If Life Hands You a Lemon, Suck It Up


We moved into the new old house. It has double wrap around porches, a new kitchen and laundry, and a large master closet.

One can never have too much closet.

We’d been here a week, when the builder showed up and told us that if we wanted the inspections to go through on the electric, the plumbing, and the mechanical (A/C), we’d have to give him more money. He said if we didn’t he’d have to put a lien on the house. Let’s call this what it is – extortion.

This is a sour note to start our life in this house with.

Where is Holmes on Homes when you need him?

But not to fear, we are in the house! Possession is 9/10ths of the law. We’ve paid the builder almost double of what the original estimate of costs would be. If he doesn’t pass city inspections on what he was responsible for it falls back on him, not us. I told him I would file a complaint before the permits board. He said he didn’t care, that he would never do a remodel for anyone again anyway.

He said it wasn’t fair that he made a nice place for us to live and he doesn’t get anything for it. According to him he didn’t make any money. He complained that because I was at the job site almost every day, that I messed everything up. I kept pestering his people. He had a long list of complaints.

Actually, I was amazed at the sloppiness of the job until I learned that he was pushing them on quantity not quality. So often, I would double back and encourage the workers to do what hadn’t been done. I was on the job site because I wanted to see where our hard-earned cash was going.

On this night we couldn’t get him to leave our house. How ironic since I spent a lot of time while he was working on it chasing him down.

At this point I wondered if my kickboxing-body combat would have to come into play. I look like the innocuous grandma I am about to become, but I do pack a pretty mean punch.

We just let him natter.

What he didn’t get was that there are times that no matter how hard you work, you don’t get what you expect. It is tantamount to farting in the wind. Of course, when you are in business it helps to keep orderly books and records, which is what we didn’t see from him after he started the work.

Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers labor in vain. (Psalms)

In some of his budget cutting moves he cut his costs by hiring unskilled labor. We have tiles that aren’t laid flat, we have a tub that has deep scars and scratches because no one was supervising, we have paint all over windows and floors, counters that aren’t caulked, paper on electric lines, piles of trash in the back yard. What are we supposed to do?

After the other night, I’m pretty sure I don’t want him around. So I will make everything right with a little elbow grease and a ladder. I feel like that old geezer (Pappy) in the Real McCoys who would hitch up his britches, look toward the setting sun and say “We’ll climb that mountain.”

And so we will.

One thought on “If Life Hands You a Lemon, Suck It Up”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s