Crumbling Castle Redux

I am divorcing my house on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Mr. Understanding agrees with me. As with any bad relationship, I have long been in denial. I kept thinking the landlord would come to her senses, would be rational and see the big picture. I was wrong. I am not perfect (click to read about perfectionism:

We move in the middle of January, 1011 to a new house which has yet to be found.

Am I a malcontent of the first order? Or do I just have bad luck? Gamamae thinks I just have “bad house karma”. I am not so sure I buy that theory although I am willing to entertain the idea that the good Lord is trying to tell me something. How exactly did this happen?

Well, again, I was suckered by real estate (read: large garden and deep pool for rowdy children; refer to College Quest post) and the promise of an attentive English speaking landlord. Visions of recreating my Brazilian Shangri-la in a Spanish Eden short-circuited my brain: I am a fool for a veranda. Sipping sangria, I could keep an eye on the frolicking children.

Add to this a sampling of a year’s worth of repairs and the concomitant repairmen parading through my house:

*faulty electrical system – repaired innumerable times and on the fritz again
* dishwasher – repaired 2x
*crumbling front door – hunks fell off; door replaced and now paint on new door is peeling
*replacement of stove top – without burners for 2 weeks
*replacement of pool pump
*leaking pool – still
*refrigerator repair 2x – replacement of thermostat, motor and filter
*incorrectly installed lighting, flickering randomly – related to item #1? or just a senile repairman? Both!
*locked into master bedroom – lock on inside of room – had to exit through bathroom window
*shower door – off hinges 4x, hinges replaced on 4th go; we think.
*oven repair
*dishwasher and clothes dryer repair
*alarm battery died – sounded at 2 a.m. even though alarm not set
*leaking roof
*bats in belfry – literally – but protected species so have to listen to their little claws scratching the inside of the roof
*broken door knobs – repair still pending.
*oh and robbery in car port – did not enter home

Everyone in my family knows that I am a bad nurse. “Buck up!”, I tend to say, unless someone has fractured a bone or is vomiting repeatedly and I have to clean it up. A mere tummy ache doesn’t cut it with me. I need objective symptoms. Attending to my house and waiting for hours on end for unreliable repairmen likewise turns me into a krankenschwester* – one cranky sister. The objective symptoms are all there but I am tired of cleaning it up.

Are you getting the picture? After China, I am just not in the mood. It’s like watching a rerun of my own life, minus the tadpoles in the toilet and Chinese repairmen with bad combovers. The Spaniard repairmen (and occasional Ecuadorian) are generally a cheerful bunch who just reek of smoke; I can communicate with them which is good. Sometimes they fix things, sometimes they do not.

My mother, a.k.a. the Radish, absolved me from my negative feelings by reminding me that it is hard to pick a house in a foreign country over a long weekend. This was a real gift to me, these kind words, and I have clung to them.

Bottom line: after fifteen years, I am tired of living in other people’s houses.

* German for “nurse”.

Required reading for next installment:



Filed under Charitable Endeavors, Domesticity, Life, Moving

19 responses to “Crumbling Castle Redux

  1. That’s an impressive list.
    Don’t know how you do it–the many moves, I mean.
    Blessings and grace in the process!

  2. Thanks, Rita! Oh, I think you know how I do it … and I appreciate your offering up of grace SO MUCH!

  3. Expat – also, your house is HAUNTED!!!! Even my husband thinks so and because he is Mr. Science (and therefore does believe in the paranormal), it must be true. Maybe the Royal Palace is for lease! I can see you in that room with all the porcelain, a long-tipped cigarillo and some furry, high heeled slippers. Good luck on your quest. Is the pool off your list for the next house?

  4. Father Time

    Do I set my clock back 1000 years or do I put it into warp time?

  5. Maybe I need to come to pick a house.
    I have made my own mistakes. I forgot to look at the neighborhood here. Aside from that I knew what I wanted because I had looked at houses in the last six months elsewhere, besides I thought I was dying, what did it matter.
    Do not look at more than four houses in a day. I think this could be a Dear Radish blog.

  6. Mood Ring Mama

    Really, you should send me the free ticket. We all know that I bat 100 when picking houses. Not a stinker in the bunch. [Cue knocking on wood.] You need my good luck. On second thought, I’m likely to randomly fall down looking at your potential new castles so I’m not sure I can lend my services at this time. P.S. – Be glad for the bats; they are eating all the locusts & termites waiting to bring this house down to its studs.

    • MRM: You, you are off the list. The last time we visited a castle, you were writhing on your back like a toppled beetle. You can come afterwards to unpack the boxes and we won’t go anywhere except for the new porch to needlepoint.

  7. flaky friend

    Hang in there Princess it will get better. I think you are right to seek this divorce. You shouldn’t have to tough it out just for the sake of toughing it out. Go find something that is more comfortable.

  8. Mrs NATO

    Well, you know how I feel about this (and your) cRaZy place! Without saying, or knowing, too much: perhaps Jan 1…3 houses down will be available? Everything has its cost it seems )-;

  9. Raftbuddy

    May the force be with you on your new search….

  10. kathy wells

    We were all so spoiled by Brazil. I will never forget your wonderful home there. It was just perfect. I am sorry you have had such problems with home in Spain. Maybe the next house will be perfect.

    • Hi Kathy! No! It was not perfect, either! The entire electrical system was replaced one winter while I was summering in the US. The oven was a dud (but large, in retrospect) and there was no A/C! But in terms of the garden, safety, and my veranda, it was Shangri-la! How’s your house in SC? I am thinking of you and will write you separately. xoxoxo

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