July 23rd 2012: Update on the Bugout House
Just wanted to give you an update on the Vacation/Bugout House. Wow…what a summer. Full of ups…and downs. I can’t believe all I’ve gotten done on the vacation house, but it hasn’t been without its setbacks.
Since last I left you, I was filling dumpsters with trash and finishing-up the master bath. Well, The master bath looks great but there’s one enormous problem left: The old drain is stuck in and the special tool I bought called a “drain key” broke and is now stuck in the drain. I am in the process of drilling it out, but it’s a time-consuming and frustrating proposition.
On the brighter side, I installed the downstairs bathroom can light housings, vanity, single-surface sink to (very modern) and am in the process of installing the trap/drain. I’ll connect the faucet and the trap tomorrow and the downstairs bath will temporarily done. We’ll temporarily install a shower curtain in the shower. A glass door and panel will be installed eventually, but we like to be here when work is done, so we’ll schedule that work for another trip/visit.
I added two coats of paint to several rooms’ walls and ceilings and am putting in the trim pieces in the can lighting (also called “high hats” or “recessed” lighting. I was painting ’til midnight last night after assembling a table and four chairs for the breakfast nook and replacing the halogens in the security lighting system.
Did I mention I spent every morning last week teaching 4th, 5th and 6th graders at Vacation Bible School? I t was great and my wife got to see me teach. My wife no longer thinks our daughter after a week with today’s kids and being introduced to the “new normal.” I am exhausted because we’d come home every day and work until 11 or midnight. We’ve been doing this for weeks, but it’s coming to an end now.
With just a short time before our return, we HAVE to devote a little of our vaction to a vacation. Our daughter’s birthday is this Sat so we’re planning her party. We’ll add a few mandatory trips to the old favorites and it’s back to our regular work.
I know it doesn’t seem like a vacation to many, but the equity we’re building is worth the effort, especially when I see those just standing still and getting farther behind. Work usually yields success/progress. We’re still grinding away at the house and sweating equity into the building. I won’t be in my 40s or 50s forever, and i’d rather work hard now than in my 70s because I’m broke. The sense of accomplishment we feel is a great feeling and we’re still sneaking in some time with family and friends. In a little while we’ll pull the plug and then I’ll get to do what I’ve been dreaming about all year:
- Rent a canoe and hunt walleye and trout
- go to Kennywood or Idlewild amusement parks
- Catch crayfish in a nearby stream with my daughter
- Take my daughter on a hike to the waterfall behind my childhood home
- Take a few hikes in the woods
- Explore a cave
- Walk around the university district and visit the museums, libraries, and universities of my past.
- Watch squirrels gather nuts
- Plant some trees (I know, work)
- Make lists (one of my favorite things to do)
- Visit Steeler training camp
…and that’s about it. There will be other things thrown-in, but if I do half of the things on my list, I’ll call it a good summer.
Already scheduling work on the Vegas home and will be there in no time.
I’ll also probably need to schedule a hernia surgery and train for a half marathon this fall. The neighbor called to tell me the fruit trees back home are gorgeous and the lemon blossoms are heavenly. He said the tomatoes are delicious from my vines, too.
I’ve stopped thinking about vacations as “ultimate getaways” pumped into our heads by the Travel channel, and truly begun enjoying the “repurposed” vacation. Vacations are an opportunity to build sweat equity, work on preps and build for the future. I don’t want to leave my family homeless and penniless. My work for my wife and daughter is joyous labor. God has given me a strong back (after 2 surgeries) and a healthy body. I use it to HIS glory and for my family’s benefit.
Have you stopped spending all of your money on empty vacations that are great for bragging, but bad for your finances and future?
Another truth I’ve come to and realized for a while now is that there will be people who will always make bad decisions and are destined to be without success. I know someone who keeps making bad decisions despite money being thrown his way. If he made a million, he’d spend two. And nobody can help him…and he comes from a family of people who also make the same bad decisions despite people helping them immeasurably. Sad, just sad. Where do you draw the line between helping and enabling? Something to consider…
Well, that’s my report for the day…I have so many wonderful things planned for blogs and podcasts this fall. but the lack of internet access is killing me. This dispatch cost me a 2 dollar coffee at Starbucks–ouch! Should have internet/cable next summer, but not having a tv all summer has been great. TV isn’t and shouldn’t be my life–although with football season coming up, I see a few hours each weekend vanishing into a tv and couch.
Best wishes to all. Thinking of you. Have to admit that with fewer podcasts I’ve gotten fewer emails. Now’s a great time to have a problem or request answered. Tell me what shows you want. Tell me how I can help.