I love my house. It’s about 80 years old and has things like original woodwork and recessed shelving and gorgeous wood floors. It has a ton of charm and character. Unfortunately, it also has things like drafty windows, cracked plaster and uneven door frames. Oh, and I forgot to mention the outdated heating and electrical systems, the shoddy plumbing…the list goes on.
Luckily, J is very handy and he’s taught me well. I now know how to wire electrical outlets, re-caulk leaking windows, repair a leaking gas pipe, pressure test gas lines, replace a faulty circuit breaker, assemble new heating ducts, hang sheet rock and finish off walls. Pretty soon we are going to be re-doing both of our bathrooms, so I’m going to learn about plumbing too. Just call me Mike Holmes!
Our most recent project was doing and oil to natural gas conversion and replacing our old, gigantic, inefficient furnace with a new, smaller, sleeker, high-efficiency model. J did the majority of the work himself…no easy feat since he had never done anything like that before and the installation instructions were written for a contractor and made no sense to us civilians. It took almost a month to get the whole system up and running, but J did a spectacular job and everything is working just fine.
So J is handy and he really enjoys doing all these projects himself and I like helping him and it’s all good. The problem is that there are some jobs that are better left to the professionals and J has a really hard time letting them take over. Case in point…our oil tank.
Since we have done a natural gas conversion, the oil tank is totally useless and has to be removed. New York State has several laws about the removal of oil tanks and they require that a licensed tank removal company come in and do the job under the supervision of an inspector from the city fire department. They don’t suggest it or recommend it…they REQUIRE it. Of course, J has other ideas.
He has, in fact, hired a license tank removal company to come here tomorrow to do this work. They will come, remove the cinderblock wall in front of the tank, disassemble the tank, pull it out of the basement, load it onto their truck and haul it away. Well…I should say, that’s what they would normally do…in someone else’s house. Here, the will not have to remove the wall…J took a sledge-hammer to that last week. They won’t have to disassemble the tank…that all happened earlier this evening. Then J got the crazy idea that he and I should move the tank into the garage to “make it easier for the guys tomorrow.”
Something you should know about me…I am not coordinated in any way and if there is a possibility of injury, I will pull it off. Also, I have very little in the way of upper body strength. So I say to J, “oh, if we put it in the garage are they going to charge us less?” “No,” he says. So why are we going to kill ourselves dragging this thing across the basement and into the garage? But J was determined and I know better than to try to reason with him when he’s like that. It’s entirely useless…like trying to reason with one of the dogs. He drives me crazy when he gets like that so I’ve learned to just sit back and watch the show.
He stood there staring at the tank for a while. He pushed it a little, pulled it a little. He measured the tank and the doorways. He pushed it again. He tried to get a hand truck underneath it…which was kind of like trying to move an elephant on a skateboard. I stood back want watched all this trying not to laugh about my elephant analogy and knowing full well that there was no way we were getting that thing out tonight. I knew J would eventually reach the same conclusion.
Finally, he turned and looked at me and said, “It is kind of bulky, isn’t it?” Um, I guess that’s one way to describe it! At that point, I couldn’t help it and I burst into hysterical laughter. Shortly after that he threw in the towel and conceded that it was probably better to let the professionals handle it.
Oh…I got another item checked off my list. My calendar is up to date and I’ve got birthday cards written out for almost everyone through the end of March. Two more to go and another one will be done! Yay me!