Useless Side Yard to All-purpose Utility RoomI think that one of the tendencies I picked up from my dad during my developing "moving around years" is my continuing aspiration to make every place I live uniquely my own. In the 50s and 60s, right up until our last base in 1970, every time we moved into a new home, no matter where we were, he did things like plant gardens, build picket fences and construct screen porches.
I’ve been in my new place since last December, and slowly but surely, I’ve made my mark on this "little piece of heaven." I was just looking at my Flickr photos at my "home improvement" set and I have to admit it sort of impressed me as to how far I’ve come with my "doings."
Late last year, as soon as I saw my new digs I realized this place had potential, in spite of its dingy dirtiness. The couple who had lived here before had done nothing with it; in fact, they'd probably contributed to its malaise. The yard was a mess. Everything on the inside and outside of the structure needed painting or a good scrubbing. It was a “fixer upper” with a capital "FU."
So, whenever I have a few bucks to spare I get to work on the next project. After some 5 months of slow but steady fixing, remodeling and modifying, I’ve just about got it where I want it. And I have to say, she’s starting to look and “feel” pretty darn good.
The first thing I realized that needed doing was to secure it. I got that realization from a rude awakening, literally. Only a few days after moving in, something woke me up at 2 in the morning. It was a strange muffled scratching noise. I rolled out of bed and tiptoed to the empty spare bedroom next to mine. In the darkness I saw a man’s arm reaching through the freshly torn screen, evidently feeling around for something to take. When I saw that disembodied arm, something snapped in me. I snuck back to my room for my bolo knife.
Grabbing the pseudo-sword, I went back to the scene of the impending crime fully meaning to get me a “souvenir.” I was going to get me an arm, or at least a bloody-ended hand. I could always clean up the resultant gush of blood later. But, as I entered the mostly empty room the thief must have heard me because the arm hurriedly jerked back out of the window.
The next day though, I told the guards about my encounter and I made sure they knew that I was deadly serious about protecting myself and my possessions by whatever means I had at hand. I wanted the word to get out about that crazy foreigner willing to close with and destroy all thieving comers. Sometimes having a crazy reputation is all one needs, and what better way to get that impression out then to do spread it myself?
Plus, one thing leading to another, I paved the whole thing, put in drainage, two water spigots, electrical outlets, along with a sink and tile counter top. On the counter I put a gas stove and next to that my washing machine. All that in what was once a previously useless swathe of muddy alley.
Geez. I don’t have time to write any more tonight, but I’ll more than likely continue on with this home improvement subject over my next few posts. I’ve been trying to keep my mind away from the depressingly mind boggling concept that so many Americans seem to be willing to vote for BHO, at least according to the polls. Then again, I just watched “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” which always reminds me that most of my fellow citizenry evidently go through life without much paying attention. (Are so many Americans really such numbskulls?) We'll see in November. I might just have to develop one of the first cases of Obama Derangement Syndrome. Dear God, may he be a flash in the pan... If not, then give me the same strength that it took to endure 4 years of Carter and another 8 interminable seeming "centuries" under Slick Willy...
Labels: home improvement