Taking care of #2…

There are whole books written about the “joy of home ownership.” Depending on the day you ask me, I’ll probably question whether the person talking about that has actually ever owned a home. The joy of having a roof over your head is surely tempered by the random bullshit of air conditioner repairs, flooded basements, trees falling, clogged drains, and the myriad other everyday problems that come along with owning a house. More than once I’ve thought wistfully about the ease of apartment living. File a work order with the office and things got fixed – eventually – although the “eventually” added its own degree of aggravation.

Today’s adventure in home ownership is the semi-regular pumping of the septic tank. It’s a necessity, of course, but there’s something disheartening about paying good money to haul your own feces out of a hole in the back yard. Then again, it may be best not to spend much time pondering on the fact that there is, in fact, a hole filled with feces in your back yard to begin with. Probably something that’s not worth dwelling on until it’s absolutely necessary.

Whether you’ve running your own waste disposal site or you’re on town water and sewer, you end up paying for the ability to poop indoors one way or another. If you’re lucky the basic maintenance won’t lead to needing to throw even more money literally down the sewer. The number of basic home maintenance projects I’ve undertaken that haven’t resulted in sprawling mission creep you can probably count on one hand.

I’ll be the first to admit that indoor plumbing is one of the most undercelebrated features of the modern world, but making sure it all stays in working order feels like the polar opposite of the joy of home ownership. 

The Money Pit…

I bought a house two days after Christmas in 2007. The plan was to live there three to five years, build a little equity and then cash out and use it as a down payment on a house with a little property around it. Well, what I didn’t expect was the magical imploding workplace, a passionate desire to be almost anywhere other than Memphis, and the worst housing market since someone decided they should start keeping records on such things. That’s the short version of how I became an absentee landlord for the second time in ten years.

If you’ve been keeping up, you know all about the $500 driveway repair that bloomed into a $5000 project to repair a ruptured sewer line, and re-pouring 400 square feet of concrete. The latest turn of fate as raised the stakes on that little project. Let;s just say that the latest estimates have found their way into the low five figures… and that’s before anyone has so much as started digging. As it turns out, all 1600 square feet of concrete driveway now needs to be broken up, the sewer line trenched to a depth of 6 feet from the curb to the house (and pass a new city/county inspection), and then the giant gaping pit in the front yard has filled in so the concrete people come to lay a brand-spank-me new driveway from the garage door to the street.

If you hear an enormous sucking sound coming from the south-western tip of Tennessee, don’t worry, that’s just my house; the Money Pit, the Bane of my Existence, the Evil Soul Crushing Destroyer of Joy, also doing business as a delightful 3 bedroom, 2 bath contemporary on a well kept 1/5 of an acre that I’d burn to the ground with a smile on my lips and a song in my heart if it wouldn’t mean going to jail.