Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons, Just Hope Your House isn't One of Them... or your husband's computer

It's funny how you can have plans for a day, make arrangements, prepare, perspire and even pray about an event and then have everything change.

That's what happened today.

We were scheduled to have a major event take place in our basement aka: The Water Hole. We were getting a high class drain tile system put in so that we could use our basement and keep our socks dry. Not only to keep our socks dry but also to store a few kids down there.

This was our list before the basement people came:
  1. Clean garage
  2. Clean out basement and put everything in pre-cleaned garage
  3. Dig 2 large holes next to exeterior basement wall
  4. Cut 2 large holes in basement wall
  5. Install 2 large windows in the holes in basement wall
  6. Sweep up the entire mess
  7. Repeat sweeping
  8. Do all laundry
  9. Move washer, dryer, freezer, non-garaged storage items to center of basement
  10. Make plans to leave for the day
  11. Resign to having a house full of dust upon arrival home
  12. Surrender to vacuuming, sweeping, dusting dust for several weeks from the basement
  13. Dust, dust, dust, dust, dust, dust, dust...... etc.

All the above was completed so everything was in order, right? Wrong. Little did we know about the predicament of a very important little thing: the structure that made up the footings, walls and floor of our home. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Toby planned to run errands today in preparation for the upcoming home show. Now, the home show is a big event for us. We advertise our business there and have done so 4 out of the 5 years we've been married. I have a little animosity for the home show. Yes, it helps my husband bring home the bacon and all that good stuff but the home show and I are competing for the same affection: Toby.

You see, we were married February 15, a mere week after that first home show Toby and his brother participated their business in. I was not aware this would be a yearly affair. I was a gullible, young, girlfriend that thought getting married was simply picking a date and establishing a wedding that would transpire into a marriage. I forgot about the anniversaries that always follow a wedding.

So, I said all that to say that every year, the home show falls right before, on or after our anniversary. EVERY SINGLE YEAR. The home show people and I must have been thinking the same dates when we both planned for our big events.

As Toby planned the errands he had to run, I looked forward to cruising around Lincoln with him in a loud, big truck. How romantic! Especially with 3 screaming kids. Well, make that 2 kids and 1 screaming kid.

We woke up this morning to a Nebraska Prairie Blizzard. After the almost 50 degree weather we had the two days before, 8 degrees above zero was pretty cold. (at least we were still above zero though). Toby said his plans had changed because of the weather and he would just stay home and do book work. Fine with me since I knew we'd still all be together like one big happy family.

Then the basement people got here and got right to work. I could here machines running, guys talking and real work going on down there. I ran to the grocery store to get coffee and milk and braved the frigid weather and bad roads.

Arriving home I could hear nothing but Alex screaming loudly in the highchair. He was saying something about being left alone, everyone leaving and wondering why everyone hated him. Tears were literally spraying off his face.

I could hear no work. No people talking. No machines. The silence sounded interesting. I made coffee, consoled Alex and put groceries away while Landon and Janae ransacked the packaged groceries. A ripped package of beef caused by a child's finger and another child wanting to open up a cake mix because he promised he wouldn't eat it was making my day a tad stressful.

And then Toby came up and broke the news to me. I couldn't understand all the logistics but it had something to do with the fact that our basement was originally constructed wrong. The footings were not being used like they should and the floor was in the wrong place. They couldn't install the drain tile. Bummer, especially when you can't just move the floor like you can move a wall.

The crew was waiting on a supervisor to get here before arriving to a verdict and Toby wallowed in a big pool of What Are We Going To Do Now. It sounded bad. This cute little bungalow we bought last year was a lemon. And when you want a house and get a lemon, that is not a good thing. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade but how do you make lemonade out of a lemon house? We figured we'd just have to do that by tearing the entire basement out and starting from scratch. But, how could we do that? We couldn't afford that. So much for new bedrooms. So much for a new kitchen. Poor wasted egress windows already installed in the basement.

The head honcho guy got here and had a few solemn talks on his cell phone outside in the frigid wind and snow. The guys downs stairs started hauling their tools and machines and noise outside back to the truck. Toby looked like he was preparing for a long swim in his What Are We Going To Do Now pool. (that look is similar to what most people would look like when they prepare to attend the funeral of a loved one.) I was trying to find a recipe for lemonade but I had none of the ingredients except for one big fat ugly lemon.

Finally, a verdict was made. The supervisor head honcho guy became the hero. Superhero. He explained the situation of our walls and that there was a product available that would be used in situations like ours. And the best thing was this: the new product (though it cost a tad more) was installed via Epoxy on the existing floor! No jack hammering out the perimeter of the basement floor! No dust! No waiting a week for 18" of cement to dry on the perimeter of the basement before we could build rooms! No more lemons!

Never before have I felt like worshipping something other than God but a part of me wanted to utter reverent praises to Thrasher Basement Systems. They truly saved the day and our house. The only draw back was the fact that they couldn't get here to do that installment until the middle of February. But, what's the big deal? I mused... we already have the home show then, our anniversary and Valentines day... why not add another historical event to that week?

Shortly after, the sun came out. The landscape was covered in a fresh blanket of white snow. The blizzard stopped. It was so pretty. Toby got back to work on his book work. Just then, his computer froze and began to flash really weird. It then wouldn't turn on. Another lemon. Why the computer? Why Toby's computer? He needs his computer for book work just like you need money to pay your bills. He needs his computer for work. For that home show. He doesn't just need a computer; he needs it to work. So, he made plans to take it in and get it looked at.

He went to our reliable, steady van only to crank the key and hear nothing but a dead battery. He decided to try my computer and began to transfer files from his portable hard drive. Word shut down unexpectedly. He had gotten none of his bookwork done all day and it was now 1:30 pm.

Finally, the van battery got charged and Toby left for town. I told him I still wanted to be a wife by the end of the day so please, stay safe and don't have anything else bad happen. He couldn't promise anything and mumbled something about being jinxed.

So, with that, I kissed him goodbye, found a cup of coffee and sat down and blogged. That's my way of making lemonade when life gives me lemons. Aren't you glad?


Just for the record and because of the context of this blog, I almost posted this twice to Toby's blog because I didn't see that he was signed in on this computer and not me. I signed out and signed back in twice before it worked. It is a miracle that with all the copying and pasting, this post actually survived it's traumatizing journey to the wide web world.


Pat VE said...

I read your blog earlier and now that it is bedtime, I see that no one commented on it. Did you make it through the day? Some days are just like that--frustrating. Hope tomorrow is better.

Jean said...

so I;m not the only one with computer problems - I don't think mine are as serious as Toby's and they sure don't hold up my business work.