Subject: Beatlick TR: Out of Nashville
Date: Jun 17, 2009 6:39 AM
Just a quick report to say the Nashville episode is over, the house is completely restored, and my tenants were painting as I pulled out of the driveway. As much as I hated coming to Nashville, my heart was breaking as I left. It was so good to see all these old friends, and you really learn who your friends are when you need as much help as I did getting my mother's home back in order. New bathroom, new roof, and I personally loaded 10.000 pounds of roofing debris along with Joe, my sister and her husband, and a 10-year-old boy named Austin. He works with his dad the roofer and he worked as hard as anybody.
Plans are to arrive back in Las Cruces by the 30th of June, next day will be my birthday. And to all those we didn't get to see, time just slipped away.
It's raining AGAIN and I am full of chigger bites, memorances of Nashville.
Subject: Beatlick TR: All but the money
Date: Jun 7, 2009 2:34 PM
My little house looks so much better. Couldn't have done it without my sister and brother-in-law who got all the helpers. There is a new bathroom, the house has been pressure washed and sparkles, the sidewalk is fixed, the back porch repaired, the floors are beautiful, the kitchen sink has new drains and paper in the cupboards, and I have only the roof to go and that requires getting paid by the insurance company.
This has been my most discouraging hurdle and I can't help remembering my friend Dana admonishing me: Let's see how far the new pollyanna attitude (my words) will be serving you in a couple of weeks and believe me I am being tested.
The insurance company would have me believe that they mailed me a check twice, that it is lost in the mail, and that they routinely mail out thousands of dollars in checks without registering or tracking them.
I'm waiting on a check that was supposed to have been sent May 28. Then the agent tells me the check was returned to her office. Excuse me. I didn't return it. Did the post man put it in the wrong box? No way to know. She says she put it in the mail on Wednesday. By Saturday there is still no check and she mailed it from Nashville.
So now I am dealing with this stress, this kind of cancer creating stress that occurs when you are getting jacked around and have no recourse. I call Friday, no check, and she informs me she is going on vacation. She'll "red flag" my account and I can speak to the manager on Monday. This is Sunday and I have truly struggled to keep my composure over this when I believe this woman is insulting my intelligence.
So I am at an impasse for now. I won't even be able to oversee putting on the roof as I have my commitments back in Las Cruces. So here I sit. The house is ready, all but for the roof and siding, and no money.
Down but not out.
Subject: Beatlick Travel Report: The house rents!
Date: May 31, 2009 6:21 PM
Spending that time out on the Slabs in California taught me how to live without water. I needed that knowledge. Today for the first time in a month I took a bath in my own house and used the toilet! We have come such a long way and that poor plumber has suffered plenty right along with me.
I was the first one under the house, been under there at night in the dark with a flash light, daylight too, making SURE, seeing for myself what the situation is. There is so much to learn about the water. When you turn it off, turn off the water heater first, or you will burn up your water heater like I did. And when you turn it back on, the water I mean, do it gently. We had the toilet set, the sink ready to go, turned the crank on the water meter and blew out a pipe under the house. So it was three more days getting that fixed. I crawled under the house again and found the leak - discouraging - but we persevered.
I have worked hard to keep my good attitude and it has paid off. I have scrubbed every square inch of the house giving it all I've got, and waited, waited patiently. As I was cleaning the floors in my mother's room, one millimeter at a time, I heard some voices calling from the front door." Did you get my email?" my cousin Joan called. And there walked into my house the answer to my prayers. Joan is on my mailing list. She had brought her niece and my second cousin once removed, on my father's side of the family as we say here in the South, who is looking for a house. She loved my house, I loved her for loving it, and the for rent sign has been taken down!
I still have to get a roof on and get the aluminum siding fixed on one side, and then I can turn the keys over. The house will be let on July 1, my birthday. My father Howard Kennedy Adams, bought the house in 1949. My new tenant is a Kennedy, too. My sister and I cried in each other's arms thinking how happy it would make my mother to know a Kennedy is back on Kipling Drive. Actually my sister said my mother has probably orchestrated the whole scenario from heaven. Maybe so.
I hope to be back in Las Cruces for my doctor's appointment on June 23. It's hard to believe how this all has turned out. I really didn't worry that much, just keep trusting and keeping the faith, and doing all I can to expedite the situation. I couldn't have found a bottle with a genie in it to offer me free wishes and chosen a better couple to rent to. They have an English bull dog and the next door neighbors have an American bull dog. Maybe there will be some puppy love going on before long.
Subject: Beatlick TR: Nashville work continues
Date: May 23, 2009 6:14 PM
Deep in Nash country the work continues. I still wonder at the fact I am here and with so much work ahead of me. Little did I suspect that the work would be so great or that I would have thousands of insurance dollars to help me see it through. My little house has had a hysterectomy, the bathroom work continues. I didn't know to turn the hot water heater off when I shut off the water so I discovered yesterday that the hot water heater has been ruined. I casually mentioned it to my new old neighbor Joel who along with his wife has moved back into his house next door to me after eight years. It's hard to say who has the most work ahead of them, Joel or myself. His house was really trashed.
He was at my front door this morning to tell me he could fix my water heater. I didn't even know he was a heating and air conditioning technician. I just can't believe my luck. I bought two new elements for a few dollars and the system was back up and running within a few hours.
My sister and brother-in-law brought the woman who is redoing the bathroom floor over this morning. Yes a female and she has got an enviable tool belt I'm here to tell you. My sister helped her out last month so she has ripped out the toilet and sink and redone the bathroom floor for NOTHING. Can you believe this stuff? My brother-in-law has been beside her every step of the way, brought over the plumbers, and went to Home Depot for all the building materials. It is all so amazing.
As we work on the house the van is parked FEMA trailer style in the driveway and that is where we sleep at night. Every time I walk down the hill to the store I retrace the steps that I walked to elementary school. Yesterday evening I stood at the very place where my father's body flew out of his car and hit the ground when he was struck and killed by a truck driver in 1956.
This is some kind of accounting for me, it's traumatic and sad to see the house in this shape. This little plot of ground is all I have except for my van and the burial plot next to mama out at the cemetery. So I am trying to make things right, make mama proud. Like the bathroom. The problem there was that the big pipe where the toilet is supposed to be connected has been six inches too far below the floor, I guess for sixty years. Someone put something like a coffee can on top of the pipe and stuffed old newspapers and plastic bags around it to prop it up and then they set the toilet on top of all that.
Poor work, crap work, no wonder it never worked right all those years. I also found up there are four layers of shingles on the roof. Three is the legal limit. Again somebody took advantage of mama, did a poor job. I can see mama now out in the yard complaining, "I'm just a poor old widow woman."
So it is a long haul to get it all right and it is stressful to wait all this out but I believe I am doing it with a small degree of grace. I have learned and continue to learn if I just stay calm and believe in the best it is all going to work out. I'm going through something here, a mourning for the past, I can hardly find any distinguishing landmarks around the old neighborhood anymore. I'm not young anymore and time has moved on. Proust says all those memories where just little slivers of time, moments now lost.
I have a wonderful new world on the road to get back too and I am eager to begin, but not yet, not yet.