About a year ago, my landlord and landlady embarked on huge renovation project in the two-flat I live in-- new kitchens and bathrooms in both units, rewiring (we can now use the microwave and coffee maker at the same time!), new shelves in the pantry (the old ones sagged), a new furnace, new sewage, and new water heaters. My own contribution was a new refrigerator, a family Christmas gift last year.
That was on top of new energy efficient windows, siding, front stairway and re-roofing over the last 8 or 9 years. I've lived here through a total renovation of the building. The last step is the backyard.
When the contractors were doing the bulk of the renovation last summer, they tore most of the backyard up, in anticipation of it being redone immediately. Unfortunately, the contractor hired to design and build our new back yard fell through. My landlord, his family and we had to deal with a soggy mess of a backyard all winter:
The new contractor was supposed to begin the final phase of our renovation last week, but Chicago's weather did not cooperate, dumping a couple more inches of snow onto a city that has had much more snow than usual already.
Happily, they will begin work tomorrow. The work is scheduled to last about a week.
One more piece of good news: my missing gargoyle is accounted for.
I had noticed a few weeks ago that it was missing from the garden area. When my landlady dropped by the other day to let me know that the yard work was about to begin, I remembered to ask her about it, and she informed me that they had indeed stored it for safekeeping while the yard work was being done.
In August, it will be ten years since Adam and I moved in here. A lot has changed since then. I married and divorced the woman I moved in here with. My son is now a teenager, about to start high school. I've left a career and gone back to college. I remarried and acquired a wonderful stepdaughter in the process.
With two jobs, school and kids, life is pretty hectic these days. But I think in a few weeks, when I'm sitting by the fire pit with my wife, two kids and our good friends and landlords, enjoying a glass of Zinfandel on a cool spring night, I think that it'll all seem worth it, and will have been worth the wait.