01 May 2006 by Published in: General musings No comments yet

Susan and I purchased this house in March 1995. It was built in 1968, and featured lots of lovely early Brady Bunch decor features such as olive green floor tile, harvest gold appliances, yellow bathroom fixtures, and lovely flocked wallpaper. We were only the third owners of the house (and still are, for that matter). The thing is that neither of us has ever liked this house. She thought I liked it, and I thought she liked it. Consequently, we decided to purchase this place even though we both hate it. The only things it had going for it are that it is located precisely halfway between Susan’s mother’s place and Susan’s grandmother’s place, and that it has a large fenced yard that’s great for large dogs. However, even that is not without its problems–there’s a portion of the yard that has atrocious drainage, and about half the time, it’s like gelatinous goo out there with bottomless mud that provides a very attractive nuisance for golden retrievers. Needless to say, we spend far more time than we might otherwise enjoy wiping muddy doggy feet as a consequence. We moved in on tax day, and have been here ever since.

When Susan’s grandmother died, we ended up with a bunch of her crap that got stuck in our basement. Then, when Susan’s mother died, we ended up with a lot of her stuff, too. Mix in the fact that we tend to be clutter people and have way too much crap of our own, and it’s a real recipe for disaster.

There’s a nearly 40 year old silver maple tree in the front yard. At this point, it’s as tall as the house, which means it has a huge root network. That huge root network is the root of our problem. The roots broke up the masonry main sewer line, and it then backed up into the basement. Not realizing that the line was broken, we had it snaked out, and everything was okay for about two months, and then it happened again. The plumber ran a camera down the line, and we got to see the true state of affairs: the line was hopelessly broken in multiple places and was far beyond repair. Seven thousand dollars later, we had a brand new PVC main sewer line that’s impervious to the roots.

The problem is that two major back-ups of the main sewer line turned the basement into a toxic waste zone, and we avoided the problem by not going down there unless absolutely necessary. It’s incredibly dusty down there–I am allergic to dust–and God only knows what else. We’ve realized that try as we might, we can no longer avoid that particular zone of the house, and tonight we started cleaning it out. It’s a horror zone down there, and finishing the job is going to be a nightmare. I suspect that I’m going to have to end up hiring someone to finish the job, because I’ve already got a sinus headache from the short time I had to spend down there. It’s a damned good thing that there’s very little down there worth keeping.

I can’t wait to get out of this house that I hate, but I absolutely dread the process that will be entailed.

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