Bone Deep

As I’ve been updating my house, I’ve been updating this blog with all the weird (or potentially weird) things we’ve found, thinking these bits will eventually find themselves in a book.

First, there was The Dark Underbelly of Home Ownership, a post about my creepy basement, an all too trite scene for a murder mystery. Next, when the floor of the enclosed porch was taken up in preparation for putting in a new foundation, we found an old cistern that seemed to be perfect counterpart to the basement. Then, there was Something Nasty in the Wooden Shed, which turned out to be not that nasty, but it could have been.

About that same time, I found a bit of fabric in the dirt, but it wouldn’t give when I tried to pick it up. So I got out my shovel and dug. And dug. And dug. Finally, I got the thing out of the ground. It turned out to be a red-stained shirt. Although the stain wasn’t blood, and perhaps it wasn’t even a stain but part of the design of the shirt, it still seemed mysterious to me that someone would bury the shirt.

The oddities stopped for a while, though when the contractor was trying to figure out why the garage floor had a huge crack in it, he thumped on the floor and it sounded hollow. I had to laugh at myself and my reflexive “maybe someone is buried under there,” Because of course, it was just my brain delighting in the macabre.

Well today, finally, they came with a jackhammer to break up that old concrete floor.

Under the floor, they found another concrete floor.

And under that . . . bones. Just two of them, but still — bones!

This mystery seems to be writing itself, which is actually is a good thing since I am not writing anything at all.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Have Caulk Gun Will Travel

I just got an email from a friend who suggested I post a blog to let everyone know how I was doing. I shrugged it off, thinking I’ve been doing that very thing, but I checked anyway to see when my last blog was. Wow! Has it really been a month since I last wrote? It just goes to show . . . well, I’m sure it shows something, I’m just not sure what.

Some of the work on the house is going well, due mostly to a visit from my brother and sister-in-law who brought with them their expertise and just about every fabulous tool they own. Still, oddly enough (at least odd to someone who has never before owned a house), very little can be crossed off my to-do list. There always seems to be one more thing to accomplish on every job.

Caulking all sixteen windows and repainting the framework has been left to me. Since I have never in my life done any work on a house — growing up, I was just a girl, you know, and so such tasks were never allotted to me — my share of the work is slow going. (BTW, the window is a true rectangle; the odd shape is due to the angle of the camera.)

But I now know how to use a caulk gun, and even better, I know how to clean caulk off my fingers. (Nail polish remover!)

I still don’t have a workable garage. The crack in the floor was fixed, the place insulated and dry wall added, but then the floor recracked, so for now, the garage is just a big shed. One day, perhaps, I will be able to use it to park my car. Perhaps . . .

The back room is mostly done. Although foundation is rebuilt, the walls and ceiling painted, and the floor installed, the doors still need to be framed, though that job is scheduled for Monday. (Fingers crossed!) It’s a lovely room, now, and can no longer really be considered a porch, enclosed or otherwise.

My exercise equipment (even a ballet barre!) has been set up in the room. I can no longer use the lack of space as an excuse not to exercise so I’ll have to find another excuse.

The above mentioned aren’t the only tasks to be finished/started, just the more obvious ones. (Fixing the basement floor from long ago flood damage and reinstalling a sump pump are perhaps more pressing, but since I don’t go down into the basement, it’s not an obvious task. Not to me, anyway.)

For all these months, a lot of my stuff has been piled in the dining area, and now that the back room is usable, I no longer have to use the dining area as storage. And suddenly, this place seems huge. It’s still technically a small house, but for a person who has been living in a single room for the past few years, it seems a surfeit of luxury to have so much space. After all, I can only be in one room at a time.

But of all the problems I have dealt with in the past decade, this embarrassment of riches is one that is easily shouldered.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.