Thursday, May 12, 2005

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Does your work follow you wherever you go? Mine doesn't, at least in a concrete way-- perhaps more abstractly it does. I am thinking about the dissertation or my writing almost all the time. When I am teaching, I find myself thinking about students at really inopportune times, but this is all 'head stuff'. I don't literally have students following me about while I trot across the globe, and for this I am endlessly thankful.

However, this is not true for my poor poor Partner. I can tell you that work has been very intense for her these last few months. They have a high profile build job going, and she's the lead woman on the project. This, coupled with the summer season as the busy time of year for a builder, means work days that easily extend over 12 hours. The Monday before we left for vacation I told her I didn't care how late she worked. Personally, I didn't get home that day until about 9 at night, and had left the house at 6 am. I was bombed. But Partner took my carte blanche very literally and I had to call her a little after midnight and tell her to come home. She's a scrapper and a serious worker, and these are traits that I (mostly) admire about her.

Last summer things were just as hectic around our home(s)-- we had the ceremony happening, moving houses, and the potential buyers of our old home trying to back out of their purchase. It was harrowing. We needed our vacation. We headed off to South Carolina after the ceremony for a week to ourselves in a rented condo, and then planned on meeting my family at our house down there for a week afterward. The first weekend there was incredible-- the sea just outside our window and finally it was hot. But then Monday morning at subcontractor's dawn, the saws and pounding started. It seemed that the condo underneath the one we had rented was being renovated. What could we do but laugh? I mean the sound was nothing if not familiar.

Our old house was in the subdivision that Partner and her associates developed and built. Although Partner worked around the corner, and sometimes this made me insanely jealous as I set out on my 40+ minute commute, it was not an ideal situation. She couldn't even get through mowing the lawn without neighbors coming to her with questions. More than once I refused to let her come to the door when someone would knock after 9 at night or on an early Sunday morning. One of the things I looked forward to about our new home was not having to hear the incessant beeping of a truck backing up, the grinding of gears on an excavator, bang-bang-bang of the rough carpenters, or the barreling down the road of cement trucks. Plus, the dust! If you have ever lived someplace where construction has been going on, you know that the dust in your house is out of control, especially if you don't believe in using the AC, as I don't.

In the new neighborhood, there are only six houses. Last summer, three of those houses were completed, and ours was the last. There were two empty lots left, and neither of them were for sale. Things were looking up for us. We anticpated that this summer would be one of peaceful dawns, with only the wee birdies to wake us up. Then, the lot behind us went up for sale, but at a crazy price, so we didn't worrry. That lasted one week, and we found out our neighbor's brother bought the lot. There were a lot of jokes about the "pee trail" that would connect their two houses. (They are all big football tailgaters.) Ha ha, Partner and I laughed. Funny. Pee Trail. This was last fall, and both of of thought that a basement would go in before the frost, and then most rough framing would take place when the windows of our house were closed. This would not be as bad as framing in the high summer.

Guess what? They are just pouring the footings for the basement today. And now one of the lots in our sub is for sale. The amount of traffic coming into a our quiet little cul-de-sac is shocking.

I am telling you, we can't get away from it. I had serious visions of quiet morning coffees on our back deck. Early evening cocktails with goat cheese and warm bread, all accompanied only by whatever cd I choose for the moment. From this upstairs office, I can look out the window and see a red barn, but it's quite clear this pastoral image is going to quickly be obliterated.

And so we go on our little holiday this year, and in our little town of Addaia on Menorca, they were redoing all the roads. Construction in Spain. Unbelievable.

And then off to France, to stay in our little boutique hotel, where we found that, of course, they were doing constuction on the building next to ours. It'd be unbelieveable if someone was going to make this up.

As a firm believer in signs, I am sure this is saying something to us. That Partner was meant to be a builder? Or is that construction is going to ruin our lives? That work will become pervasive if we aren't careful? Or, is it just dumb funny luck?

2 Comments:

Blogger Firefly said...

Welcome back! I missed reading your commentary on daily life.....it is funny how you can become attached to people you have never met, blogs are are a strange social dynamic. Anyway Bienvenue!

4:39 PM  
Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) said...

Merci, mon amie!

6:15 PM  

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