Friends keep asking me how retirement feels. It’s summer, and as a teacher I didn't normally work the summer months, so I have noticed little difference. Until yesterday when I saw a Back-to-School display at Dollar General loaded with notebooks, pens and other student paraphernalia. The words “back to school sale” always filed me with a combination of dread and excitement. Now? It’s just another sale.
Carl the cleaner is in my home again today, this time scrubbing the basement and garage. The basement doesn't need much other than a dusting, and some bleaching on the floor where my kitchen drain leaked on Christmas Day. I spent the holiday shop-vaccing the water until I figured out where the water came from.
One of the reasons I bought this house was its dry basement, and after eight years never had a problem. On Christmas Eve I had gone down to do some laundry and noticed the unfinished half of the basement under water. Elizabeth came to my rescue with her shop vac.
Intermittently, small pools formed at random times. I thought perhaps the water came from the melting mountains of snow that series of Siberian blasts had dumped on my yard. So all day I went downstairs, vacuumed up water, and checked each hour. The last time I noticed a puddle it had suds in it. Wait a minute; I had just done dishes. I looked up and noticed the drain pipe had separated from the ring that holds it to the main drain. I was flooding my own basement every time I washed dishes or made coffee. It pays to look up.
The garage itself is dusty and messy, but the biggest issue is the dead mice smell. Until this year I had noticed a mouse problem, but maybe winter was so frigid the mice needed a respite, and they chose my garage. On sultry summer days the odor is really strong, so I have asked brave Carl to find the bodies and dispose of them. I wouldn't want to buy a house that reeked of dead animals.
So here I am deported to Starbucks for a few hours while Carl cleans. It’s the first of the month so I need to avoid, well, just about everywhere. Because this coffee shop resides next to a check cashing place parking will become a problem later. When my house is being shown this afternoon I may just take a drive, or perhaps go to Staples and gape at all the Back to School Sale items I don’t need to buy.