Into every life some rain must fall.

The lazy days of summer begin as I finish the last painting project. It’s been a busy, productive summer. As I swipe the last paint on our new deck project I’m already planning my relaxing fall— reading books,lounging on the deck and enjoying walks with our dogs. just a few more pressure washing tasks, the car and the upper deck.

I attach the pressure washer and haul it up to the upstairs deck just off the bedrooms. I step on the deck. My first step reveals a spongy deck, odd. I look closer and notice a small tear. I phone John at work thinking it’s a quick fix though wanting him to have a heads up.

John arrives home and cuts away a small section revealing rot. He cuts away more revealing more rot, and a colony of carpenter ants who have burrowed into the joists creating paper where once there was sound wood. We cut away more to reveal joists that once were 2×8 reduced to less than 2×4’s with little integrity.

Just like a horror movie, each day we discover more involvement, rim joists and ledger boards lintels, studs and osb. The demolition easy as the nails that once held strong and the wood once sound crumbles in our hands. We discover mold that has snaked through the joists and moved on to other wood, the wall of our bedroom, the wall of our spare bedroom, our living room and kitchen wall.

We worked every night until dark, then fell into a fitful sleep, went to work, came home and repeated. On our good days we counted our blessings, that John is a Journeyman Carpenter and can do the work, that I’m not afraid of hard work, that we caught it when we did. Other days I sobbed, our beautiful home, no longer beautiful and unable to see the end. I looked at the worry and exhaustion etched on both our faces as the situation took its toll. We held each other tight.

We had no idea, though learn and piece the story together. When the house was built osb was put down for the deck, then plywood was put on top sealing its fate. The osb should never have been placed, the plywood only should have been placed directly over the joists. The moisture trapped, the deck never had a chance. Flashing was omitted at the beginning, adding more moisture, this was rectified but its addition created a tighter seal hiding the damage. We had no leaks in the 3 season porch beneath the deck. Our flooring looked rough by the doors to the deck easily explained by the cold North wind and snow piling up against the doors. Still, we saw nothing to give us a clue. Although we carry house insurance, we learn that nothing is covered and we are on our own.

The demolition complete, a good portion of our home lays on our driveway or in the landfill. The walls in the bedrooms removed and replaced, forcing us to the basement where we set up our bed. We begin the process of rebuilding, countless trips to the lumber yard buying lumber, insulation, typar, blue skin, railing, siding, doors and tiles at insane prices.

Still, We have been blessed with friends, family and strangers offering kindness. Our neighbor made us muffins for our coffee and a stew for our dinner the first weekend. Another neighbour helped to build one of many temporary walls needed as we tore out what was left of our supporting walls. Still another neighbor brought us a device so we would know whether an outlet was live—needed knowledge! He also offered to winterize our trailer taking this task off our to do list. A Home Depot clerk gave us a small discount. My sister brought us donut party donuts. Our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren arrive one Saturday when I was at my lowest with coffee, donuts and willing hands. Our youngest granddaughter filled bags with leaves and gave me a much needed makeover, complete with sparkly nail polish, a definite improvement. Our grandsons moved lumber, our son in law removed soffits, our daughter and myself loaded rotted wood on their toy hauler, then they took it to the dump. Our son in law’s brother worked here every day for three weeks. John’s work gave him two weeks off, as we raced against time to get it done before the snow arrives. John’s coworker also a Journeyman Carpenter came and worked refusing any pay. We are thankful and surrounded by generous souls.

Tomorrow the Insulators come followed by the Boarders, mudders, tapers and Electricians. We will continue with siding and outside trim, though will get some respite until it’s time to paint 5 rooms, install trim, doors and of course the mammoth task of cleaning. This too will pass.

Our dogs have brought us daily joy as they still need ear rubs, belly rubs and cuddles. Everyday we smile at their antics. They have adjusted to the few hundred square feet of home we have left and by example have taught us that together we are our home.

It’s not how we imagined our favourite time of the year. Still, everyday we have enjoyed the beauty of the changing colours, the transient ducks on the pond and the Geese nearly ready to fly south.

As our province is ravaged by covid and protests are seemingly everywhere, we have hunkered down at home where the din of the world is reduced to a whisper. We navigate our way through our own crisis, blessed to have skill, health, friends, family and love for each other. The memory I shall keep is the night we realized the scope of the project. My husband said to me, “you are the wife I always dreamed of, a true partner.” I know he is the husband I dreamed of marrying. He finds the joy, makes me laugh and holds me tight when I fall apart. Love always wins!

Published by

cherylsmit

Writing and photography are my first and second loves and thanks to technology I have the ability to share with a larger audience, including family and friends. Gone are the days of lugging around photo albums after a trip and of keeping a written journal of the experience that only I would view. The days of the handwritten letters are gone, but blogging provides a chance to share ideas, thoughts and photographs with a few mouse clicks and to receive instant feedback from around the world. It provides an opportunity to research a new place and to see that place through the eyes of a multitude of people each with their own unique way of viewing and experiencing the world. It opens the world wide and allows us a front row seat. Blogging connects us and creates a family of support. It provides an outlet and a chance to perfect the craft of writing and story telling. When I sit in my living room drinking my coffee and see that someone from another part of the world has read my words, and then I read theirs, the world is much smaller and more attainable. We are more alike than different as we share uniquely human experiences. Once I had a dream of becoming a Journalist, but somehow life got in the way. I currently have a fantastic career in healthcare and know that I have made a difference so I have no regrets. Still, I wonder if there is time to explore the road less travelled?

6 thoughts on “Into every life some rain must fall.”

  1. What a tragedy, comparable to ours. I wish you all the joy and strength necessary to continue with your life in you’renrenewed, beautifl home. We have such a warm memoty of your hospitality and you beautiful home. Thank goodness you have such wonderful family, friends, and collueges. Stay strong, happy and healthy. PS. you are a gifted writer and it never too late!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Cheryl. Am so glad that you have so many good people around to support what is a mammoth project. The right people at the right time. While the work is enormous to be able to pause and refresh yourselves with your beautiful surroundings hopefully rejuvenated you to know this too shall pass. Really enjoy your writing

    Like

  3. Hi Cheryl. Am so glad that you have so many good people around to support what is a mammoth project. The right people at the right time. While the work is enormous to be able to pause and refresh yourselves with your beautiful surroundings hopefully rejuvenated you to know this too shall pass. Really enjoy your writing

    Like

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