Thursday, October 20, 2011

There's a Hole in the Bucket

"Charming" and "quaint" translate to bizarre and
We live in an older house – by California standards.  It’s a quaint farmhouse.  The original portion was built in 1929 and it has been added to and revised several times since then, causing many oddities and idiosyncrasies which are alternately called “character” or “another drop into the money pit,” depending on functionality, aesthetics and mood.

My husband and I play two games with the house.  The first is called “In the Land of Infinite Funding.” This is where we fantasize about various improvements to the house, like correcting the switches so that the lights (or outlets) correspond to switches within the same room.   And then there’s changing up the bathroom so that one does not need to turn sideways to gain access to the toilet in the cubby.  The way “In the Land of Infinite Funding” ultimately ends, is that we realize, if we had infinite funding, we probably wouldn’t be living in this house.

The second game is similar, but usually starts out unintentionally and bears a striking resemblance to the folk tune, “There’s a Hole in the Bucket.”

After a pleasant day of working outside, my husband and I sit in the backyard, sipping wine and enjoying a moment of peace without the neighbor’s dog barking. 

“The grass looks good,” my husband says with a sigh.

“Yes, but it’s such a waste of water,” I say. “Gravel would be more efficient and cheaper in the long run.”

“Oh?” he replies with some hesitancy. 

Our dogs look at him.

“What about shade for the dogs?” he asks, refilling his glass.

“Oh, I’d put up a pergola with wisteria outside the dining room doors and then a covered porch out here,” I begin.

He looks behind us at the laundry shed.

“What would you do with the washer and dryer?” he asks.

“Weeell …”

The dogs sigh and put their heads on their feet.  I’m off and running.

“If we flip the stairs so that they start in the kitchen, then we could convert that long hallway to a utility room,” I say.

“But then, what would you do with the fridge and hot water heater that are where the stairs will be?” he says.

“You know,” I draw a breath.  “Those instant water heaters take up much less space and they save money because they only heat water while it’s in use.  Of course, we’d need to get rid of the asbestos first.”

“Asbestos?” He looks worried and pours more wine.

“Yeah, remember, the guy told us about it?” I remind him. “But it’s fine as long as you don’t disturb it, which we’d be doing if we moved and got rid of the current water heater - -“

“To replace it with the instant heater that will save us money,” he finishes for me.

“YES!” By George, I think he’s got it!
Airing our dirty laundry in public ... sort of.

“And the fridge?” he asks. “Where will that go?”

“We’d have to move it to the other wall, where the pantry is,” I say.

“The pantry.”

“Yes, it’s a poorly designed kitchen anyways,” I explain. “We should just redo it.  Then we could put in a gas stove.  They’re more efficient.”

“It’ll save us more money,” my husband says with a shrug and refilling his glass.

“Of course,” I agree and nod to another glass. “But we’d have to put in a gas line.”

“Of course,” my husband says.  “Maybe I could get a gas fireplace in the living room.”

“And, since they have to crawl under the house for the line, they might as well level the floor,” I shrug.  “Then we can redo the bathroom, because that needs to be done.  No one would buy the house as it is.”

“So, a new kitchen AND a new bathroom,” my husband sums up.

“Well, yeah, that’s what makes a house saleable,” I say.

He nods.  “If we’re talking re-sale, don’t most people like lawns?”

I look at him and blink a couple times.  “But grass is such a waste of water.”

My husband sighs and stands. “I think I’ll go open another bottle of wine.”

 Perhaps rum would be better and this time, let’s discuss it in a Calypso rhythm.

1 comment:

  1. When my neighbors and I get together our conversations revolve around this theme of our older homes - you love or you hate. A better way to put that would be you love AND you hate - all in one sentence! Nice post!


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