lot of excitement today," he wrote in one. "Our toilet has overflowed and we called the plumber and he gave us instructions over the telephone about how to use it. And all this time, we thought we knew!"

I laughed and laughed and I realized that my Dad was still everywhere around me, and that he was still there to help me with these crazy workmen and stubborn German stoves and plumbers who put holes in walls and then disappear without repairing them.

He's there to make me laugh and to keep it all in perspective. I can still walk, as he could not the last few months of his life, so these things are small when compared with that.

And he has left me so much to remember and smile about. It is all around me in his house.


Florida Beach Basics said...

you obviously need to find a good handyman "jack of all trades" in a hurry! marge

Anonymous said...

Hmm...sorry to read of your household woes. Ok, so it wasn't perfect the first time around, but have you considered having a husband to take care of all these issues? Mine is really great with "Honey-Do" lists, and he takes great pride in his workmanship, too. Best of all, however, is that there are no out of pocket expenses for hired labor!

Robin Chapman said...

Sounds great. When can your husband come over?