A Charlie Brown Week

stone 0619
A box of rocks, located in front of our artificially-manufactured hill of fill dirt. It looks like it’s been there forever, doesn’t it?

Yesterday was the First Day of Summer, according to the most authentic source there is, Mother Earth, who hit her farthest tilt on her axis and is now pointing back down the other way. (Sorry, John and all the rest of you who lament the shortening of your days.)

So of course today’s forecast here in Gunnison is calling for the chance of snow showers. Yes, it’s true: we already had a little spat of rain, thus making the “80 percent chance of rain” 100 percent accurate, and the forecast for tonight calls for the temperature to drop to 33 degrees, with the possibility of rain and/or snow showers. Crested Butte may be getting snow in measurable quantity.

There is just nothing quite like summer in the Rocky Mountains.

I am reduced to talking about the weather yet once again because I have virtually no house report to offer.

[Your daily aside: I once had an editor who hated — and I can’t say that strongly enough — the word “virtually,” insisting it was meaningless. So one day we put it as his photo credit: “Photo virtually by Roger Morris.” He did not find it nearly as funny as the rest of us did.]

Since we are no longer in any sort of rush to finish by the fast-approaching end of June, it appears that we have been at least momentarily moved off Dusty’s A-list. Here’s how we can tell: Lynn took cookies out to the house and left them on Monday evening, I think — and they are still there. Ergo, no one has been working, if I may recklessly throw Latin around. Quid pro quo and all that.

All that she can see that has happened is the stone for the skirting of the house has arrived. I’m pretty sure this was the third week in June, when we were assured the stone-stucco guy would work his magic. Dumping boxes in the grass may constitute “work,” but it’s not really what I pictured.

It feels like other work could have been done. I don’t believe baseboards are in place, and there was a lot of discussion about closets but perhaps not much movement. Dusty was going to take a look at my mismeasured cabinets for the laundry/mud area, but I am just now realizing I got no report back. The deck material has been sitting in the yard for two weeks now.

But with the pressure off, apparently there’s no need to even show up to eat cookies.

We got the report on the kitchen cabinets: they are scheduled to ship the week of July 22, with arrival the week of July 29. Let’s pay attention to that “week,” which means cabinets could arrive as late as August 2 and still be “on time.” We are not going to be able to move in on Aug. 16 like we need to.

Dusty did say he had spoken to the electrician about the possibility of a partial inspection prior to then, which I gathered would allow us to put things in parts of the house, but he didn’t get much beyond a non-committal, “Ask me again in mid-July.” And since it could be mid-July before parts sitting around the house even begin to go on the house (aren’t prepositions fun?), I’m not sure how much we should hold this out as a likely option.

On the other hand, the people who have now probably become Project Foremost may be rejoicing, because their sunroom was supposed to have been started last year. As long as someone’s happy somewhere, I guess.

At the old homestead, we signed some papers and received — well, to be technical, the title company received — earnest money, but nothing really begins in earnest until Tuesday, when the inspector arrives.

That sounds ominous, hm? The Inspector. Although there’s always Inspector Gadget, and Inspector Clouseau. Who knows what sort of inspector arrives? Given all the unnecessary contention in this transaction, I’m expecting ominous. And it’s one thing to have ordinary people wandering through your for-sale house, passing judgment on it, but having it Inspected is an entirely different level.

We did tell our buyers “as is,” whether they heard that or not, but I just have the feeling their agent is going to try to whittle the price down some more. Or that the house we think is in pretty good shape has some major fault we’ve been overlooking. The first thing the buyers of the Dixon house did this spring (or winter extension) was tear up the entire backyard in something that seemed to have to do with the gas line.

I don’t have any idea about the gas line, but our sewer line is in much better shape than most here in the Palisades, since Lynn’s welcome-to-Gunnison gift 16 years ago was a collapsed line that got replaced with PVC pipe. Our siding, windows and insulation are great, but who knows? Only the Inspector. I’m so out of shape in this process, not having transacted a house since the early 1990s, that I don’t even know: do Lynn and I get a copy of the inspector’s report, or just a list of everything s/he found wrong? Or the buyers’ version of this list?

So here we sit, in limbo, with very little to report. Cookies have gone uneaten; the new yard is filling up with potential projects; the interior is untouched; and here at 15 Irwin a skunk strolled through the front yard the other night and let loose, fumigating the entire house despite only two windows being open a few inches each. With our luck, the skunk will be back Monday night, just prior to inspection.

Other than that, it’s just Charlie Brown’s Halloween: “All I got was a bunch of rocks.” Maybe covered with snow, to celebrate the arrival of summer.


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