very sweet post about our house shortly after i found out it was ours (and i added the last paragraph when all was said and done, as i'm a little superstitious about saying something's done before it's actually done). but, you know, the actual to-do of the whole thing is...well, it's a lot to do. and, whether it's true or not, i'd like to think that i survived one of the most difficult weekends of my life last weekend.
it would exhaust you to know all that we did last weekend. here's a quick timeline: nobody slept on wednesday because tank was sick. i was feeling sick on thursday, but i did get some sleep. on friday, closing day, i was better and we signed some very big serious stuff to close on the house, went to best buy and home depot (twice? three times?) and the furniture store and had appointment after appointment lined up on saturday: painting (the whole house!), water heater installation, cable/internet installation, etc., etc., was all to happen on saturday. friday night faded into saturday morning, and tank got worse, and worse, and worse, and before i knew it, i had been up all night taking care of our pup and poor brad wasn't much better sleep-wise.
saturday morning i loaded our pup into the prius and got the very biggest cup of coffee i could find, and drove all the way back to dc to take tank into the vet, pleading with them to get him in because, god bless it, i couldn't stand to see him like that anymore (and they did). what happened next was that i was going to take tank home to get him bathed and medicated and fed before making the drive back to annapolis to give brad a break, but what actually happened was something i'll very much like to block out of my brain forever (i'll spare you.). after two hours and two baths, three million clorox wipes, and minus a few of our textiles, i had our dog once again loaded into the car and drove back to annapolis, so exhausted that i think my head fell off three times.
when i arrived at the house the painters were scurrying, the plumber was leaving, and brad had a desperate but determined look on his face. like two zombies, we met in the doorway -- i traded him our still-sick dog for two wet floor boards (damaged during the water heater exchange) and made my umpteenth trip to home depot while he stayed behind to manage the bedlam. as i drove off, i realized these were 100-year-old reclaimed hardwoods. not likely to sell those at home depot, but maybe there was another solution. maybe, please, please maybe. maybe you saw this coming: what i was met with at home depot was a lot of head-scratching and not any solutions. my frustration mounted. my exhaustion peaked. perhaps it was because i looked like i was going to have a total meltdown, or maybe he had some similar experience in the past and could spot the warning signs, the kindly home depot employee who was helping me offered me this exchange:
"so you had a flood?"
"no, we put in a new water heater."
"was the old one broken?"
"no. we were trying to avoid damaging the floors if something happened to it because it was so old."
"hm. and you had to tear these boards out because of a leak?"
"i don't know. my husband just asked me to come get some replacements."
"hm. they'll eventually dry ok. is your husband a handyman?"
"no...he's...he's not." (this was the nicest thing i could think of to say in that moment).
"oh. well. i see... let me try this from a different angle. do you like margaritas?"
"what you should do is, go home and give your husband a hug and thank him for trying to do something good. then make some margaritas and give one to him. then you two can wait until the floor dries to figure out a solution."
and just like that, my love for home depot deepened, even if they weren't able to give me new floorboards. they really do have all the answers. it was not even noon when this home-depot-margarita exchange happened. at 10 p.m. that night after brad tirelessly orchestrated the symphony of workers all day, and after surviving still another two trips to our favorite store, we ended the day eating a frozen lasagna i had baked, while sitting on the stairs (our only seating), and enjoying a single drink before we collapsed...only to do it all again (and so much more!) on sunday.
we are thoroughly happy and exhausted with all of this. (and our floor, it turns out, is just fine.)