09 September 2006

Confessions of a "House-Husband"...

When this gig first encountered ME, I wasn't really unprepared for it. But as the years have passed, the magnitude of "things" that need doing seem to grow exponentially. After having been broken into when we lived at Willow Creek Crossing (if you can live elsewhere...go for it), After my "job" (such as it was) pulled up stakes and moved to Grabill, I decided that in the best interest of everyone concerned, that being home (although the financial burden would be not insurmountable) would be the BEST course of action. And after taking into account the way the neighborhood was in decline (think people trying to get OFF the Titanic), having someone AT HOME would be a deterrent to the criminal element.
That much has proven correct.
Having prefaced my situation with that, allow me to expound on the complexities of being at home all the time.
First off, anyone that says "Oh, that MUST be nice....get to sleep until 11AM every day...nothing to do but watch TV...life of leisure", (yeah...RIGHT) doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground! It's not JUST a job around here...(like the Navy says)...It's an ADVENTURE!
Considering I cook all the meals, do all the dishes, wash all the laundry, take total care of the pets, tend to the garden, lawn, and trees (with pruning), keep both cars maintained, picking up "lawn trash" the locals see fit to drop from their primate paws, as well as tackle most every house repair (yeah, I'm the JACK OF ALL, MASTER OF NONE you heard tell about) and that includes going on the roof, you can obviously see that not only does this save a nice chunk of change (don't have to pay repairmen except on that ONE weird fix), but it also keeps ME pretty damn BUSY! Now I'd say that most all home fixes are pretty straight forward...right tools + common sense = job well done! And since you're not "on the clock", you can THINK things out, assess the problem correctly, and do it RIGHT the FIRST time.
That alone is very gratifying. Once in a GREAT while, you do come across something you have NO idea about...such as that darn broken idler sprocket on the chain-drive for the garage door. After shelling out close to $90 for ONE...I NOW have the address to get ANOTHER one, and since I watched the repairman fix the first one, I can most likely do the other one, should IT fail. Problem solved...and for a HELLUVA lot LESS, too!

As for any time for myself...well since I'm not on that damn clock, I can kick back in the early afternoon for an hour of "power-napping". I'm always up at 6AM to get my wife's lunch ready, feed the cats, and in the winter...warm the car up for her. Once in a great while, I might play a video game or watch a DVD, but mostly that is reserved for the evenings. It's at that time, I also might have a cold imported beer or a scotch on the rocks...kinda a "wind-down" thing for me.

Then there are the LISTS...lots of them if you plan to be organized. There are the GROCERY lists (and that entails spending time going over coupons, sale items and the like to save some $$$. There are the lists for "home improvement", for try as I might, I cannot get this house to fix ANYTHING by ITSELF...LOL! Again...checking for sale items we NEED. Every spring there is a list of "projects" we'd like to have done. Sometimes we nail them all...other times, we don't .But at least the house isn't falling down around us at all!

One really humorous thing...I figured out HOW MUCH it would cost us to have all this stuff done FOR us...and that price was STAGGERING! The grand total came in at around $82,000 (a YEAR), and that's not counting consumables you go through weekly!!! Still, I figure since I really should be at home (to keep the vermin from "crashing" our gates), I crunched some other numbers, such as how much WAGES I have lost thanks to the "neighbors" we have (unfortunately), and THAT number is somewhere in the area of $150K (over 6 years at about $10-$12 an hour). Now I know why I NEVER took STATISTICS in college....it hurts to see some of those figures...

Still not too bad a tradeoff, but "if" we DO wind up moving away, rest assured I'll be back at some job, trying to recoup my losses. Obviously the neighborhood we MOVE to will be a LOT less stressful! But in the meantime, I'll just keep plugging along, keeping this castle safe, it's occupants well fed, and the parapets well maintained and defended. Who could ask more of any "nobleman"?

Yea...Verily and Forsooth!

1 comment:

Jana said...

Very noble of you, and I admire you for it too.

I'm slowly learning the whole "house-wife" gig. I admit, I do sleep in, but I DO get up whenever David gets up in the morning for work, get his clothes together, and see him off. Then at lunch (if he's not on a training range) I make him lunch as soon as he steps foot in the door. Then of course, I make dinner when he gets home.


But I still have trouble. I try to keep things clean, but some cleaning stuff I'm highly allergic to and my meds knock me out from time to time. David's good about it, though, and very understanding, but I can't help but feel bad every once in a while...