An Inauspicious Beginning

showerToday, I had the first house showing scheduled from 6-7 p.m. Perfect; just enough time to get home after work to clean the litter boxes, check for hairballs, etc.

But last night I was sleepless and anxiety ridden. Despite all my frenzied and exhausting work in the last couple weeks to get this place ready to sell, I know there are things I simply didn’t see because I’m so used to them.

I was pacing the hall at 1 a.m. trying to figure out what they might be, popped into the bathroom to refill the cats’ water bowl, and there it was: a glaring spot of mildew in the shower caulking. Out came the rubber gloves, bleach and scrub brush. That didn’t work. I soaked a rag in bleach and tucked it against the (by now in my head monumental) spot, and left it to sit for the rest of the night…which was really just four hours. At 5 a.m. I attacked it again. No joy. On to Plan B.

Plan B involved a stop on the way to work at the tile place from which I’d bought the materials for the rehab…materials that included an obscure and hard-to-find caulk (and grout) color, silver gray, that’s not available at the big box stores. But it didn’t open until 8 a.m. (I thought all contractor-type places were required by some secret contractor’s cabal to open at 7 a.m. But no.)

No problem, I thought. I’ll leave work a little early and get there before it closes at 5 p.m. That would give me about an hour to re-caulk the shower, clean the litter boxes and get out. Sure. I can do that.

At 3:45 p.m., the skies opened and a blustery deluge began. I raced to my car, got drenched on the way, got in and realized I had about 10′ of visibility. So I went back in the office (now doubly soaked) to wait it out. About 15 minutes later, the wind abated enough to drive.

So it was back to the car (at which point the umbrella was superfluous). I got in, pressed down the clutch and…a spider bit my toe. (Forget needing closed-toes shoes in the shop – I need them in my car.)

My toe is swelling up, a dead spider needs removal, I’m dripping wet and time is crushing in.

And then the ramp to the interstate is closed due to high water.

You have got to be kidding me.

You have got to be kidding me.

An eight-mile detour on back roads got me almost home in fair time, but I live just on the other side of the tracks. Yup – a train. A long one. I recall hearing when I was a kid that trains aren’t allowed to block an intersection for more than 5 minutes. Either that was a lie, or this engineer didn’t care. It was 13 minutes. The crossing barriers lifted at 4:53 p.m.

Plan B was sunk.

Plan C was to get over it, and hope they didn’t notice. (And address the problem tomorrow.)

So I cleaned the litter boxes, tried to soak up the water on the third-floor carpet from having left the windows open, emptied the trash, looked to see if the rain had resulted in the usual basement pond (of course it had), left the house and took myself out to dinner.


I managed to find my bottle of Loctite and fix it…but why in the heck didn’t this happen to me yesterday?!

When I got back at 7:15 p.m., the handle on the screen door was unthreaded a bit, with the set screw backed out enough that it didn’t catch. In other words, the handle couldn’t be turned. I’m fairly certain the viewers got inside the house; some of the interior doors were in different positions than when I left. I think. But I don’t know.

If they did, I’m guessing the mildew spot, the wet carpet on the third floor, the basement water feature and the non-working screen door handle will not be big selling points. But hey – the cat boxes were clean.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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7 Responses to An Inauspicious Beginning

  1. rob says:

    The big box hardware stores carry a commercial mildew remover called “ZEP”. The smell is horrible, but it works in just a few minutes.

  2. raney says:

    “Out Damned Spot” just too obvious a title, huh?

    House looks awesome Megan – and for what it’s worth I really cannot imagine a mildew spot being a deciding factor. Most people have formed their opinion by the time they get through the foyer into the kitchen whether they like the house or not. Barring some seriously game-changing view, it’s more or less done by then.

    A blog of her own, at last…

  3. Dinger says:

    Concrobium Mold and Mildew Eraser. Available at all big box stores. Good luck with the home sale!

  4. We sold our house in Glendale (a few towns north of you) in 2011. At the time, it felt like the bottom of the Cincinnati market but I think it always feels that way to the seller. I remember many sleepless nights and hoping for clear skies and dry basements as well. The only advice I can offer is to keep the faith sister. The house looks awesome and someone else will see the beauty. Having a space for a proper shop will make this all a distant memory one day. Great to see you’ve got this blog going.

    Good luck.

  5. Mike Siemsen says:

    Resistentialism? I went to college in Moorhead, Minnesota, we had what we called the “rule of trains”. If you were going to the other side of town ALWAYS cross the tracks first or you would get stuck looking at the side of a mile long coal train. I am sure Kari Hultman liked the spider bite part! I think it wise of you to get it all out in one day.

  6. sawdustmaker says:

    Relax, Someone will buy your house. and with a tiny bit of luck you will get more than you asked. Now get to work on your Degree

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