Snappy Decisions

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Deck frame awaiting a surface decision. Note the limited signs of spring on the trees in the background. Late May. huh?

Do you know how many people have told Lynn and I, during this house-building process, about how building a house leads to divorce? Well, I don’t have an exact head-count either, but it’s been a lot. A lot.

No, I don’t have any startling announcement to make, but I would say the tension is at last rising in our household. It’s not really disagreements, because we’ve generally been in sync, aided also by almost diametrically opposite interests in the house. I care about the crawlspace; she cares about the living space; I have plans for the laundry room, she has them for the kitchen; we each have our own bathroom . . so far everything’s gone reasonably well, without a single hint of divorce.

While not in the home stretch, we may be approaching the back turn (on the far side of the track), and we are feeling the pressure ramp up. Decisions, like the deck, that sounded relatively easy (pick a color) become more convoluted, and the internet is probably more of a hindrance than a help.

Other times we don’t feel like we have enough information (pricing would always be helpful, and rarely seems readily available) to make a good decision, and this week in particular there seems to be an absolute onslaught of decisions to be made. In a huge hurry. The one that is frustrating Lynn the most is cabinetry. She did ask and ask Dusty when to look into this, and he kept pushing it away. And now he wants instant answers. Lynn would like prices.

And, in a tariff-happy country, it feels like sooner rather than later would be a good time to buy commodities, like appliances, that could be impacted. Here in the t-shirt world — and I didn’t actually think any of our shirts were made in China — prices shot up 13 percent last week, after an increase earlier this year. We are passing it along (without further mark-up) to our customers, so why not appliances?

In the midst of being bombarded by a slew of decisions, we are still trying to feel our way through what ought to be prime house-selling time in Gunnison. Gunnison jobs skew heavily to a summer transition — lots of education, and an assortment of seasonal occupations, so people start coming and going around mid-May.

So then we try to determine why people aren’t looking at our house, or what else we should do, or when we are ever going to find time to move more clutter, and where exactly is the clutter going? We still have room in our storage shed, but it’s the size of a one-car garage. We had thought we could perhaps store things in our Some Day garage, but so far it’s still cluttered with construction projects.

And when, exactly, are we moving? How much money will we get from the sale of the house? How much is the new house going to cost when we keep going over some really tight allowances?

All this is causing some stress, and I noticed this yesterday when Lynn and I were saying pretty much the same things about the same topics to each other, but in rather peevish tones. Several times yesterday Lynn said, “I feel like I’m going in a thousand directions at once.” Because on top of all this, there is still quotidian life with all its questions — what are we fixing for dinner, is it going to rain or can I charge the truck battery so it will be ready for work, how much work goes into the flower beds this year . . . it feels like a lot.

But today is a new day, and a few things have resolved, so maybe stress levels can drop a bit. We promised Dusty a deck decision last night, and didn’t get there. I was looking at the Trex site, the Evergrain site, and a Real Cedar site, each touting their virtues and their green-ness. One of the composite sites promised that a 500-square-foot deck of theirs will contain 140,000 plastic shopping bags. Diverted for now from the landfill, but still liable to be with us forever.

Yesterday I quizzed my chiropractor, who two years ago replaced his wood deck at home with Evergrain. Then this morning, my bicycle race chat room made my decision. One man posted a picture of himself and his dog standing on a very nicely-shaped deck (with a graceful curve on the end), but the first thing I thought was, “That needs a new coat of stain.” And my decision was made.

My decision was buttressed in the Alley of Tracys, where I said “hi” to Traci Miller of Miller Furniture and then was hailed by Tracy Leonard, my Some Day HOA president. He noted he was seeing signs of a deck, and when I said we were going with Trex, he said that’s what he has, and he loves it. So, whew. Decision made and done.

Lynn went to True Value yesterday afternoon to revisit appliances with Mike, the proprietor, and if we order Maytag (rather than high-end Kitchen-Aide) appliances by June 5, we can get up to a $700 rebate from Maytag. (And be much closer to our appliance allowance.) For all you big-box fans out there, the price he quoted me on a washer was higher than the price I found at Best Buy — by one penny.

Cabinet decisions have been pushed to a meeting of all the minds at one time (Dusty, Jennifer of the cabinet store, and us) next Tuesday, which may be when carpet decisions (it’s right next door to the cabinets) get made as well.

Contact has been made, by Dusty, with the stucco guy, who thought he might get to our house the third week in June, and with the concrete guy, who still has to pour our front walk and an apron in front of the garage. He’s “in the weeds,” Dusty reported, adding that he Dusty would set up the forms to cut down on Justin’s workload. The garage door guy might also put in an appearance, but I gather everyone has more work to do than time or labor to do it.

Despite all that, Dusty is still trying to get us into the new house by the end of June. I don’t really believe it, and that is when Pat’s Screen Printing is at its very busiest, so I don’t think I’d mind if it waited a couple more weeks.

And, just as we were fretting that no one wants to look at our house, we got two showing requests, one this morning during my prime blogging time, and one Monday afternoon. That brings up an assortment of logistical points, but at least we aren’t going to be the only for-sale house in Gunnison no one wants to look at.

So. No divorce for now, decisions seem to be made (although I still don’t know: top-load or front-load washing machine? I have to decide by June 5) enough to get us through the weekend. I made it out of the house before the showing this morning, although I am still late for work even while I’m at it. Some things are a constant, even in a swirl of decisions.

Check this out! Solar panels! (With more to come.) I had no idea they were arriving so soon. They’re also made out of petroleum products, just like our deck-to-be. Kermit said it best: it’s not easy being green.

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