Saturday, October 27, 2012

Death and Taxes

Life around here has been crazy. Maybe even crazier than usual, which is why I rarely post in here these days. The boys are into so much trouble I couldn't begin to record it all in here. Sometimes it's funny, and sometimes it's downright upsetting and discouraging. If I'm honest, it's more often the second option. But that's not what I'm writing about today.

Maybe you've heard the expression, "There are two things in life that are inevitable; death and taxes". It's a little bit negative, but I suppose it's true. True, but incomplete. I'd like to add a third item to that list, and that is delays. More specifically, delays during construction of a new home, or renovation of a home. I'm not sure which category our situation falls into right now. Construction of a new basement, which will equate renovations of our current home. We built this house starting seven years ago. We dug our basement in August of 2005. At the time, I was pregnant with our first baby, Cody. I thought we would be moved into our new home by Christmas. Some of you might be thinking I was naive and ridiculous to think we could construct the whole house in four months, but I had a reason for believing it. When I was seven years old, my family had a new house built. Construction began in May and we moved in at the beginning of August that same year. That is less than four whole months from start to finish. So you see, I assumed it would be similar or the same for us. I was wrong.

The beginning of such a project always appears to be going quickly. Our house was framed and completely closed in before the snow flew. But then came the delays. Lots of them. Our electrician was by far the worst in that department, but there were many other things that contributed. I had imagined setting up our Christmas tree in our beautiful brand new house. My heart was set on it. But at Christmas, our house looked like this on the outside:


And like this on the inside:


Yep. That's our kitchen there. Clearly not ready for inhabitation. Those pictures were taken on December 30, 2005. We did not move into our house until February 26, 2006, a month before my due date. And even then, our kitchen still looked like this:



And then this:


We had no countertops or sink for a couple of weeks after we moved in. Dishes were washed in the bathroom and meals were mostly made in the microwave. And the bathrooms looked like this:


Cabinets not finished, mirrors and light fixtures not even purchased.

My point? I learned something valuable from that experience that I have tried to share with everyone I have known since that began either a renovation, or construction of a new home. Delays are inevitable. Do NOT let yourself get your hopes up that you will be moved in by a certain date. The only thing certain is that you will be disappointed. Yep. I have passed that bit of wisdom on to many people. And then I fell into the same trap again. Here we are, preparing to move our house, and I knew the process would be a long one. Our original plan was to prepare the land this summer and then build the basement in September or October. Then we would wait until the ground was super frozen and do the move in January. But then the mover told us we could move this fall if we put down a lot of shale and gravel so the heavy trucks would not sink in our sand. So we did. In fact, our basement was built in the first half of September which put us ahead of schedule. This was so encouraging, and we were extremely excited at the prospect of moving before the deep freeze hit. The colder it is, the more complicated this process will be, as we will have to remove everything from our house that might freeze (ie: canned goods, and other food items that are liquid. Maybe even laundry detergent, shampoo...etc. We don't want to have to move all that stuff if we don't have to. I also worry about how my piano will handle the cold.

Anyway, the problem is that despite being ready ahead of schedule, we are now facing those delays that I have told everyone else are inevitable. And it sucks. I was prepared for delays at the onset of this project. But the further ahead of schedule we got, the higher my hopes got that we would be back into our house by mid-November. Now I'm not even sure whether we'll start the move before mid-November. In fact, now I wonder whether we will even make it before Christmas. If we don't move in November, we will have to wait until January. I'm sure of it. Because if we move even on December 1st, there is a chance we will be out of our home over Christmas and I know I will not be able to handle that. So the latest we can move would be mid-November, as far as I am concerned, and that is looking less and less possible. 

After we built our house, I said we would never do it again. Why would we? We loved our place, the house and the location. We had no desire to ever move again. But now we are forced to out of necessity. And again I am thinking, this will be the last time we ever have to do anything like this. I hope this time I am right. 

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