Sunday, March 30, 2008

One Last Look

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.


'Bubbles' said...

Life is really all about dealing with or enjoying the changes, isn't it? This is the time of year that I found very difficult in Chicago. Not enough color or light.

Sounds like the yard work will be timed beautifully for the growing season. Enjoy!

Tenacious S said...

We're hoping to spruce up the yard a bit too. Good things really do come to those who wait, and those who work hard too. Really looking forward to summer and evenings on our front porch with a nice cold beer.

Andi said...

Can't wait to see the results!

cheer34 said...

G man and I went to the cottage today to clean and spruce it up in anticipation of the spring that is to come. We are looking forward to beer and backgammon on the back porch, friends, family and the firepit. Toasting the marshmellows, cooking on the grill, and just the relaxation that comes with the season. Clink of glasses to all who enjoy the same.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Whew. I thought maybe the gargoyle had a few too many zins and wandered off.

Elkorama said...

Save room for the Pink toilet flower planter.....