Saturday morning began with me leaving Cordova at 7 a.m. Have an 8:30 appointment with a plumber. Jennings Realty was instrumental in getting him to return my call. I've got to find something for them because they have been so helpful. He was very clear that he had to be on the road no later than 11 a.m. Has my tendency to be late preceded me? Home Depot is arriving at 9:00 to give an estimate for the roof. Another roofer (the one I've been subtly advised to ignore) is to arrive at 11:30, and my delivery between 9 and noon. A busy morning, indeed.
Beautiful morning for a leisurely drive. I know that I have time to arrive at the house and not rush. Peaceful, serene, are adjectives that come to mind as I make my way to Ripley. Very little activity; very few cars. I decide to cruise down my street, Lafayette, rather than going down Jackson, the back of the property and where the driveway is located. Jennings has put up their sold sign. There are 4 buildings, including mine, on my side of the street. Two front Jackson street, meaning their driveways are on Lafayette and two front Lafayette. Go around the corner and pull into the driveway. Good. I've beaten everyone. Score one for me! I notice that the back door to the garage is ajar. Again.
The former owner had filled the garage with lots of architectural salvage pieces. She would go to New Orleans, I'm told, buy this fret work, columns, corbels, etc., and then have them installed on and in the house. This accounts for all the gingerbread around the house. I asked in the contract that everything remain, figuring that I could use the better pieces to replace ones that had deteriorated. When I came back for my inspection, I noticed that quite a bit had "disappeared." After settlement, more had walked. Yesterday, I saw they had practically cleaned me out. The perils of not living in your property.
A car pulls into the driveway. It is the gentleman from Home Depot. I'd passed him on one of the streets in town. He's early. As I greet him, around the corner comes the plumber. Right on time. I escort the plumber in to let him know what I need done. He also works gas and electric. Has his own company. He agrees that the washer dryer can be installed in the canning room with little difficulty. Tell me I didn't learn something from watching HGTV, DYI, Trading Spaces and Changing Rooms. And let us not forget the hands-on experience gained in rebuilding Gresham. He listens to my other needs, points out others, and tells me it's going to be expensive. Just what I need to hear. He'll be back Tuesday morning at 8:30 to put in the toilet and turn on the water. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The roofer is still measuring. I wish I had his drawing to post. Very complicated. Different roof lines. His sales supervisor appears. He really didn't need back up; the roof is in bad shape. Very friendly people, not pushy, high-powered types like I'm used to dealing with. They took time to point out problems that I had not noticed and wouldn't have known to look for. A thousand layers of roofing on the house and other problems that years of non-maintenance have provided. They also gave me information that I could use in questioning the other roofers when they come. As they pointed out things, I could hear the cash register going ca-Ching! It's so bad, they won't even give me a ball-park figure. Oh-my-God! Vacation time is over. I've got to find a job. Fast! I asked about sweat-equity :-). Not. A cut in any sales generated by their putting signs in the yard? Not. But they will see if they can assist in getting me a job at Home Depot. Here's hoping they mean it.
While walking around the house, they imparted tidbits for the city girl. There's a pecan tree mixed in with the magnolias. Where? Don't snicker. Not many trees in the city, anymore. Definitely not pecan trees. Also pointed out one tree with a limb perfectly arched for a swing or hammock. Hmmm. Hadn't paid any attention to it but now that the image has been suggested, I can see it clearly. Self: Not. You've got to pay for a roof.
Said they had seen nine types of birds and that the bird singing was a mocking bird. No kidding. Inside they pointed out that the floors of two of the rooms are walnut and the rest are pine. I'm dying to know what is under the linoleum in the kitchen. They agreed with Mr. Holcomb that the front entry doors are mahogany. The roof will drive me into bankruptcy but I'm liking this house more and more. I pointed out that I did not want the curlicues disturbed, if possible. Fussy to some, but endearing to me.
A half-hour breather before the second roofer is to appear. It's getting a little hot out here. I spend the time spraying Round-up on the weeds on the patio. Maybe it will dry up enough so that I can take the spade and scrape it clean. Make the most productive use of every available moment.
