Ashes To
I Feel Like A Battery Dipping Toward Red


The previous owner called the second house on the farm Toad Hall, which I thought was a whimsical allusion to The Wind in the Willows until we turned on a tap in the kitchen shortly after buying the place and water started gushing out the walls. At that point it occurred to us that perhaps she meant it much more literally. 

The short version is that the house had been constructed - badly - on a green treated wood foundation, which meant that thirty years into its lifespan it essentially had no foundation at all. As it settled and adjusted to the extremes of the Wisconsin climate it began to pull itself apart, all higgedly-piggedly with pipes and wires and floors and walls going in different directions.

It could not be repaired. The fire department refused to burn it down for training. The insurance company would not insure it as a residence. The professional salvage company said it was not worth their time to bid on any of it. The only people who seemed to think the house had any value at all were the tax assessors.

It was a dilemma without a clear solution until Steve (or maybe it was his friend) got talking to the guy who owns the local gas station/cheese shop/excavation company and the neighbor who is willing to salvage anything and among them and the fire department they determined that the best - or the least bad - course of action. 

And I am shocked that this elderly (well, older at the time, certainly) woman hired someone to build a separate house for her friend and that person did such a craptacular job of it. I know nothing, absolutely nothing, about construction but even I know that sinking a few wooden posts into the ground in the Upper Midwest and calling that a foundation is courting trouble. I also could not believe that they didn't need building permits and inspections and whatnot. Unbelievable.

Anyway. Long answer but no, no rebuild. The salvaged stuff went to the neighbor who will either use it or sell it as he sees fit and they'll plant over the ground eventually.   

In other news, today - having signed all three children up for Fall rec league soccer -  was my very first day as a soccer mom (we're a demographic) and, as if on cue, the temperature dropped twenty degrees complete with a cutting north wind and drizzle. I was both wet and cold and I was unable to sit down because I did not bring a chair but I did not relish wallowing in a puddle. Also, I was bored. There was one kid on Edward's team that shows some promise in the number 10 position but the rest of them looked like children out there. Bumbling children.

Finally, fellow soccer parents, may I suggest you chill? It's rec league soccer, they're seven, it's the first day of practice - PRACTICE -  and I know you don't want to sit down due to the puddles but don't you feel ridiculous pacing the field during drills, shouting encouragement and/or corrections in the direction of your particular snowflake? 

How long, do you think, before I can start dropping hints that maybe if we all leave and go somewhere for coffee or tea or wine - hey, wine - the coaches and the kids would be fine in our collective absence and we would be much, much happier? Right? Yes? Who's with me?