Trailer Paaaaaargh!

Excavations on Mom’s house are completed, and renovations are underway.  New windows installed, new doors/bathroom fixtures purchased, but a substantial amount of work remains* for BJ – even before construction of the addition** begins.

Tensions are mounting, however, amongst the Trailer Park clan.  Mom has now been living on a bed in my niece, DQ’s,  living room for eight months.  Any pretense of civility between them has been dropped and the sniping is virtually continuous. 

From a completely selfish point of view, i am deliriously happy to live 60 miles to the north.  My tolerance for all of it has officially vaporized – it’s become liberating to laugh out loud at the situation when either party brings me the latest ‘snipe’ war intelligence data.

Over the weekend, DQ unloaded some of her frustrations.  When she got to the end of the story, and i busted out laughing, she saw the humor in it, and perhaps won’t be whacking my mother in the head with a skillet any time soon…

DQ:  We were in the home stretch yesterday, clearing out the last piles of crap from her kitchen.  She wanted to keep these two nasty, torn up old skillets.  I told her that I had skillets in better shape, the same size, but she insisted that we keep them because she didn’t know where I kept my skillets.  She said “Can’t I keep SOMETHING?”  So I finally gave up and hauled the damn things over here, scrubbed the crap out of them and got them cleaned up.  I asked her “Where do you want me to put these so you can find them?”  Do you know what she said?  “Just put them with yours…”.

* The raccoons in the attic destroyed the wiring – and an open 220v line was found behind the stove.  Entire house has to be rewired, and it’s a miracle that it didn’t burn to the ground.  Removing the baseboards, BJ discovered that the foundation has settled, leaving at least 1/4″ gap around most of the house.  There is virtually no insulation in the walls.  Combine the lack of insualtion with the open air gap?  You get lots of mold.   Bathroom floor needs replacement – BJ stepped near the head of the bathtub and his foot went through it into the crawlspace….  With only $75K budgeted for the renovation AND building the addition?  i smell massive cost overrun in the works…

** Mom’s house is a three bedroom ranch… maybe 1,000 square feet.  The addition will add an “apartment” for Mom (bedroom, sitting room, bathroom, kitchenette), and a large master suite for DQ and BJ.  Original plans had included adding a basement to the addition, but one of my rants that started with “HOW CAN YOU FUCKING AFFORD THIS?” must have hit paydirt, because that’s now been scrapped…


15 thoughts on “Trailer Paaaaaargh!

  1. damn girl…could’ve built a whole new house for that…with land…it’s like the movie Money Pit….good luck

  2. Just put them with yours! That’s pretty funny. Poor mama. Poor DQ! That’s just got to be so hard. Living with someone so unreasonable is like . . . it’s like . . . living with one of my exes!

    It’ll get better, right?

  3. I’m sure it’s stressful for everyone. Even you. Although you seem to have a better handle on managing it than the rest.

    Thank goodness for blogging, eh?

    It will be nice to see your Mom back into a proper living arrangement, though. That front room gig should have gotten old after a couple of weeks.

  4. crying bull – exactly. but the foundation of the decision was that mom refused to move. that limited the options… glad you’re still reading! thought you’d wandered off!

    unbearable banishment – my niece has no one to blame but herself. she asked for this – and stands to gain a house and a large parcel of land for her troubles…. and mom made her choice, which i remind her of every time she complains to me. there are consequences for decisions, and i’m just that annoying person who’s going “Ha! Told ya!” not helpful, but it amuses me!

    fragrant liar – i hope it gets better… schedule says that the main house will be done in about a month, and the addition can start when the ground thaws out later in the spring. hoping everyone’s moved in by July, but i’m not optimistic…

    rob – all along, i’ve reminded mom that she has choices, and that i would get her out of there and into an assisted living apartment within a day if she said the word. it’s my ‘magic wand’ that gets me off the hook for being cold and distant… reminding them that they have all made choices, and they can make revised choices – which will still have consequences…. they don’t like me much, i think!

    nursemyra – had to look up the refeference, and it looks like a fascinating film… but unlike grey gardens, there is no rich cousin willing and able to bail them all out!

  5. Ah family. We are heading to the States soon to spend a week with mine.

    Thanks goodness my mother is not the pack rat that my dad was. She has been purging fiendishly for the last year. There will be little for me to do beyond help her put in a new shower head (okay, Rob will do that though I did the last time it needed to be replaced). Still, there is dysfunction. My 16 year old nephew has a white trash girlfriend who is nearly the emotional image of his mother -whom he fights with constantly. Freud would cackle with glee. And widowhood has left my mother oddly less independent and more needy than ever.

    We cope, right, and thank the stars for distance.

  6. “From a completely selfish point of view, i am deliriously happy to live 60 miles to the north.”
    I felt the same way.
    Except I lived 1200 miles away.

    Now that I don’t?
    I find Captain Morgan works well.

  7. I think you guys are taking the best approach possible. What is going on in her head doesn’t make sense to you guys, as evidenced by her answer to the question, but it is absolutely legitimate and makes sense to her. Over the next month or so, if DQ quitely throws out the pans, your Mother would probably never know.

  8. stephanie – yeah. time flies when you’re suburban camping in the middle of a madhouse! at least work is underway… it was worse for everyone when nothing was even happening.

    DP – had to eradicate a clutch of bats before i could sell my first house. hard to pretend they weren’t there…

    annie – good luck with the visit. i believe all of your yoga training may help you maintain a healthy distance, even when in direct proximity. i’m trying to learn to appreciate them all as they are, lower my expectations and not let it get to me… i love them, and will help them if i can. but distance is golden.

    syncopated eyeball – that’s me! we must be twins!

    jimmy – never mind the reason that whisky was invented. oh, no… that was invented because light switches didn’t yet exist in bedrooms. never mind.

    s.le – just install smoke detectors and you should be able to get out ok. the rest is just stuff…

    blazingscarlet – yes, my liquor collection decreases in direct proportion to the amount of time i spend with them…

    uncle keith – we’re trying. i’m a bit concerned about the dramatic decrease in patience, but it’s understandable across the board. patience and understanding. mom is a very bitter woman, and there’s not much we can do to fix that. but we can try to make her daily life less miserable…

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