Roofer is late; maybe he's not coming. I can run errands. Post Office, pay on the appliances, and WalMart for a dolly. Don't you have one? Yes, it's with my son. The Home Depot driver has told me in no uncertain terms that he only drops at the curb. It's my responsibility to get it to and in the house.
The Post Office is closed. Missed it by 15 minutes. I'm told that it is the distribution center for the county and is the only place that provides overnight service. So many opportunities in this area if you have the money to get started. Just as I pull into a space in front of Criner's, the phone rings. It's the roofer; he's in front of the house. Self: But I told you to come to the back, the bell doesn't work. I promise to be there in five minutes. I'm paying Mr. Criner something, today, because I don't want him to put my merchandise back on the floor. Back around the corner.
He's prepared. Got his tape measure. Where's the pad to diagram like Home Depot did? Yep, bad roof. Lots of shingles. They really let it go didn't they? What color shingles you want? Self: So when are you going to discuss some of the problem spots? At least, point them out? Not happening. He tells me he'll have come back and walk it before he gives me an estimate. No problem, Home Depot said basically the same thing. Their explanation, however, is that they want the project manager to make sure their observations are correct before giving an estimate. Your estimate will include roof vents, right? Roof vents? Uh, you don't have any do you? I spect it's mighty hot in that attic. Enough said. I'm taking that subtle hint.
Now to WalMart. Walk it over. No dolly. Told to try the home center across the road. Now this is a major highway, Rte. 51. You can go down to the light and make a uie or go across the 6 lanes. Do I look like a wuss? I'm going across the highway (with my heart in my mouth). No sooner had I pulled into the parking lot than Home Depot calls to say they're in Ripley. I give directions (check me out) and tell him I'll meet him at the parking lot and guide him to house. Back across the highway. No fear this time; I'm on a mission. I'm less than five minutes away from the meeting spot when the cell phone rings. He's already there! How did he get past me? He was driving, silly, while you were jumping back in the car and waiting for traffic to clear enough to cross the highway. We meet up and there's this semi flatbed! No, I did not order a whole flatbed of materials. Mine was just the last of the deliveries to be made on that run.
I went to the store on the corner to borrow a dolly. By the time I got back with that heavy thing, he had had a change of heart and used the forklift to put the pallets on the lawn. He really felt sorry for me and moved them as close to the house as possible. God bless you, young man. Turns out he is originally from Union City, on the other side of Dyersburg (20 miles from Ripley) but now lives in Memphis. He pulls off and I start a major struggle.
Air conditioners are extremely heavy. I had four. Lawn mowers even heavier and I won't mention the toilet bowls and sink cabinet. Oh, and there were two toilets. I only ordered one. Divine intervention. He knew I needed two. No, it wasn't free. It got entered twice but the printout I received at payment was so faint, I missed the double order.
The dolly proved to be of no help. It was heavy to begin with-not my trusty lightweight dolly- this is a moving man's piece of equipment. Add to its weight that of the air conditioner and I can't move it. Too awkward for me to hold the air conditioner or other items and not enough strength to tilt it back.
Not to worry, boys and girls. The kid has been on her own a long time. I've learned to walk things, turn them over end to end, slide and push to get heavy things moved. It took a mighty long time but I finally managed to get everything in the house. Not too far in the house but in the house. At one point, I was tempted to leave everything piled on the patio, which is an indent between the two additions. However, with my decorative woodwork walking away, I couldn't afford to take the chance. Sweating like a stuck pig and very, very tired. By the time I got to the lightweight items such as paint tray, faucets, etc., they felt as heavy as the lawnmower. It took over two hours to get it done but by gum, I made it.
Enough!!!! I guzzled a bottle of water. Sucked it dry within a matter of minutes. Locked up and back to Cordova. I stopped for gas and could barely move out of the car. You can imagine how my body had locked up by the time I reached the apartment. Tired, sweaty, dirty, slightly tanned, and sore. Only too glad to see the shower and a place to stretch out. Plan on getting an early start Sunday.