Tuesday, November 29, 2005
At 6AM, my father demanded to get up for his regular morning TV regimen. However, there was a problem in that his TV was now surrounded by four large, snoring men who probably wouldn't take kindly to being rolled over by an old guy in a wheelchair. I tried explaining the situation to my father, but he insisted on going into the living room. Thankfully, we had an old black-and-white portable in the garage, which I retrieved and set up in the back bedroom...placating my father but making it impossible for my mother and me to get much more sleep.
Interestingly, I did hear a news report that explaining the shortage of workers in the area. Pretty much every store and restaurant had a help wanted sign out front. Although the reporter gave no source for his information, he said that the low-wage workers were on "vacation" drawing unemployment. "They'll be back when the unemployment runs out."
The movers arrived on-time around 8AM as the roofers were rising for the start of their workday. Suddenly the peace of our little home was shattered by the presence of nine burly men performing various acts of physical labor. As the roof was coming off, the furniture and boxes were going the door. The movers completed their task in around three hours and drove off into the sunrise.
Meanwhile, we discovered that our shingles were old and inadequately installed. Each shingle had only three nails instead of four and they appeared to be 20-year shingles rather than the more durable 30-year shingles. If we had gotten the roof replaced before the storm, perhaps the shingles wouldn't have blown off and they'd still be living there today. But there wasn't much we could do about that now.
Special mention should go to our old piano. In keeping with their habit of trying to do things on the cheap, in 1974 they purchased an old player piano (without the player mechanism) replaced the ivory and refinished the cabinet to give me an instrument to learn on. However, the age of the piano led to early development of a number of dead keys. Plus, it always sounded a bit like a player piano even when played by a human. I hated piano lessons and stopped playing after a couple of years (Despite my love for music, I always hated someone telling me how to make it). 30 years later, the piano's a wreck and it took all five grunting men to get it out of the old house and into the new one. Mommas...when in the market for a piano, I say go digital. They're cheaper, sound alot better, have better action (at least the good ones), never require tuning, take up less space, and when your kid loses interest, you can sell it quick and move it out with a small dolly.
Our old home was now quite empty and ready for the impending remedial demolition. My parents said goodbye to some old friends and we drove off into a new town and a new life.
Next: Wednesday, November 30, 2005
If we don't figure out how to change human behavior toward sustainability, we're basically screwed, I think is the technical term. (Paul Ehrlich)