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Skunked – On Memorial Day
When you’re buying a new home for the very first time, your expectations are high. When you buy a new fixer, there’s a bit of dread that comes with the price tag.
It didn’t occur to us at the time that neither of us had anything new about remodeling the house.
My husband and I and our two children moved into our fixer upper home. The money we saved choosing this particular home verse a complete redo was astronomical. Our new home was a one story, three bedroom, two bath with a huge fireplace in the living room, just what we were looking for. A two-car garage and laundry room were added.
The kitchen really needed work and within a few months we hired a person to cut and glue our counters into a working workspace. With the new tile floor, the kitchen looked exactly like we spent thousands of dollars, not the other way around.
The hall closet was small and had shelves that needed to be removed. I had my son karate knock the shelves off the walls. He thought it was cool.
We lived in apartments for several years, owned our own house and could paint the walls according to our preferences, snatching what we wanted was a fantastic feeling.
Entering the hall bathroom I was struck by this rotting shade of dark green walls. I thought it was the color. My friend came and entered the bathroom. Before I could stop her, she pulled off a strip of wallpaper. I said, “Let’s do it,” and between the two of us we took the rotting wallpaper off the walls. Luckily it was really thick paper and it peeled off easily. The walls were instantly lighter, just sticky.
The huge backyard was fully fenced which was a plus. But the yard itself looked like we had just walked into a blooming jungle. There were overgrown plants and rose bushes everywhere.
In the middle of the yard were two old metal sheds without doors. These sheds were full of rubbish from 20 years ago. In the middle of all the mess was a huge tree that was shedding leaves as we watched.
I was younger and had a lot of energy. So I started pulling out plants, weeds and everything in my way.
After we were all settled into our new home, we headed to the Humane Society to purchase our new family member. We all fell in love with this big Australian Shepherd. We brought her to her new home and she became part of our family. Her fur had many colors and we named her Patches. Patches loved being in the backyard. She ran around the bark and just had a wonderful time.
It was the night before Memorial Day. My husband and I were fast asleep in bed when an excited Patches started barking, running around the room and jumping on our bed. We tried to calm her down but she wouldn’t calm down. I put her back and went to sleep.
The next morning the children opened the door and our lovely Australian Shepherd ran in. As soon as she ran to the bed, I smelled a terrible smell. She came straight to me and her back was wet. I placed my hand on her back and put my hand in my mouth to taste the liquid on her back. I gagged and ran to the bathroom. I literally washed my mouth out with soap. In all the chaos that followed, our beautiful Patches was snuffed out again.
I’ve never smelled skunk pee before, but let me tell you, I never want to smell it again. The whole house smelled like skunk and I was sure the smell would never go away. We opened all the doors and windows and in the evening the house could be smelled again.
Meanwhile, it was Memorial Day and all the vets were closed. I managed to find one that was open. The vet said to bathe the dog in tomato juice. So my husband made a trip to the store and bought six (6) large cans of tomato juice. He scrubbed poor Patches for what seemed like hours and rinsed her off with a garden hose. Once it dried, it still smelled like a skunk. Poor Patches was not allowed to return to the house for a week.
After the skunk fiasco, we inspected two sheds. There were skunks and rats in the sheds at night and that was not to be tolerated. The two sheds had to go. My son and a friend once again karate kicked and pulled down both sheds. We called the garbage man and he took the two sheds and all the junk away. Good Riddance.
You see all these shows on TV now about people buying houses, remodeling them and then selling them for a huge profit. This is called flipping the house. I say go for it, make all the money you can on this project.
I’ll give you one little piece of advice, YOU MUST KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING BEFORE YOU START THIS HUGE PROJECT.
If you have the money and can afford to hire people to do all the remodeling work and still make a huge profit, go for it.
But if you’re not aware of remodeling costs or can’t peel the paint or whatever else it takes to flip your home for a profit, reconsider your options before spending your hard-earned cash.
When we bought our fixer upper, we spent several years remodeling it. I never regretted our years together in our house and we eventually made a home.
Please check out my other articles. I would appreciate it if you could write me a comment on this article.
Copyright 2006 Linda Meckler
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