We lost our wingman today. After flying halfway across the world on his own dime to enlist in pay-to-play slave labor, Scotty departed our boot camp to go back to Alaska to run his business. It’s a sad day for us, not just because we’re now a ship without a captain, but because we’re missing a critical member of our family. What Scotty did for us was arguably one of the kindest acts of charity in the history of redneck fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants home improvement.
I dropped our fearless leader at T.F. Green International Airport, wiped away some tears, pulled myself together, and steered our borrowed Mercedes Benz south on I-95. I had some precious cargo in the back seat. Unfortunately, the item we purchased on-line at Home Depot this winter and had delivered to 91 High Street for immediate installation…was the wrong size. Shocking. The good folks at Home Depot delivered the wrong toilet. After vowing to never return, I found myself once again in the land of Orange Aprons.
I swallowed my pride, as I do 17 times each day for various reasons, loaded up my Bold Kohler, and wheeled the odd sized commode into the evil box store. There was some discussion because of my failure to produce a legit receipt, and I ended up exchanging the plastic wrapped toilet for $119 in store credit. Shit. I was now embroiled in a serious moral dilemma. Do I burn the gift card in front of as many Orange Apron adversaries as possible while proselytizing the value of buying local, or suck it up and use the money. Because, you know…I’m going ridiculously broke trying to fix this stupid house.
I caved. I used the money. I felt dirty and used. I thought about taking a shower when I got back to our dismantled plastic lined dumpster decorated home, but I didn’t. There was too much work to do. Our tenants came by tonight for a final walk through. It was all I could do to not explain in detail what utility soap, water, and Brillo Pads served. But I held it in. These are people who lived for years with shrubbery growing through windows. They lasted 36 months without cleaning the stovetop or the shower. God help them in their new home.
We now have their keys. We bought them out of the last week of their lease and I am writing this story from my beloved antique trestle table in the dining room. We don’t have counter tops, but we made a killer tri tip and scallop surf and turf dinner on a new Weber gas grill. We had it delivered. As it turns out, here in Rhode Island you can have damn near anything delivered right to your doorstep.
This has been a dangerous revelation for us. I have to preface this by saying that I live in Girdwood, Alaska. Nothing gets delivered in Girdwood, Alaska. Ever. You can’t get a plumber, you can’t get an electrician, and it takes a herculean effort to sometimes get your mail. Amazon? No fu*#ing way. We had to repair our roof a few years back and the roofing guy in Anchorage tried to talk me through how to do it myself rather than make the 45-minute trip down the Seward Highway to make 2500 bucks. I wish I were joking.
We have now turned home delivery into a sport. I catch Diana ordering random shit on her phone just to see how quickly UPS can get it here. Two days. This is the average. We could walk one block to get a nine-volt battery, but we order it on-line for delivery because it’s such a novelty. Seriously, after twenty years of living in small town Alaska, it’s a rush to have a truck show up in front of your home to graciously present a brown package of anything.
Tomorrow the floor guy shows up. We didn’t order him on-line, but come the weekend we’ll have killer refinished and repaired 131-year-old original wood floors. The granite counter tops are supposed to be installed on August 1st. It’s going to kill me that I’m on a flight August 3rd and have to turn over a home nicer than the one I live in full time to some other asshole who might destroy it again. We’re on the fence about renting it. It’s paid for, yes…but these repairs aren’t cheap. On one hand we need the revenue, on the other hand we love this place and selfishly want to be the ones to wreck it first.
It’s been a couple days since my last blog post. Apologies to my fan. Whoever you are. We had a big night in Boston and an early morning train to resume work-hell in the land of no internet. As for Sunday night…I won’t rub it in, but the Foo Fighters were mind blowing. Kéa’s first-ever real rock concert. It’ll be a tough act to follow.
They played for over three hours, broke into a Queen-Bowie cover of Under Pressure, and brought Joe Walsh (JOE EFF-ING WALSH!) of the Eagles on stage to play Rocky Mountain Way. Dave Grohl, former drummer for Nirvana, learned to scream from the best. On Sunday night he sounded better than Kurt Cobain ever did. Had we neglected to attend that show, I would never be able to look myself in the mirror again. To share that experience with my daughter, who is actually a Foo Fighter fan, was something I’ll never ever forget.