This wall is a monster. When we bought our first home we were totally in love with it. It was built the year we met and immediately I felt a connection to this mound of wood and plaster. It must have been built for us, no? Everything inside is brand new and gleaming with that “never been used before” sparkle. Everything we do to the house will be a first. It is the perfect little nest for our young love.
Except for one thing…the backyard is a bit small. When we first spotted the home and fell head over heels for her flashy looks and sexy personality, we neglected to thoroughly price out the cost of redesigning the yard. Our realtor seemed to suggest so nonchalantly that to build the retaining wall we would need to turn our sloping hill into more reclaimed flat surface was a piece of cake. Looking around the neighborhoods of New England these field stone retaining walls are everywhere. How much could it really cost? Well, the number was staggering. We spent our first year in a sparsely furnished home while we saved, saved, and saved for this wall. I worked extra hours, took on more classes, and even tutored three times a week on top of providing Pilates in the afternoon program at school. And, after 10 months of this horrendous schedule that left us exhausted and without friends (because when you work like this, you see your friends very little) we had the money to build the Great Wall.
We hired a contractor/mason we got through a friend’s recommendation (however, I do not hold any grudge or responsibility for this nightmare over my friend). The mason is a nice guy. A bit chatty but then why not make a friend of the guy who is going to build you a 75ft long x 4ft high stone wall? Well, he is a slippery one. Everyone always says beware of contractors. And now I know why. The project timeline is 3 weeks. We are currently at 2 weeks in. The mason has only worked a total of 3 days of those 2 weeks but still demands to be paid according to our original project plan (How do we handle this!?). It is nuts! He likes to text and so he usual texts at night with some great line like: “Just wait until tomorrow. I will arrive at 6am work all day and then through the weekend. You two will get so tired of my face by the end of this.” Tired of his face? I would love to see his face! What does he look like anymore?? I have kept my temper in check which is hard for an orignal Long Islander. I have never once raised my voice or acted out in aggression. But, I am getting close to my breaking point. All I want to do is see him work like he promised he would so that this wall can be done in a reasonable amount of time. Currently, the front of our beautiful house looks like a disaster zone. Trees tossed about, rocks and sand and boulders piled sky high and mud everywhere. Geez. Being a homeowner when a MAJOR project is underway is quite difficult.
Today, I was about to lose my cool. He promised to arrive at our house bright and early and no sign of him as per usual. I texted David at work and our conversation was as followed:
Me: I am going to go bat suit crazy on this guy should he ever show up.
David: Bat suit crazy sounds awesome!
Me: hahaha! That’s right. That is how crazy I am. I am putting on a freaking bat suit!!
By noon the mason finally arrived. At 1:10 he was off to Home Depot. Back at 1:40 and then lunched for 20 minutes at 2:30. I have now decided to have myself a glass of wine and to seclude myself in my room. Being home for the summer with this project going on is going to be interesting. To be continued….