Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Waconda: Happy Anniversary!

The first week of June is a landmark for us. So many milestones have occurred lately!

  • It’s the one year anniversary of the date we signed a contract with Crest Homes to build our dream house. Based on current progress, this means it takes about 15 months to build a 1500-sq-ft rectangle. 
  • It marks the date that our construction loan matures. Based on current progress, this means we get to start paying a mortgage on a house in which we can’t live. 
  • It's the deadline to file for a principal residence tax exemption. Based on current progress, this means we get to pay a higher vacation home tax rate on a property on which we can’t vacation. 
So, obviously a celebration is in order. We plan to do something that evokes the proper level of merriment and joy, like getting root canals and then shaving the dog. 

And no celebration is complete without a guest book on site for all the creepers who think it's perfectly acceptable to walk around the house after the construction crew has gone home, even though No Trespassing signs are clearly posted. What really hacks me off is that at least two of the looky-loos have contacted our builder asking for quotes so he can build them a house just like ours. I really hope they ask us for a reference so we can encourage them to copy our over-budget, behind-schedule Castle in the Air.

To say I’m discouraged is an understatement. Our preciously short Michigan summers are slipping away, one lovely day after another, and yet the status quo is two-steps-forward, one-step-back. We are still only in the rough finish stage and very few of the mistakes have been corrected to our satisfaction. I'm to the point where I don’t even want to drive by the site because I can’t take any more bad news or disappointment. 

I am worried about the stress this places on Senior. He's resorted to the Squeaky Wheel strategy of making daily phone calls and emails, scrutinizing punch lists and cost sheets and asking countless questions to offset the whole team's lackadaisical attitudes and frustrating lack of urgency. He tries to balance the universe by also pointing out things done well, but it’s getting harder and harder to focus on the positive. 

We launched our boat a couple weeks ago. There is no place to relax on our shore, but we can float away for a while and imagine the future. It's just one way to make the best of the situation. One other way for me to cope is to take a hiatus from my Waconda blogs until we've finished the project. My attempts at wit and satire keep taking a sharp turn into bitter territory. I'll post a final update when the project is done and we've moved in.  Until then, some memories are better left… unremembered. 

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