Staying Calm on my Journey to Rehabing a New Home

Life is stressful and I'm not sure where that line is between sanity and shaving your head because the voices told you so. Time to chill out.


I have had a stressful year.

I'm buying my way out of my home in order to move into a small home that I have stripped down and am rebuilding from the floor up.

It's what I wanted to do. At my ripe old age, I don't have that many years left in this business. No one wants to see a cop walking around the parking lot, trying to find his police car. At some point you ain't Robocop anymore. So, that being said, a couple of months ago, my wife Detective Sandy and I were nestled in a cove at the lake, listening to her next husband, Jimmy Buffett, singing about how great his life is spending all the money that I forked out over the years for overpriced tix and Margaritaville, this and that. 

We lounged there, sunning ourselves on the rafts that were tied to the boat and as we drifted in small circles, we decided that our big home, made for four kids who are no longer at home, was too big and that our working lives - mine at least - would probably not outlast this recession. I don't want that home, with all the overhead that comes with it, on a retirement salary. 

We soon had possession of a small home next to the lake that was old and had fallen on hard times. My wife's mom bought it on a foreclosure for a modest price and intended to rent it--until she got a taste of how renters treat a home. The house was rented by dope fiends who stole what they didn't trash. Later my son and his friends rented it. That didn't work out either. Finally, my brother in law, a tremendous craftsman in the skill of building, spent some time there until he left for the friendly confines of his girlfriend's condo. 

Now it's my turn. Weeks after that quiet day on the lake, my wife and I wonder what the hell we were thinking; a normal reaction to taking on an old house and trying to make it a home. 

Before you move, you have to sell the house. We dug in for a long fight but to our surprise, we had a buyer in less than a week. It seemed too good to be true. It was. Three weeks later we found that their financing fell through. We started over and within a few days we had another buyer. This time we thought this was going to work out. 


Turns out the guy was a mold phobia and despite the mold test that that showed the basement of his concern was just fine, he was convinced that a secret plot had been hatched to hide mold within the walls of our home. Great. A phobia freak. Good riddance and I hope that the home you find will somehow give you grief you *$^$!!

But I'm not bitter. 

So, at this point, I'm back to square one with the big house (great deal by the way) and I have a nice little home, about the size of a small tent, that I have stripped to the bone and slowly putting everything in it's place where it should be. New wiring, all of the insulation and old paneling stripped out in lieu of new drywall, new kitchen, new, uh, septic tank.

Yep. Home rehab people know that part of the fun are the surprises that somehow find you quickly and slap you in the face like your momma just caught you smoking one of your old man's Parliaments in the back yard. My septic tank is too small for what we need. $4000-$6000. Add that to the three grand for the wiring and $3,400 for the drywall.

Thank goodness I'm rich.

So, I'm juggling a home that needs selling and one that I still have a vision of how I want to live in the near future. I still think it's a good move however I would not be opposed to a day once in a while where the phone call actually involves good news! 

So, the moral of the story is this: Life is like driving a Ford Pinto on an icy road and hoping that the 10-ton semi truck tailgating you will stop in time before hitting the back of the car known for it's exploding gas tank! One day you're up and the next, you're down and the next, you're down again and again. You wake up hoping for an up day just to keep your sanity and you now understand why people go to happy hour to find their happy place. 

That's my delima. Yours may be much worse and the guy down the street may put us all to shame but you have to keep getting up and going back in. Peace of mind is sometimes left up to you so..........relax. Chill out and remember that regardless how uptight you get, you're doing better than the guy on page 4 of the newspaper's obituary section. I have to practice it. I'm doing it now by venting to you! Whatever works, short of nudity in public places, but I don't know that I'm all that opposed to that on really bad days--if it helps.

Hang in there folks. 

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