I’m not really feeling the word coming on the book, so maybe venting what I’ve been obsessing over in my mind will free up the gates. I find that sometimes just the act of typing is enough to wedge loose the crap in the story part of my brain. But really it’s just an excuse to talk about how much I hate my house.
The inside I don’t mind so much. We have sweet granite counter tops, new appliances, wood floors, lots of storage, etc. The only parts of the house I don’t like are the bathroom which needs a new tub, the trim around most of the doors (which really just need to be painted) and most of the closet doors which need to be replaced. For a house that was almost entirely gutted when we bought it, that’s not bad. If those were the only repairs I could take care of it in a few weekends with minimal effort. But no, there’s still the basement which is a nasty, spider-infested, seeping wet mess with a drain that backs up every time it rains and floods everything. It’s got plenty of space for storage as long as it’s in plastic, but I really hate going down there and want to finish it.
But the true gem of homeowner nastiness are the yards. We just spent an unholy amount of money to remove two giant trees from our very small lot because the mess and potential damage to our basement was intolerable. Neighbors for a mile in each direction cheered as those bitches went down. But that’s only the beginning. The front yard itself is nice without the tree. It’s easy to mow and mostly made of real grass not that crappy shrubby stuff. But good holy sweet mercy, the flower bed is a nightmare. It’s a giant bed of stones and weeds and a shrub that until recently threatened to consume the entire front part of our house. After spending an entire Saturday trigging to dig up the stones and take the most aggressive weeds out at the roots without success, I used an entire bottle of weed killer on the damn thing. Of course all it did was kill off the flowers and brought the weeds back with the bloody vengeance of a slasher villain.
I hate this flower bed.
The only solution I see is to dig up all of the stones (which cover an area almost the entire length of our house and four feet long), dig out all of the flowers and start from scratch. All of that sounds fine except for the digging out all of the stones part. That could take almost the entire summer working every weekend. And with Baby Number Two on the way and a novel to finish before then, I don’t have the time or the desire to do that. I use my little electric weed trimmer to keep things in check so it doesn’t look like one of the crack houses for sale in Detroit, but that’s about all I can promise.
And then there’s back yard. Yes I’m happy to have the tree gone. I’m happy I won’t have to deal with hip high piles of helicopters in the spring and leaves in the fall but we still have a weedy fire pit, chunks of yard missing from where the tree roots were removed, another viciously weedy flower bed that I haven’t even bothered to touch, a warped deck, a nasty rusted shed, and a forest of armed and violent weeds behind the shed. I mow to keep the grass down and I trim the weeds around the shed, but again, without expensive equipment and massive amounts of free time, there’s no way this place is going to look decent any time soon.
I wish I could just not care at all. I’ve never been overly proud to be a homeowner, in fact I’ve been pretty miserable about the whole affair, but something inside of me is feeding and egging on this amateur landscaper and I can’t let it rest. I’m sure in the end, my natural laziness and more pressing artistic demands will put the final stake in my lawn dreams, but still, I wish I could just move some place new that didn’t have all of these issues. But I’m sure every home has its own issues. I’m really mean to be a city boy with compact living, public transportation and all of the included joys. No basements, no yards, nothing. That’s MY American Dream.