It's more like Wisteria Lane meets Coronation Street. There are definitely some Desperate Housewives here, there's also a slew of middle-aged single women, a gaggle of crazy-ass skids, a Christian group home and the requisite VERY nosy, Mrs. Huber-esque neighbour that seems to piss everybody off yet seems to maintain order in "the street". (She's outside right now interrogating the Dog about our stunner of a cat. "Burmese you say? Well my husband's from Burma! You've seen an Asian man walking a pug around here? That's him. TONK! Come out here and look at their cat!" )
In the past month we have had a decorating/TV crew (seperate post on that experience to come-teehee), some flooring guys to restore our ugly floors to their original beauty (who on earth would cover these old gorgeous long planks up?), a group of amazingly helpful friends and family all pass through the doors in an effort to make our house... well, ours.
Sadly, what are not ours by choice are the mistakes of past owners:
* 5 layers of wallpaper underneath deceptively matte paint. Not the kind of stripping I had in mind.
* A teetering toilet that, according to a previous home inspection from 2003, has been teetering for at least the past 2.5 years. Did no one mind? How did "she" live like that?
* A DIY tub installation that survived 3 single women owners but buckled under the weight of the Dog and has now broken away from the caulking and seems to be falling.
* Electrical wiring that is not "to code".
And the latest, greatest, most horrific... We survived the huge storm with very little water entering the basement. So why the musty smell down there? We did not survive two back-to-back loads of laundry. The drain backed up. (wait for it) And so did our SEWAGE!! Nasty! Ok, all we need is a guy with a "snake" right? Wrong. Old clay pipe is bad people, especially when combined with trees that are close to the house. Looks like we have roots in our pipes. Front and back drains clogged from trees. Totoal replacement of clay pipes with new PVC. Cost? Thousands. Ugh.
I feel so defeated. Here we are, a new family, who spent their life savings on a tiny house on a bordering-on-sketchy street. Everything goes wrong at once and we get even deeper into debt. Why us, we ask the virtual man in the sky. The Dog is convinced there is no one watching over us and that Karma and all other ideologies are crap if good people keep getting screwed. I, on the other hand, wish for the days when I didn't read between the lines so much and found comfort in thinking about clouds, white robes, harps and wings.
But then again, it could be worse. It could be New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina it seems, according to one Op-Ed in the Star, "exposed the United States' Third World underbelly." How apt. How depressing. That a country with so much wealth and poverty finds it more inportant to go mess with the lives of others instead of dealing with major problems right at home. I'm sure we all feel the same about this issue. These people were struggling enough to build one life, now they must go and struggle to build another. I wonder how they keep going.
That's humanity I guess. You just suck it up and move forward. Because the alternative, giving up, is more depressing than getting knocked down each time you try to stand up. All I can do is rub Nate's little head and tell him to send good vibes to all the poor little babies out there. I am sure trying to send good vibes to those who've lost everything. I hope they find their families. I hope they are reunited with their pets. I hope, I hope, I hope.
Perhaps looking to the sky is not where to look for help. Especially when the sky opens up and tries to kill you. My father's theory is that New Orleans was a bit like Sodom and Gemorrah. A place full of so much evil and baddies that God is punishing them. Interesting considering I never knew he even believed in the idea of God. So I guess we have to look to one another for answers, for theories, for help. And sometimes, when we inherit the problems of those who came before us, or our neighbours, we just have to take our lumps and try to make a bad situation better for those who will come after us.