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'This Old Crack House' #5: Mz D the lunch lady

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Blog entry by Dusty posted 02-27-2007 09:03 PM 2028 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: The One handed Carpenter Part 5 of 'This Old Crack House' series Part 6: I’m the one wearing the stupid-shirt »

We were warned by the seller when we bought our first house, across the street from this old crack house, “Don’t pay any attention to the lady next door. She’s sloppy and doesn’t always keep her yard mowed or cleaned up. She’s not very friendly”.

I though, oh good, what did we get into now? “How long have you known her and how long has she had lived there?” I asked.

“Sixty plus years!” he responded. He went on to informed me that hers was the second house built on the block and that she had been there ever since.

He answered thirty-two years when asked how long he had lived there. I commented something to the effect that he seemed to be very negative towards his neighbor. He snapped back, “Thirty years of Creeping-Charlie from her yard would drive anyone nuts! You bet I’m bitter!”

When I asked him if he had ever talked to her about it, he told me of a conversation with her thirty years ago. “She told me I’d have to speak with her father about it,” he informed me, “She never did anything about it and I’ve barely talked to her since.”

Seems like a long time to hold a grudge to me, so I just dropped it. I realized that this was an issue bigger than me.

We bought the house anyways and were excited to move in and start our new life on the way to becoming real estate barons.

We were able to gain early access to the house as the previous owners were renting back from us for a few months. The Lady of the house suffered from Multiple Sclerosis and they were building a new barrier-free home for her condition. This house was nearby but wasn’t yet completed. This allowed us to do a lot of yard work and outside repairs to the house and garage before we moved in.

We were there every weekend and other times but we never saw the lady who lived next door. I didn’t notice that her sidewalks went unshoveled for days. There was also a large pile of old trees and what looked like junk in the back yard. The fence had fallen down; the barbecue-pit really was in bad shape. The brush had taken over along with a large patch of real old growth Lilac trees. They had never been pruned by the looks of them.

We finally moved in. We had been working on the house for over six weeks while waiting for our lease in our apartment to expire. We had the luxury of not having to live in the remodeling while it was going on.

We did a lot of cosmetic things to the house. We painted, tore up the carpet and refinished the hardwood floors. I sheet-rocked and taped a room that had old paneling. Many things like this were done to the house.

There were two driveways leading up to the old house. One led to an old garage that was attached to the house, the other to the new garage they had built in the back yard.

I wanted to remove one of the driveways. The previous owners had converted the old garage to a porch but left the blacktop so they could get the wheelchair down the driveway to the street to get access to a lift equipped handicap van.

On my wish list also was to remove the old doors and install a patio door and make this three-season porch a year around four-season sun room. Plans included adding a fireplace and making it a comfortable den.

The skill level to do this was way beyond me. I was only a novice at this house remodeling at this point. Besides, remember I had the bad hand. So I was limited to what I could do.

I mentioned this to a co-worker and asked if he knew of a carpenter I could hire.

He knew of a friend of a friend. He got his number for me and I called him.

He sounded friendly enough on the phone but was acting as if taking on this job would be doing me a favor. He was curious if I paid in cash. He made it clear he only did these sideline jobs if they fit in with his schedule as he was a full time carpenter.

Beggars can’t be choosy.

He arrived and gave the job a once over look. He then said, “I charge by the hour and get paid at the end of the day, ever day.” I will pick up the materials and bill you for what I picked up.”

I admit I’m green but not stupid. I had been around construction enough to know a few things.

I informed him that I would pick up the materials and have it ready for him. I had a truck and the time. “You can then just show up and work,” I explained.

“OK, fine!” he snapped. “My hourly rate is $30.00.”

I thought it was a bit steep, but never-the-less I agreed. “What do you need to get started and when could you?” He said he could start this Saturday. “Oh good, you’re not booked up?” I asked.

I should have known why right then.

My carpentry apprentice training was about to begin.

copy write all rights reserved D.Jerzak 2-10-07

-- Dusty



12 comments so far

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3063 days


#1 posted 02-28-2007 03:41 AM

Tell me more!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2989 days


#2 posted 02-28-2007 05:39 AM

This was only a few pages, not a full chapter. Back to the keyboard, you, and finish the chapter.

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3079 days


#3 posted 02-28-2007 05:50 AM

Oh no… I fear for the lessons you’re about to learn in chapter 6… —- or 5b in Obi’s book ;)

If only you knew then what you know now!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2989 days


#4 posted 02-28-2007 06:06 AM

Like he said in chapter 4 …. the crooked carpenter.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3066 days


#5 posted 02-28-2007 04:28 PM

Ok Dusty its been 19 hours where’s the rest of the story? I’m waiting!

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2908 days


#6 posted 02-28-2007 05:51 PM

My chapter numbering system is like like shop….. not very organized- but i know where every thing is if I can find it. :)

I just got back from vacation and man what was doing thinking that I’m still a young kid that I went rock climbing.

Can you say sore!

I so should know better.

Oh well I don’t …shrug

back to writing ....thanks for all the encouragement its very heart warming as I never have attempted anything like this before…..most days I have trouble just writing my name let alone my life story

dust

-- Dusty

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2912 days


#7 posted 02-28-2007 07:08 PM

this could be a book!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2908 days


#8 posted 02-28-2007 08:40 PM

Msdebbie.

More like a horror story. This next chapter is title “I’m the one with the stupid shirt….. so go figure….this is going to be a humbling chapter …well I might as well get with it and take my licking…won’t be the first and I’m darn sure not the last. :)

They say healing starts when you can laugh at your self.

In that case- after the next chapter I should l be cured.

Dusty

-- Dusty

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2908 days


#9 posted 02-28-2007 08:43 PM

Scottb

If only I knew 25% of what I thought I knew back then- I would have more hair, weight less, have all my sences intack, a lot more money and be some where else I’m sure.

Perhaps a king of something. :)

Dusty

-- Dusty

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2912 days


#10 posted 02-28-2007 09:12 PM

life would be pretty boring without the lessons thrown at us here and there (and here, and there, and here, and here) :)
The trick is to see it as a lesson rather than as a hardship.
So far I’m really enjoying experiencing your lesson :)

Can’t wait for the next chapter.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3079 days


#11 posted 03-01-2007 02:55 AM

Well in your next life you shall be! (You’ve put in the the time and paid the dues!)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2989 days


#12 posted 03-01-2007 03:03 AM

If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself. ANd if this was a perfect life and everything was perfect, we’d have to make stuff up to make it more exciting … Like, Once upon a time there was this guy named Dusty and he had a stupid shirt. hahahahaha !!!! And his friend Obi, was dumber than he was, and Obi had the complete stupid suit. HAHAHAHA !!! Dumb and Dumber in the Shop. or Earnest Builds a House.

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