Friday, June 13, 2008

Working Vacation

My daughter's marriage ended last fall. She put the down payment on the house nine years ago, had the loan in her name only and made most of the payments. In the end she retained the house that had been neglected in recent years due to mismanagement of funds and irresponsibility mainly by one party to the marriage. One pane of a double pane window was broken, another sash was separating, the roof leaked, a downspout had come loose and was removed, a frost-free faucet had frozen and split and there were other problems, several other problems. The major problem was a leak that had damaged the floor behind the washer.

Months ago I promised two weeks to repair these items. Repair of the roof leak was simple but irritating. Two of four vents had been installed incorrectly when the house was constructed. For nine years water had been flowing off the bottom of two vents underneatth the shingles. Fortunately the building paper beneath the shingles had protected the sheeting until recently. There was no decay and no mold. Amazing!

Several of the other items took a few minutes to a few hours to replace or repair. A section of flooring had to be replaced in the utility room and was the most expensive and time consuming. Luckily, when I cut out the flooring I was directly above the water line to the external faucet that had frozen. It made replacement of the faucet a simple task.

Has this been a vacation? Definitely. A vacation isn't necessarily about travel, recreation and relaxation. I always enjoyed being a father. Teaching, training, helping, guiding and offering encouragement were always rewarding. I've enjoyed making the repairs and I've enjoyed working with my grandsons. The first task I began was replacing the batteries in the smoke detectors. I did the first and showed my oldest grandson. He replaced the next one. I took him to the roof and explained the cause of the leaks and he helped fix them. One morning after a few days I called him outside. As he walked to the door he said to Julie "I guess I'm going to learn something new." Right he was!

For the last few months I've been tempted to write a article entitled "In Praise of Divorce". There are no winners in a divorce, only losers. However, in some cases a divorce is the best decision. Last fall I sent my daughter a few hundred dollars, part of one month's payment, to prevent the house payment from becoming 90 days past due. In the last nine months she has caught up on all debts, has money in her checking account and has opened a new savings account with regular monthly deposits. Not bad considering she initally thought she wouldn't have enough income to keep the house.

Yes, sometimes a divorce is a good thing and sometimes manual labor is a vacation

But, always it's good to teach and train; always it's good to watch young teenagers; always it's good to share life with a wife who helps graciously.

It's been a good vacation.

(I'm in a public library and cannot get FTP to connect to upload photos. Tomorrow, hopefully.)


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I'm sure you're a handy father and grandfather to have around. Nice too.

6/13/2008 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Hodgens said...

Lessons learned, helping hands and new beginnings. All things considered, not that bad, not that bad at all.

6/13/2008 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Good post, Paul.

6/13/2008 05:34:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home