About a year ago we sold our home to our oldest daughter in order for her to have room for her growing family and we purchased and moved into a mobile home in a 55+ community. All was well for a while but circumstances changed such that it became necessary to move once again and so we purchased a fixer-upper home for quite a bit less than comparable properties in the neighborhood, which we did some seventeen years prior to the home we sold our daughter. I enjoyed the process of rebuilding our previous home and the thought of doing it once again gave me a joie de vivre that I hadn’t felt for some time. In fact, I had been feeling quite useless living in a mobile home where there was no garden to tend to, no yard work to be done, no tools for woodworking, and I’m sure you’ve got the picture.
Our new home has been a journey and a chore that has occupied every moment that I wasn’t working. It has been so consuming that I have not taken the time to write, or compose, or hardly even to sit down at my piano or with guitar and I have missed all of it terribly. There have been challenges with our new home such as when we removed the old damaged bath tub in the master bathroom and discovered the studs were dry rotted and forced the removal of an exterior wall and the expense to rebuild it and restucco that wall on the front of our property. Fortunately I found a man who is an artist, to say the least, as well as reliable, dependable, and reasonable. As we talked while we worked side-by-side I discovered he grew up in Hawthorne and attended Leuzinger High School in Lawndale where I grew up. It even turned out that his wife was a graduate of Lawndale High School, as was I, although a decade or so later than me.
This new home of ours is nearly ready and I would be working on it this morning were it not for the rain. It’s funny with the weather this week as the forecast earlier in the week was for a warm Memorial Day weekend filled with sunshine but then this front moved in and refused to leave. It has been overcast and drizzly for days now and this Sunday the rain has urged me to take a break from the construction slowly coming to an end. I still need to finish about eight feet of wainscoting and rebuild the interior on the master bathroom, which had been severely damaged during the destruction.
We have a family barbecue planned for Memorial Day at our new home and will be spending our first overnighter there tonight to get a feel for it and maybe discover something I have forgotten to do. The current forecast for tomorrow is mostly sunny with a high of 76, which would be a welcome treat from the dreary gray of the past week.
It has been a strenuous series of tasks to get our new home livable and although we have grown quite short of funds and need to sell our mobile home in order to get the cash we need to finish but the good news is our home will be worth much more than we paid for it. Way back at the beginning of this adventure we were having electrical problems that forced me to call in an electrician who confirmed that the main breaker was bad and the Zinsco panel had aluminum bus bars that were likely pitted. Well, George (the electrician) had copper bus bars machined and my older brother had a main breaker he gave me to install and that fixed most of our electrical problems.
When George finished his work and we shook hands his final comment to me was: “You know, sweat equity is the best kind of equity.” That statement has helped to keep me going on this frequently overwhelming project that we undertook last December when we closed escrow and thought we’d be moving in over our March Spring Break. That didn’t happen but we should be moving in after school is out (last day is June 10th) when my wife and I can get out of our classrooms, finally make the transition into our new home, and I can return to my writing and composing.
And, thank you George for reminding me that: “sweat equity is the best kind of equity.”