my neighbor/handyman

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Showed up here late yesterday afternoon. He was going to fix the broken front door again, the one that has been broken since we bought it in 2005. It had not been SO broken I couldn't stand it for the couple years I was supposed to inhabit this place. It was old and decrepit at that time, but the former owner had slapped some paint on it and put in new rugs, generally bubble gummed the place into a semi-state of not completely awful, to sell it.

It's now 17 years later. Steve's been here a million times to "fix" things that have died, patch things that were causing rot, generally handy the place with lots more bubble gum over the those years. He's "fixed" that door something like three times already. It stays "fixed" for a few days and then starts its slide back to totally not fixed. It's a glass door, framed in aluminum, where one of the panes slides up to let air in through the screen.

I have to leave it open, even in winter, because it leads into the mud room that opens on the other end to my real front door. The mud room roof has gone concave over the last fifty years and so retains a large puddle well after every rain, and in the winter, is almost never not a puddle, even when it's not raining anymore, unless the sun comes out for long enough.

That puddle keeps it raining in my mud room for up to a week after it's not raining outside anymore.

Point is: Your mud room is not a mud room in the sense mine is. Yours is for divesting yourself of your muddy and/or wet stuff when you come into your house. Mine is for getting muddy on your way out. It's SO wet in there that the most spectacular molds grow in it, even though I keep the door window open and the window window open enough to keep good air flow through it.

It just got done raining here for about ten days straight and the mudroom was sopping until the sun came out for three days and stayed that way for 90% of the day all three. This means it's almost completely dry in the mud room just now. So Steve tells me he's just here for a minute to remind himself of what he needs to repair the door so he can bring the right tools to fix it. I remind him he wanted to take my dead bed mattress and box spring out of there, too, before they are too soggy and moldy to be removed without protective gear.

No problem. He says he'll throw them over the fence into his yard and haul them off next dumps trip.

For some years, I have been collecting up small boxes for when I will finally be moving out of here. My upper body strength has sucked — planets — since my horse kicked me in the head when I was twelve, but even more seriously now I'm old and they had to bolt my head back on 17 years ago. So I knew my moving boxes couldn't weigh very much or I'd be helpless in the packing my house department.

The box collection has gotten to where it takes up half of two rooms and I have realized that I can't handle it myself, even with small boxes now, so Steve wants to relieve me of my useless boxes, too. So he told me to move my boxes into the mud room while he went home to get his tools. He'd throw those over the fence too. So, silly me, I did. I put my pants on and "quickly" got the boxes out of my living space and into the mudroom. Thought, gee, I better not cause a fire in here until we can clear the boxes. It'll only be an hour at most. I'll probably live. I'm even a little wiped from moving my empty boxes. I'll just sit down now and recharge.

My mud room is filled with completely dead bed and cardboard right now. Later last night, when it began to get dark, I went out and started throwing the boxes further from my door and piling them higher because I need to be able to get in and out of my house. Steve is very nice. He's very competent. He's just NEVER here when he says he will be. If it rains again before he comes back, I am SO fucked.

pipe up any time....