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Making a House a Home

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Our house arrived on schedule and we are in the process of turning it into a home. Even when the house arrives fully constructed there is so much to be done to make it a home. I watched in fascination as the house was leveled and tied down to its foundation. Being a do-it-yourself kind of guy, I then set about hooking up the water, sewer and electric. To a specialist, these things go quickly. For me, they take somewhat longer. Not content to simply hook up water to the house, I planned a remote line to the front yard. Knowing that I will put in a tankless water heater and a solar hot water pre-heater I put in plumbing connections for a water softener to protect the water heating equipment. Each connection has its own master shut off so that any one can be shut off without turning off all the water to the house. Thus I can work on future additions without disrupting the water for showers or laundry.

Electric connections are similar. An additional panel will accommodate the power loads of the motor home and the tankless water heater. A junction box provides access to the incoming line so that when it comes time for the additional panel the work will be easier and faster. The work could have gone faster but would have taken longer in the future and would have caused greater inconvenience. This was written on May 8.

Picking up where I left off with this message, now a month later, we are living in the house. The whole process has been an extraordinary adventure. After getting the house up and running, there was a furniture delivery, then a concrete pour for a room addition. That pour like the first was delayed by the weather until I finally made the call and told the concrete contractor to go ahead a pour despite the forecast for rain. We got a two minute sprinkle just as they were finishing up the concrete. Nerves were on edge but everything turned out fine. The third and final concrete pour was for the driveway and was done while we were in Missouri for my son's wedding. True to form, it was scheduled to be done before we left but it rained again and we had to postpone. It was almost a week before the work could continue.

About the time we arrived in Missouri for the wedding my computer just about died. The tech that diagnosed it said he didn't know why it was still running. Despite that, they installed a new hard drive with about 1.5 x the capacity of the old one. They installed most of my software, just a few things I'm still working on. I got the computer back last week just in time to return to Texas.

Our return to Texas was uneventful. We rented a 5x8 foot U-Haul trailer and loaded all our possessions (other than the stuff in the motor home). We had a few things in the Trailblazer but all in all, I thought it was a pretty lean existence. Two days of hard driving and we were at Sandpipers Resort ready to go to work on the room addition.

In the meantime, my mother fell and broke a bone in her leg. At 87, she is slow to recover. Right now she is in a rehabilitation facility and we, my brother and sisters are dealing with life changing decisions for her. Some of us think her days of living alone in her home are at an end. This fall was unnoticed for about 10 hours and she was dehydrated and hypothermic when she arrived in the emergency room. I stayed in Missouri until she was safely in rehab and hope to complete work on the house before she leaves the rehab facility. It looks like I'll make it, they told her 6 to 8 weeks. Now if the rain would just stop so we could get to work on the room addition. Thunderstorms this afternoon brought a halt to all work. The forecast is the same for tomorrow.

At any rate, it is good to be back on board! The motor home is safely parked in my daughters driveway in Missouri and we are living in our stick house for the first time in almost 9 years. Can't wait to get back to the motor home! Will we hit the road at all this summer? I sure hope so but it looks like slim pickins (not the actor) this summer.

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