This Home Is Not A House

The definition of the American dream has fluctuated some over the past fifty or so years. The ideal of "a car in every driveway" has been supplanted by multiple cars [gas-guzzlers at that] with On-Star, GPS, and pimped out tv monitors in your dashboard and trunk. And among some people, the wish for "a chicken in every pot" has moved on to "smoking pot," but that's a completely different post. But I'm finding the ultimate aspect of the American dream, home ownership, to be more of a nightmare.

As you know by now, we're getting ready to sell our house so we can move to the area where we're going to start the church. This means that we now have to fix up the things that we were apathetic about when the house was our alone. We've been painting, trashing, cleaning, and trimming all around our dwelling to make it look nice. I've been pretty motivated to get this stuff done, because I want to get the most out of our investment. But there are those times when I'm tempted to go Backdraft on the place and collect the insurance [see my post from two days ago for a better understanding]. Last night was one of those times.

Since I've been doing a lot of work on the outside of the house, I thought I'd spend last night inside getting a couple of tasks knocked out. When we moved in the exhaust fan in our master bathroom was broken and I swore I'd fix it. About six months ago I even bought a fan to replace it. Last night I opened up the hole leading to our attic and climbed up. I knew I should've started this task back in the days when it was 65 degrees because it was sweltering up there. Just being up there two minutes smothers you with sweat. And I never plan my jobs out well so, when I get up there, I've always forgotten something. So after five round trips up and down the ladder, I came to the conclusion that the cheap fan I bought wouldn't work without me running more wire to it- which I have no desire to do. Fortunately, this morning, I finally made use of my greatest asset: a family of electricians. I called my brother and asked him what to do and he told me how to finagle the fan so I can get it working.

I'll try to finish the job this weekend, but I'm paying the price for not knowing exactly what I needed to do. The insulation in our attic is loose, not that nice Owens Corning Pink Panther stuff. I got that stuff everywhere. I'm itching all over the place today and my contacts are all wacked out because I played around with that crap last night. But I was able to replace one of our faucets [though I did have to make a special trip to Lowe's], so the night wasn't a total loss.

I'm pretty sure that in the past two-and-a-half year of owning this house, I've lost my temper more than I have in any other two-and-a-half year period of my life. It's been a fun place to be, but as things have just arbitrarily broken here and there, I've lost it. I know things aren't supposed to run perfectly forever and maybe God is teaching me some big lesson about my own mortality or something like that, but this sucks. It's a time consuming relationship- between you and the house- that never seems to be finished. Why bother putting that kind of love and time into an inanimate object when people relationships take a similar commitment? Or maybe I'm just lazy.

That's why Kelly and I may get into a condo next. I think I'd rather pay the extra money and subtract some of the hassle than loose ten years off my life when my anger problem causes me to blow a heart valve. Don't get me wrong, it's been a great place to live and I do love the house, but the tiny shards of insulation prodding me this morning are a subtle reminder that an HOA fee might not be as bad as I once thought.

I'll keep on dreaming.