Eric Bartl 2:37 p.m., July 23
- Community Blog
Deer in the Headlights
Frozen. In Limbo. Unfocused. A little bit scared, but not really. A flood. My house. Nothing like Sandy, but still traumatic. They "saved" the carpet. Right. My laminate is history as well as the kick boards in my kitchen, and the bottom 12 inches of drywall throughout the downstairs.
Vulnerable. The flood guys and the insurance guys and the claims adjusters all know each other. Unfortunately I'm on the other side of the friendships. I'm the one who ends up paying for their fancy trucks. They are so polite, but with eyes that can't see the trauma of the homeowner.
Homeowner. Sort of. Just realized as long as there is a mortgage company you aren't really a homeowner. Finally got the check, less than expected. Then I had to pay to send it to my mortgage company to endorse it, before I can start work. Once they finish their process they mail it back to me pony express, and then the bank sits on it for a while to make their profit off my loss.
It's two days after Thanksgiving. I am thankful I have a roof over my head, a 12 year old car that passed smog, and the dogs seem to be relatively healthy. I'm far from starving. It will all get done.
Change. I have to change the way I live. The habits of a lifetime, over 6 decades of pretending there is no bill at the end of a great meal. Unless I find a way to cut my living expenses, I'm going to be living in a 20 year old car at 72. Not a pretty thought.
I have several friends who have recently told me "this is not the way I thought my life would turn out", and I guess that thought is in the back of my mind, but I haven't really expressed it, except as a joke. I'm not unhappy, Im relatively healthy, I'm employed, for now.
I did move things around yesterday. Pulled the paint out of the corner of all my things sitting in the garage waiting for the construction to begin, and to be over. I'm going to try to pull down all the picture hooks, light switch plates, end towell racks so I don't have to pay someone to do something that simple.
The flood guys left the top trim on every door, and if it was in a difficult place, they left it as is. I'm going to try to pull that trim out also, it's stupid and will have to be replaced along with the base boards and the flooring. First insulation and drywall, then paint, then flooring, then cleaning, then moving back in. I'm thinking February until my life returns to some semblance of what it was before the flood. You know, the holidays.
It could be worse. But for right now, I feel a little bit like a deer in the headlights. Blinded and frozen in time.