Trip number two from Albuquerque, NM to Southwest Oklahoma. Headed eastbound on the 40 for most of the trip with a slight dip south on hour seven of eight. Maybe the easiest eight hours I have ever spent in a car without company. Aside from a little bit of traffic in Amarillo, TX and trucker slowdowns, I was on cruise control. Mercy, there were a lot of truckers.
After several cups of coffee to avoid dosing off, I arrived safely to my hotel in Chickasha, OK. I left Albuquerque, NM at 9:00 AM, made one stop for gas and arrived at 6:30 PM (+ 1 hour for Mountain time to Central time zone changes).
Day 1 working on my massive 2600 square foot two to four story Victorian mansion (depends if you are counting the basement and attic as their own floor(s))… I took some advice and tried turning on utilities. The good news is I was able to clean-up the wasp nests, debris, and dirt off the ground, porch and in the yard thanks to trash services being successfully turned on. The bad news is water was switched on and immediately off after several holes were discovered in my water heater. In the process of following the sound of the leaks, we stumbled upon, literally as one of the steps broke off as we were climbing down, the creepiest basement I have ever personally encountered in my entire life.
Part claustrophobia and part imagination made my skin crawl and the hair on my arms stand on high. It was very reminiscent of the basement featured at the pedofiles’ house from the movie The Lovely Bones. No pictures to share because I was in and out very quickly. One of the city water installers said he was actually thinking of buying and fixing up the house himself as it was for sale for quite a while before being sold to me at auction. After my adventure down in the devil’s quarters, I am pretty sure I begged him to buy it from me but he just laughed.
So now we have two major problems that I know of, the water heater and the roof both need to be replaced asap. I did seek out a quote from one of three roofers in town and that is not happening any time soon. I am still waiting on a callback from the plumber but honestly I am not excited about that assessment either.
So… procrastination here we go and, of course, begging every handy man I know to climb up at least 30 to 40 feet to the top of that house, tear off and/or at least clean-up the existing shingles (I do believe they are wooden shingles but it is hard to tell) plus sealing it and installing new roofing material. It would be very helpful if this roofing expert also had knowledge of plumbing and able to replace the water heater among other tasks. The only jack-of-all-trades I know of told me hell no but I am not giving up on him just yet. Since I barely made it out of that basement with my soul intact, I am rather positive convincing him to help me will require selling it and being damned for eternity. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.
Thursday the 27th, I drove back home to Albuquerque, NM. Goodbye old friend for now, I miss you already and especially the absolutely disgusting smell which I can’t figure out if it’s coming up from the basement or down from the ceiling in my kitchen or eeks, both. You are the star of nearly every nightmare I have had since our last encounter.