Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A view from the castle ramparts

I’m writing this under siege.

Since I signed the first check July 7 to cover the framing materials for the addition to our circa 1894 cottage, I’ve had the contractor or some member of his crew dropping by every day. Or almost every day. At a specified or unspecified time.

The contractor gave us a six-week completion estimate. My husband and I, experienced in this game, scoffed and allowed for twelve. In this, the twenty-second week, our countenances grow long.

Way back in the beginning, the appearance of framing crew was exciting, despite the intermittent whine of saws and the bang of nail guns. More difficult to tune out was the post-adolescent guy who liked to sing. And giggle.

Our heavily-accented ditch-digging foundation specialist doesn’t think much of the current wave of immigrants, but he was a hard-working charmer, fit enough to qualify as a Blaze cover model. The plumber was a congenial fellow, as was the HVAC guy. The longsuffering city building inspector, who yearns to retreat to his acreage near Gadsden, was a fine man.

During this half year, the painter and his assistant/girlfriend accepted that their long-term cohabitation qualifies as a common law marriage. The trim work assistant advanced to a full-time position with the contractor. The contractor sold his rental property in Tuscaloosa and his salvaged his marriage. Maybe these happy endings signal that the work will soon be done.

I’ve hoisted several white flags, and it appears that I might be writing the final check this week. Or at least by next week.

The payoff for all this story material I've collected won’t arrive until I get the source material out of here. Then, I expect to resume a normal, regular and productive writing schedule. Or to be distracted by the holidays. I have to furnish the new room before company arrives!


M.V.Freeman said...

You are a better woman than me.
I'd have to think long and hard to allow workmen for a long term project.

I think what soured me was our roofers--the ones we had to monitor to make sure they did what we asked (We still lost the chimney...) and one fell off the roof (no injuries).

So I have to admit, I am very much in awe of your patience..and the stories you retrieved from it!

Now, I can't help myself..I'd love to see pictures of the completed project.

Jeanie said...

Man, Chris, you are a saint. My head would be spinning around and I would be spitting out green gook if I were you. But you have managed to mine a wealth of material from your stay in pergatory! I, too, want to see pictures!

Heather said...

Grrrrreat. We are about to start major work at my house.

I think this is a great analogy to writing, though. For me, it always takes longer than I expected, and while I know where I want to go, there are so many snags along the way I'm not sure I'll survive the journey!

Hang in there! And now I know where to go for recs for painters and someone for hardwood flooring!

Carla Swafford said...

LOL! I'm sorry. I'm not really laughing at you but with you. You sound like you're handling it rather well.

My husband swears he'll have our bathroom completely redone before Christmas. He's on week two (or is it 3 or just feels tha way?) and the only thing that's been done is everyhing's torn out. We'll see. Yeah, we'll see. Give me strength. LOL!

But do find yourself a minute or two to write anything. (Good job on the blog.) Hugs.

Chris Bailey said...

Hey, y'all! It's good to hear from you--we've all been there, or somewhere like it! Spent yesterday with movers, rearranging furniture. Discovered newly empty spots! Kinda still under siege, but will write and walk today.