‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Friday, January 8, 2010

in which I become hysterical and Chris is the sensible one, for a change

Chris likes to complicate things. He likes to figure out innovative ways to accomplish otherwise simple tasks. If I ask for a garden sprinkler, for instance, he will suggest we put in a rainwater aqueduct with a saltwater condensation desalinizer as backup.

So when he noticed a crack in the wall of the basement, he started devising plans. Complicated plans. Some of them involved lifting the house off the foundation. Others entailed leveling the slope our house sits on. None were easy. He was absolutely convinced that big, complicated measures needed to be taken, stat.

Fortunately, we know about 40 general contractors/engineers/smart building-type people. They all told him not to worry. If the crack isn't growing, which it's not, there's nothing to be concerned about. Several years have gone by, and the house has not collapsed. The crack has not grown.

Recently, Chris started clearing out the basement. It's a big basement, with years and years and years of rubbish and years and years and years of treasures all intermingled like a lasagna. He's gotten rid of a lot of stuff and organized what's left. For the first time in forever, you can see the walls. And that's when I realized that our house is going to fall down.

The wall is not just cracked, it's bowing. You stand in the empty basement and have this feeling that the earth is going to push right through and squash you flat. And if the earth doesn't squash you flat, the wall will give out and the house will squash you flat. Either way, you're toast.

So I run screaming from the house, put my children in the chicken coop for safe keeping and ask Chris what are we going to do what are we going to do what are we going to dooooooo? How soon can we get a new foundation or pour a concrete retaining wall or just excavate everything and surround ourselves with concrete pillars? Can we build flying buttresses? And why are you just standing there, Chris?????

In the midst of all this, Chris has been working on sound design for the studio and has decided where some new walls should go. These include a weight-bearing wall that runs the length of the house. Which we now have.

The weight-bearing wall is earning its sound studio keep, as it's already quieted some hysterical screaming.

Now I just have to go bring the kids back inside.

And cancel the guy with the bulldozer.


Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Yes. This is where I tiptoe back out of the basement, close the door, and place duct tape over it so nobody can open it. Then I put a sign on the door with a skull and crossbones. We never speak of the basement again.


Kristin @ Going Country said...

This is so eerily familiar.

Except you didn't mention a decomposing rat. Good thing.

just making my way said...

I think you totally should build flying buttresses. That is definitely what Trout Towers needs!!

Janine@Shelf Life said...

When I moved into my first house with husband number 1, I had a nightmare in which I watched a crack start at the top of the wall in the living room and move down to the floor getting wider and deeper and scarier as it went.

Not sure why I'm telling you this except perhaps to confirm the advice that cracks need to be watched carefully.

All Adither said...

My husband is the same way. Except only with finances. He has to manipulate every purchase to be a complicated acrobatic feat. But hey, we save two bucks.

for a different kind of girl said...

I should probably kick my plans for home organization into high gear to see what kind of shape this slap-dash house we live in is in, because if I wait for my husband to do this magical organization thing you speak of, all you'll see sticking out from the corners of my collapsed house are my feet.

Zip n Tizzy said...

Wow he whipped one up just like that?!
I'm still trying to finish painting my kitchen!

I'm glad he's put you at ease. We all have cracks out here, but we just chalk it up to little earthquakes.
Or not so little as the case may be.

Susan said...

Nothing happens quickly around here, normally. I have no idea what's going on. Yes, just like that, we have a wall.

Aliens have taken my husband and I'm kind of digging the replacement. If he turns out to be a zombie who's nibbling my brains when I sleep, so be it.

Laggin said...

Wow. Once the city cracked by basement when they ran a huge-ass earthmover right next to my house to put in a storm sewer.

But I...the lawyer part of me...had great fun with that one. My basement is fixed AND we got in ground sprinklers with the settlement money. Stoopid city.

Carolyn...Online said...

I didn't realize we were married to the same man. Scott manages to make everything as complicated as possible. It's a rare gift.

soccermom said...

Sounds like you have an "anal engineer" there. Good luck to you.
Nothing is ever simple with them.

JAbel said...

Okay you got me going. Why is it that basements and attics are always the evil places in movies and on Tv.I've had some really good times in basements and attics.In my own memory of family the kitchen or the "family" room was usually where the angst,anguish and over the top events took place.Just think of that poor basement wall putting up with all that weight.

Laggin said...

I talked about you today over at the House.