You know how you have those stories that affect you but they aren’t exactly yours to tell, so you hesitate to bring them up? I’ve been going back and forth with that lately. I wrote at the beginning of March about dealing with our rental house and the clean-up efforts post-tenant occupation.
Stephanie’s dad came down to help us with some of the cleanup and repair, and on March 22nd, he was on a ladder cleaning out the gutters and he fell and broke his heel bone. We’re fortunate that it wasn’t a worse injury, of course, but it turns out that breaking your heel bone is not exactly a walk in the park. It’s a bone you put all of your weight on, and it’s not really cushioned by muscle or other tissue, so it takes a lot of the body’s stress, and a break takes a long time to heal before you can put weight on it again. He was in the hospital for over a week and had surgery the Monday after he broke the bone to put in a steel plate like a cup that holds his bone together. After a few days of recovery, he moved to a rehab hospital where they’re teaching him how to do everything including getting around with a walker. Given that he’s a fit and active guy, this is quite a change for him to be sitting around, and he’s not used to it at all. I sympathize with him a lot.
Stephanie’s an only kid and her dad’s only living relative, practically. And he lives 3 hours away, but is stuck here in Indy, so she’s had to do a lot of care-taking while also managing the work on the the rental and working herself. So – the stress level has been rather high around our house for the past couple of weeks.
And given that I’m not keen on cleaning or painting and tend to be a whiny little bitch about doing either – well, I haven’t exactly reduced the stress much. I’m trying, I really am. I’ve been pitching in, but the real work is going through and figuring out what needs to be done, what we can ditch until later, what needs to be done by an electrician, when to call the water heater repair people, etc. She’s got a lot of that in her head and some on paper, and I can’t quite put together what she can hand off to me.
I’m also struggling with it because we’ve done at least 3 times more painting at the rental house since we bought and moved into our house than the amount of painting we’ve done in ours. Our kitchen and upstairs hall have been half-painted for 3 years now, and we keep doing more and more painting at the rental, including repainting rooms we painted in-between tenants previously. It’s hard not to resent that the rental house gets more attention (and often looks better) than ours. And I’m aware of the amount of time that Stephanie and her dad spent cleaning up the house the last time – it sat vacant from August to March while they worked on stuff, earning no money while the mortgage needed to be paid – and I’m very worried we’re in a similar place.
I would not be winning any landlord prizes anytime soon, clearly. And probably not any marital prizes either. I’m not being the best wife lately, and I know Stephanie and I are both down in the dumps.
Here’s hoping we get this stuff worked out – the house done, Stephanie’s dad up and around and a happier, sunnier spring so we can bounce back.