This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the fact that our 1 1/2 year stretch of living in Chaosland (aka "the new house") may be winding to a conclusion. Instead of having to face this mess everyday:
Furniture piled in the foyer and dining room
Furniture piled in the foyer and dining room
Note the scattered rubbermaid totes containing the stash - I long for the day it is organized all nice and neat in the closet where it belongs.
I will hopefully soon be able to finally move my furniture, rugs, pictures and tschotkas into place, look at walls that are not covered in extensive sheetrock repairs, walk on floors that do not have bunched-up carpeting, or floors full of hundreds of little holes that were not filled, or have to deal with bathrooms that have sharp tile edges that rip open a person's kneecap or commodes that make horrible burping noises before overflowing with raw sewerage onto the bunched-up carpet. In addition to the 1100 other problems we have identified and fought to have repaired since we moved into the Home of Our Dreams.
Flinging all good sense and caution to the wind, we built a new home (a horror to never be repeated, ever) and moved in at the end of April, 2005. From the start, we noticed multitudes of problems, ranging from insignificant (bad paint job) to severe (house built too low for the land, water floods the patio and all around the foundation in rainstorms) to ridiculous (the showerhead, faucet, and drain were 3 completely different metal finishes in the guestbath) to disgusting (I'll spare the details).
There have literally been problems with every household category, except the roof: drainage, sheetrock, floors, carpeting, tile, plumbing, paint, etc. And this is after the builder had to re-do the front entrance that the framers "created" instead of following the blueprints, and rip out and replace several windows that were installed by a guy who was the height of your average NBA player and put the windows in at an average height so a 7 foot tall guy could see out, but regular people would have to keep jumping up & down to see outside. After much arguing with the project manager, these were eventually fixed.
I could write a book about the pig roast that took place inside while my dining room was being constructed (I was told that it was too cold for the poor workers to have to roast it outside!!!) and the dogs that were brought to work and tied up in the basement and stairwell (where they of course went to the bathroom numerous times, leaving smelly spots that my dogs have been compelled to mark as well) and how the painters dumped 2 different buckets of paint together to come up with their own "mystery paint" which they used all over the entire first floor and then insisted it matched the paint I had actually chosen. And on and on. And it is still not over.
When we first moved in and started pointing out the problems to the "project manager" (I use the term manager with dripping sarcasm), he handed me a roll of blue masking tape and advised me to mark the problems and that they would fix everything marked. I literally went through 3 rolls of tape to do this. We have lived in a sea of blue tape on the walls, the doors, the floors, the cabinets, etcetcetc for over a year now. My niece kindly said 'It looks like ya'll have modern art everywhere." Last year we celebrated a "Blue Christmas" with our guests. At least they all had a sense of humor about it.
The builder finally came out to look at the problems after the project manager wigged out. To his credit, the builder has reluctantly been s-l-o-w-l-y addressing most of the problems. Sheetrock has literally been repaired on every wall in the house. After 6 months, I've kinda gotten used to the "distressed" look. The plumbing fixtures in my guest bath now match. Unfortunately, the commode is still unusable. But the carpeting has been replaced and the hardwood floors are finally finished and the floors are all now blue tape-free! Yayyyyyy!!!!
And, fingers crossed, we may actually get the house repainted before Christmas. The right color this time.
And then we can finally settle in and make ourselves at home. Where we will all live happily ever after (well, maybe not the always-grumpy BitsyBonTon) and I will have nothing else to do with my free time but knit and knit and knit. Yes, I am thankful.
But most of all, I am thankful for my family and my friends. I am so very fortunate and really, a house of blue tape and chaos is just a minor blip on the radar screen of what makes life meaningful.
So, to my nearest and dearest, and to the 3 or so people who may be reading my humble little blog, have a truly blessed and thankful day! (and thanks for the free therapy!)