So, here's the deal. The chimney problem is being fixed. Actually, the chimney is fixed. Now it's time to tear into the plaster and the drywall and make sure there's not mold growing anywhere because of all the moisture that seeped in. It's not been a huge deal, but it's already become an expensive deal that could become way more expensive, and for-crying-out-loud-it-was-just-Christmas-and-I'm-not-made-of-money.
Here are the other things that have popped up.
- The super awesome drawer that houses our garbage can and recycle bin will not stay closed. The dog is constantly in the garbage, and that's not endearing him to me. At all. I've already made a call, and this will be fixed promptly and for free, but it's annoying.
- The window over my kitchen sink has issues. It seems like there is some sort of air or vapor or something trapped between the two panes of glass, so the window always looks dirty or foggy. Another call has been made, and it's another free fix, but it's still a window that will have to be replaced during the winter. Ugh.
- The very lovely floors upstairs are falling apart. The previous owners had some hideous putrid green carpet covering the lovely knotty pine floors up there. We had them refinished. Unfortunately, there was a lot of spacing between the boards, which the floor guy filled with an apparently unheard of amount of filler. Now, because the air is dry and cold, the boards are shrinking and the filler is cracking and coming out in big chunks. It's awful to look at, and I'm pretty sure that finished floor filler is not something I want my son to eat when he starts crawling around and putting stuff into his mouth. Based on the way our floors are built, the floor guy told our contractor this would probably happen, but he didn't tell us. There is apparently nothing we can do because if we fill the cracks, when the lovely southern humidity comes back in April, the floor boards will swell and push the filler out anyway. So, we're either going to have to rip out the existing hardwoods and put in new ones or cover the floors with carpet. I am not happy.
- The shower floor is not properly sloped. I've already had the shower guy out once to jack up the corners of the shower pan, but it didn't work. There is always a puddle in one corner of the shower. Always. I refuse to live with this for the rest of my life, so they're going to have to disassemble the beautiful marble shower and do it all over again. They'll have to do it for free because it was their fault, but it'll mean days without a shower in the house. I've not called them back out yet.
- The dog is causing a lot of wear-and-tear on my cork floors. Again, mama ain't happy 'bout it.
- We need about a dozen truckloads of dirt in the backyard to ensure that we don't end up with water damage along the back of the house. Again.
- We need a tree surgeon before the seemingly dying tree that's as tall as a skyscraper squashes us all like bugs.
There's other minor stuff, but it doesn't really matter. In fact, the big stuff doesn't really matter. It is what it is, and we'll fix it. It means that I'll have to live a little longer with bare windows. It means that I can't get the new guest room finished as soon as I'd like. It means that I can't start designing and building the perfect new patio that we're going to create with a fireplace and all the works (oh, the patio where I want to drink coffee every morning while lounging idly and reading Michael Pollan or Bill Bryson or Jane Austen or anything). But that's life. And I really am cool with that.
Also, here's the thing.
Despite all the problems...all the cracking floors and bubbling walls and waterlogged showers, I love this house. This is our home. None of these problems has ever made me wish that we hadn't bought this house and left the old one. None of them has ever made it seem like a very, very expensive and stressful mistake. Instead, I look around me. I look out the windows. I look anywhere and I know that this house was built right here on this piece of land just for us. We are supposed to be here. We are supposed to raise our kids here. We are supposed to have grandkids visit us here. Right here. Despite the problems. And that makes it all extra okay.