Monday, March 30, 2009

Mi tormenta

It all happened so fast. I was in the rectory; this priest came in and the next thing I know…
Wait, that’s a whole other story. It all happened so fast. I was in Madrid, then I was home, and two days later I was in Madrid again. It was awesome.

We are planning on having some work done on my house this spring. We spoke to three different contractors before finally settling on “The Kid.” The first was an older guy who didn’t do email, didn’t know a thing about computers, didn’t know drafting, but had a good reputation. He had some good ideas but put us off in a couple of ways.

“I can’t picture what you’re describing for this room; can you draw it out for us?” We give him a pencil and a sheet of paper. He makes a rough sketch that illustrates what he means. We get the idea but we might as well have handed him construction paper and crayons his drawing is so bad.

We’re going to be having work done in four rooms. All while we’re in Madrid. We are going to need to see what he is proposing before he starts work.

“I’ve done million dollar homes based on drawings like this.”

Well, that’s great, and probably those people were around at the time for you to consult with and for them to advise you on what they want. We won’t be. And if you don’t do email, it’s pretty unlikely you own or know how to use a digital camera and can send us updates.

“Can you give us an estimate?”

“If I give you an estimate you won’t want to do it. I can’t guarantee what it will cost."

The Beautiful Wendy : “Well, I guess we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to pay you then.”

The second guy was Debbie's sister’s husband. Professional. Our age. Established. Bright. We liked him a lot.

The third guy was recommended by my sister and her husband. Young, enthusiastic, just starting out on his own with only a few projects under his belt. We liked him as much as the second guy and his estimate came in quite a bit lower. We checked his references and everyone he had worked for gushed about him. He also came in first in his class at a school for architectural drafting. Sounds good.

He contacted us a couple weeks ago and said he was ready to start but had a few questions and sent along some drawings for us to look at and annotate. His drawings were easy to understand but we couldn’t picture a couple of things because we hadn’t really finished our thought process on the design when we were home in November. Do we really need a closet there? How are we going to get into the eaves? With this door gone, won’t the bed move more to the center of the room? How far into the center? We never decided on a particular model for the skylight, did we?

We tried to hash these things out and get them written but then I just suggested that maybe we should go home.

“No way” Wendy said. “We’re too busy here. Way too much on the plate. We can’t head back to Vermont right now.”

Next morning. The Beautiful Wendy : “We should go home, huh?”

I start looking for flights.


  1. Interesting... how you are (was) "in Madrid" but you go "home" to Vermont... :) Do you feel sort of like a permanent tourist here?

  2. Actually, no.

    When I'm in Vermont I refer to Madrid as "home" and when I'm in Madrid I feel like Vermont is home. I feel like we have two homes. Sweetly, Wendy refers to "home" as anywhere I am. I am her home. I love that. :-)

  3. Woot. I foresee many good future stories coming about from this endeavor!