Sunday, January 27, 2008

Home Ownership Blues

OK, this totally qualifies as a privileged post. I (and the bank) bought my house in 1987. It's a decent house built in 1911 with high ceilings and nice touches. But I am not a model homeowner. In fact, I pretty much suck at it.

So last night we discovered water in the basement. We tracked it down to the unheated half bath that we close off in the winter. Unfortunately, we were wrong about the water being turned off. So the pipes froze and the pipes burst and we waited 8 hours for a plumber. Which meant waking up every 45 minutes to empty a bucket overnight.

The plumber came this am, fixed the leak, but not the overall problem. More plumbers will have to be called. More money will have to be spent. And a big chunk of change was forked over for the emergency service.

I am so lucky I was able to purchase this house when prices were low. My mortgage payments are much lower than rent would be for a similar house. It was a great place to raise our daughters and a home to a herd of wonderful cats.

Still, I am not a good home owner. I can't decorate for shit. I let things go to hell and don't really care. I barely manage to follow most of the city codes about mowing the lawn and keeping the weeds at bay. There are rooms of this house that I don't enter for months.

All I need is a place to sleep, keep my clothes and stack my books. I've been blessed with much more.

In an odd juxtaposition, I volunteered to drive people to a celebration of the local Welfare Rights Committee on Saturday. I picked up and delivered two families. I heard afterward that one of the families was in a desperate housing situation and was able to resolve the issue by attending the event. That's fucking awesome.