8. Light At the End

By August 2017, after literally years of struggle, I finally had electricity, albeit temporary service. Hooray. However, for every good thing that happened, it seems there was always something bad to cancel it out. In this case, my knee, which almost a decade ago had been predicted by a specialist to give out right about now, was in fact giving out.

As if to add insult to injury, New Jersey was enjoying one of the most startlingly mild summers I could recall. Days barely reached 80, while some nights dipped down into the 50s. It was painful to see such gorgeous weather go to waste while I sat on my sorry butt waiting for something that never happened. It made me angry—to the point that I finally dragged my broken body outside to do something constructive.

My knee wouldn't allow me to get up on a ladder, but I could still push a broom and move stuff around. So I straightened up the garage and put my car inside, just as any normal, civilized human who has a garage would do—the satisfaction of seeing it in there made up for some of my pain. I also swept up all of the dead leaves and cleared away some of the cobwebs from the rest of my sadly neglected little house. It was the first time I'd spent any significant amount of time there in months.

After I'd expended what little energy I had, I donned my finest rose-colored glasses and set my mind to task: assuming the best possible outcome with the property closing, what will I need to do next? I drafted a detailed checklist.

  • rough framing inspection
  • rough electrical inspection
  • rough plumbing inspection
  • install underground power line and transformer
  • install meter pan and energize main breaker panel
  • order and install windows and exterior doors
  • order and install steel roof and exterior wall finishing
  • connect septic pump control
  • well hookup
  • water test
  • install water softener as needed
  • order and install soaking tub and toilet
  • final plumbing inspection
  • install fireplace flue and chimney
  • install insulation
  • insulation inspection
  • install and finish sheetrock
  • order, install, plumb and charge heat pump system
  • install lighting fixtures and electrical cover plates
  • final electrical inspection
  • install smoke and CO alarms
  • fire inspection
  • remove porta-potty
  • floor and wall tiling
  • order custom countertops
  • order appliances
  • install interior doors
  • temporary CO application
  • remove storage container
  • finish all cabinetry and trim woodwork
  • order and install fireplace
  • final CO inspection
  • remove camping traileryesss!
  • build the deck
  • deck inspection
  • landscaping

Once the list was complete, it looked awfully long—I suddenly felt as though I'd hardly gotten anything done! However, many items, such as the inspections, required virtually no time or financial investment, so the list was not as daunting as it first appeared. That said, a number of the big-ticket items were made much bigger thanks to my blown knee, since quite a bit of work would now have to be done by contractors, although the bright side was that things might get done more quickly.

Incidentally, as it turned out, the "light at the end" was not the end of the commercial property nightmare, much as I'd thought it might have been, given the "solid" talk of closing. Instead, the "light" was more literal: acquiring electricity—a significant achievement, but not the one I'd been hoping for, and the property nightmare was to continue for yet another year...

Chapter 7 çč Chapter 9

Copyright © 2017-2018 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
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