Or, It’s been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely ti-ime.
So, it’s been awhile. In fact, I think this is the longest I’ve gone without posting since I started this blog nearly a year ago. It’s not as though I have hoards of fans who have been desperately awaiting another post from me, only to be disappointed again and again, slowly losing their will to live with each passing day of my absence from the world wide web. There is a good chance that I am the only person who has even noticed I haven’t posted in over a month. But even if no one else did, I happened to be very aware of my own absence, so here I am again, being present for myself, if that makes any sense at all.
In case my title didn’t make it obvious, the last month has been host to a multitude of distractions. First, there was the basement, where we discovered a leak and an increasingly strong musty, moldy smell. So we hired someone to come and check things out.
Hiring a basement waterproofing specialist was the obvious thing to do, but it resulted in a month of guilt, emotional turmoil, and marital strife. Because the guy who came to asses the situation in our basement was a Salesman who homed right in on me, my allergies, and my mother bear instincts, to the tune of a grand, “highly discounted because I feel so incredibly bad for you,” total of $16,000.
I almost escaped his sales pitch. He gave his initial spiel to my husband, and was about to leave, contract unsigned, when I came downstairs coughing.
“You have allergies, don’t you?” he said to me. “They are terrible; I had them awful when I was a kid. I feel for you, I really do.”
And that was all I needed. Everyone else in my family had lost whatever sympathy they might have had for me and my sniffling, coughing, and red, watery eyes back in March. But here, finally, was someone who noticed my misery. Someone who cared. Someone who wanted to make me feel better.
The Basement Guy went on to tell me that, basically, our basement was slowly killing me. According to him, we have a Mold Situation. He asked if our children had been sick a lot this year — they had — and suggested that it was our basement causing all their illnesses as well. The mold could be toxic, he told me, and, as it was so conscientious to remind me.
Also, he said, we have a crack. It could be nothing, but it could be something, too. According to him, this crack could gradually compromise the structural integrity of our house. Moreover, he said, the foundation was made of 1970’s concrete blocks, which, he said, are like the worst concrete blocks ever made in the history of concrete and that the ground water surrounding them was causing them to sweat their little concrete hearts out, creating an excessively humid environment. Ultimately, our basement should probably never even have been built and if we could, he would suggest that we move somewhere else.
Except that we won’t be moving anywhere else any time soon for anything less than a monumental reason. We have 14 years left on our mortgage. And he knew this because my husband told him so at the beginning of the consultation.
So, then, the only choice we have, according to him, was to close off our basement — which is the kids’ playroom, destroy all of the stuffed animals and dress up clothes we have stored down there, bleach everything else, and then have him and his company open up our floors (with the new carpet), remove and replace our entire existing drainage system, tear down our drywall to install some sort of NASA-engineered, space-age wall reinforcements, replace our sump pump, and install a $2,000, hospital grade, negative air system.
He made me promise not to let my kids play in the basement until his company could come and deal with the problem, and in my presence called the central office to see how soon he could schedule work on our “emergency situation.”
I, of course, was sold. He had me at the word “allergies”.
My husband, however, was not. He is the skeptic of the family, and he was not convinced. He suggested that I had been played by this guy, and that he was highly over exaggerating the case.
In hindsight, it is a good thing that my husband insisted on taking a few steps back and having more contractors come and look at our basement. At the moment, however, I was just a smidgen angry at him. These were OUR CHILDREN, we were talking about, after all. So there were discussions, and words were spoken, and we were all very stressed. And we still are because it’s been a month and, after having 4 companies come to evaluate the situation, we have yet to get one consistent response. Well, I guess I can’t say that. They all agreed that we will be spending lots of money in the near future. So at least we have that, right?
In the midst of all this, my two-year-old turned three and my five-year-old turned six. The little one finished her first year of preschool, and the big one graduated from Kindergarten and we had about one thousand different parties and events and meetings to attend.
And I experienced my yearly bout of nostalgia, when, with watery eyes, I watch each of my girls growing stronger and more independent while I try to remember exactly what it felt like to hold them with one arm, their heads on my chest, their little bottoms curved out, and their feet barely touching my lap.
So it’s been awhile. It’s been stressful and a little emotional and very, very busy, but I guess it’s really just been life.