For a period of time, my mom and stepdad moved a lot. From Gunnison to Fort Collins back to Gunnison to Montrose to Santa Fe to Pueblo West. There they stopped for several years as John finished out his career with the U.S. Forest Service, but eventually they moved one more time, to their current house in Arvada. After nearly every one of these moves, my mom would announce, “We’re never moving again.”
Well, let’s just see how far this little apple has fallen: I am never moving again.
Mostly because I am never going to be finished with this move. A year in, and it turns out there is still a garage-worth’s of boxes to be unpacked, shelves to be organized, furniture to be arranged, filing cabinets to sort . . . and the world for whatever reason is not stopping to let me do this, so there are everyday chores, and fixes, and seasonal preparations. And work. And sleep.
So while I pack and jam and cram my weekends with household activity, I never make it through my list, and my list is never adequate anyway. Every weekend forward feels like about 10 in falling behind.
The one just past was particularly exhausting, rather than triumphal as I envisioned telling it to you yesterday. (No time! Move on!) Lynn and I now have a garage loft, holding numerous boxes. Solar tubes have been repaired; water filters changed; and there’s a new bookcase in the guest room, although shelves for it still need to be clear-coated.
This ought to be good, right? Progress? But all those boxes went into the new loft and the bookcase moved out of the garage — and there still is no room for Lynn’s car.
I am laying some of the blame for this at the feet of the Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League. That’s right, you heard me: dang animal lovers, not doing their part. Their part being an annual “flea market” (get it?) fund-raiser sale, which didn’t happen this year because GVAWL seemed to think a pandemic was taking place. I’m not sure how they justify the need for safety over my need to get crap out of my garage, but that’s what they did.
At least all of the Christmas stuff has a new home in its motorized loft. Branden, owner of my makers’ space, designed and fabricated it, and he, his business partner and their college intern arrived first thing Saturday to install it. It was Branden’s first attempt at a motorized loft, which lowers to the floor with a push of a button and then raises and locks into place.
No ladder required, which is good, because I thought my knees might give out by the end of the day, going up and down from our attic.
Let’s just talk about this attic. When Dusty was building this house, I wanted to see all of it including the crawl space and the attic. But he didn’t seem to want me in either location, and I never saw either of them “in progress.” Now I am well acquainted with the crawlspace, so well acquainted with its hardship to my knees that I have hired neighbor kids to come over monthly and read the flow meter for me.
But I hadn’t made it to the attic. Several months ago, when I realized my solar tube wasn’t tubing solar into the bathroom, I tried inspecting the tube from the bathroom counter. I attempted a foray to the roof, although that ended in failure. Then I saw Dusty outside my shop, and he said the problem was most likely in the attic, which for some reason wasn’t any place I had even considered as a potential source of the problem.
He said he would come take a look at it, “in the fall,” which was as good as saying “never.” I determined to go into the attic and take a look myself, but logistics proved to be more of the equation than expected.
It turns out, 10 feet is a long way from the ground, and while I thought my Little Giant was up to the task, it can only get someone high enough to push up the drywall opening into the attic. Sort of: the collar around the attic must be two feet high, so that’s how far up you have to push the piece of drywall, while standing at the very top of your sturdy Little Giant.
Branden did that Saturday, then boosted himself up into the attic. I successfully argued for swapping out ladders, and we put the extension ladder up, now that it had the attic to lean against.
Extension ladder in place, I went up for my first view of our attic. (A good photojournalist would have brought a camera, but that all relies on the adjective “good.”) It’s very tall, the part above the garage, and the floor is covered in enough blown cellulose that one could (and did) lose a drill in it.
The attic was also flooded with light. There is a lamp wired just above the access point, but the region above my bathroom was bathed in sunlight — clearly showing the point of separation in the solar tube.
It had been badly taped together with that silver tape one uses for dryer ducting, and the weight had pulled it down. The tube into Lynn’s kitchen also had separated, which explains the abundance of moths cluttering up the diffuser plate. Half a roll of yellow duct tape later, Branden and I hopefully have both tubes back together and I won’t have to wait for “fall” for someone to never come repair them.
While all this activity was taking place in and above the garage, Lynn was watering her flowers outside, and our pipes were squealing. Our pipes have been singing like humpbacks for about a week now; Lynn’s theory was that our sediment filter might need changing.
So after Branden packed up and left for the day (a couple small items need to be adjusted, so he’ll be back — I’ll have to find more home repairs for him in the meantime), I went down into the crawlspace, past the two railings that I installed as the start of my stairs/ladder down there and extracted a filter that said it was good for six months or 10,000 gallons.
It had been seven months and 24,000 gallons, and the minute the new one went into place the humpbacks quieted, swimming off until their eventual return six, seven months from now.
So I surveyed the entire house this weekend, top to bottom, and for the moment all seems to be in better shape. But household bills did not get paid; boxes did not get unpacked; shelves still need to be installed in the bookcase; and we have to find room for everything that’s spread out on the deck now but needs a more secure winter home.
I guess I know what I’m doing next weekend.