Hello from Rainy, ... er ... Rocky Acres.
I apologize for letting this get so 'stale'. I've written a couple 'non-house' related things for inclusion here. A couple items on certain aspects of cycling, one on contemprorary culture, and one on the weather. We've been having a little weather here in the PNW this winter, I'm sure you have too.
I wanted to write about something other than the house because basicly it's a pretty down story and also because I don't want this to be JUST about us clawing our way back into our house. But the writing has not been very inspired, and I caught that nasty cold that has been going around, lots of coughing, sore throat and sinus effects, and some real doozies of sinus headaches. I'm over the hump on that but Mrs C is now sick. Great blog material eh? Calvacade of sickness.
But many of you have inquired; Are we OK? Hows the house coming? What's next? So I'll just give you a brief update on Rocky Acres and leave the others on the shelf for 'slow news day'.
The house was raised in a week of frantic activity, then there was a week of inactivity.
Have you ever been sitting at the RR Xing when the train comes along and slowly stops? Then backs up for a few minutes, then starts to roll again? If so, you know that sound as every one of the 122 cars bangs into each other, and you recall the time passing like molassas in January. Well, this house project is sort of like that, only no loud banging of train cars, and no slowing down, and slowly backing up, and then slowly rolling forward again.
Well actually this is not like that at all. More like that humming bird at the feeder, yeah thats the better metaphore. At one moment things seem to be standing still, then in the next moment it's a blur; things are happening so fast you almost expect dust to fly up. (well, not really, at least not here in January)
So after the week of inactivity the crew returned on Tuesday, the day after Martin's day and by Wednesday thay had completely finished all the framing around the foundation and the two long support walls under the house. Then Jeff-The-House-Moover-Guy returned and set the house back down, on the new pony walls. When I stopped by Thursday night I was a little dissappointed, it looked like not much had happened. Then I looked a little closer and realized the cribs had been dismantled and the steel beams were sitting on the lowbed trailer in the cul-de-sac! The house was now down where it will be for the rest of eternity!
Probably more significant to me than anything is: This is the first visible evidence that things are starting to look better. While I will agree that this is a long way from "pretty" we are now definately on the road to pretty.
Here are a few more shots from around the place, again, don't be suprised if these are not "Shockingly Different!" Day by day now things are going to happen that bring this place back to life, or at least bring us closer to our 'old' life. But you know, it's not going to be the same, it's never going to be the same. Maybe just as good, maybe even better, but certainly a little different. I think it is important to document the process, I am counting on it never looking like this again.
Another of the back of the house.
another of the garage
On other aspects we have been busy. We submitted all the documents required to close our SBA loan, while at the same time asking for an increase in the loan amount. We were told all along that SBA would increase the amount of their loan by 20% to allow funding for mitigation (in our case, the cost of raising the house) yet, when we go the loan docs ... no money for mitigation! While this only represents about 35% of the total cost of raising the house, in dollars, it's a BIG number and we could really use it.
Today, Friday, February 1st started with a meeting befor work at the house with the contractor. We went over a long list of things that I wanted to make sure we (he and us) agreed on. It was a great way to start the day. We talked about a few different alternatives to adressing the need for stairs at the three entrances to the house. He had some ideas and I presented him with some sketches done by my old friend who is an architect. I was immensely pleased to see that the two of them were thinking along similar lines. I was even more pleased that they both were thinking, because until I saw and heard what they had in mind I was at a loss as to how we could pull this off without drawing attention to the fact that this place has been 'altered'. I think we are going to end up with a pretty attractive house! What a psychological boost this gave us! I had not even gotten to work and I felt like I'd had some great achievement!
I realize that when the possibilities collide with the budget, I am most likely going to have to make some concessions that I may not like, but for the time being I'm happy in the notion that we have come round the dark side of the moon and every day brings us closer to a happy landing on our little part of the earth.
Later at work a friend remarked that she liked the Christmas lights, the welcome sign, and the cardboard snowman on the door that show up in the pics of the house. She said they were signs of hope. Funny, up till this moment the Christmas lights had been a particularly depressing element for me. I distinctly remember putting them up in a cold wind that was driving snow into my ears on the weekend, just a few days befor the flood. But today, I'm willing to accept the hope part.