Watchin’ and Waitin’

clock1218When I was in college, one of my professors wanted to meet individually with everyone in the class to discuss term papers we would be writing. I went to his office one day and sat with about four other students, waiting as each took their turn and the day grew longer and longer.

It got to the point where I debated leaving, but then I kept thinking about the time I’d invested in the wait, and I just kept sitting, debating leaving versus time already invested, still waiting. The professor finally finished up with the student before me, and came out of his office, tired and obviously ready to go home. He caught sight of me. “You must have the patience of Job,” he sighed, and postponed his trip home to meet with me.

Would we tell a story like this about Lynn? Well, no.

So when the status of the foundation on our lot goes unchanged for three days, she gets a little antsy. When three days slide into a week, she starts wondering out loud what the next step is and when it’s going to happen. On Day Eight, she can’t stand it any longer and sends e-mails to our contractor. I will say this: at least her impatience gets us information.

I’m easier to find at work, so Dusty stopped in yesterday to provide a timetable and a list of What Comes Next.  First on that list: Wait for the excavator to return from Hawaii.

It probably made sense for someone who digs dirt to make vacation plans for December, but he didn’t consult Lynn, who may have to go another entire week before any action resumes on her lot. There’s one process that needs to take place before that, which is the finalization of the temporary electric, but that’s not terribly glamorous.

It doesn’t actually sound like most of the next several steps are going to be glamorous or perhaps even photo-worthy. (Photojournalists are going to have to step up their game.)

Temporary electric goes on what will Someday be the south wall of the garage. The backhoe, its driver refreshed and surely ready to dig in subzero temps with tropical beaches tucked safely behind his eyelids, will put the piles of dirt back into the trenches around the foundation. Construction-grade fill goes into the space that will be the garage.

Somewhere in here the foundation gets insulated inside and out with blueboard (is that a brand name?) The foundation interior, the crawlspace, will be shoveled free of snow, and will be prepped for a liner and radon mitigation.

Then the concrete guy comes back. I think Dusty said he pours the garage floor, along with the holes that will hold support posts for the east edge of the garage roof. The roof is going to come over a sidewalk (which won’t be poured until the spring) leading to the front door like a sideways porch.

Then — and only then — does the floor go on and framing commences. Do you want to guess what Lynn’s reaction was when I told her when framing takes place? “JANUARY?” she despaired.

I believe I’ve mentioned that two other houses are also currently under construction in Riverwalk. Both of them belong to folks moving to Gunnison to be closer to grandchildren (oh, and maybe children, but who cares about them). One of these houses is a couple months ahead of ours; the other a week or two.

The one that looks like a house (as opposed to a hole in the ground) hasn’t shown much external change in at least two weeks. Dusty warned us that the process works this way: there’s a spell where it seems like nothing is happening, and then something dramatic like framing transforms the project rapidly — only to go back to a period where progress to the untrained eye seems non-existent.

Several times along the way I have warned Dusty, as he’s busy counseling patience, that at least one of us doesn’t even begin to understand that word. (Guess which one of us already has drawer pulls picked out? And which of us has resisted making a decision about anything?) It seems Dusty thinks the process might serve as teacher for this lesson of patience. I think Dusty’s delusional.

And you, Dear Reader: if you are tuning in strictly for the Updating o’ the House, you too may have to practice patience. It could be awhile before I have much else to report.

And now, a word about the weather: our 20% chance of snow turned into certainty again overnight, and now the clouds are in their Clash phase: should they stay or should they go? I have no idea if it’s a consolation to the rest of us that it’s rainy and cloudy in Hawaii.

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