wings and things

House of cards

on March 3, 2014

We live in a very old house – part of it is over 100 years old and, ironically, it is that side of the house that is the most structurally sound. Other parts of the house have become problematic over the years – bricks crumbling on one side, the ceiling in the big bedroom breaking one day when a builder put his foot through it and nearly fell into the house when repairing some of the roof. Obviously these things have now been repaired (well, bandaged!)

On the weekend a few more things fell apart; the back veranda door fell right out if its grooves, onto an outside table (it has been threatening to do this for some time). Luckily, the table saved it from smashing into a million pieces of glass. Then its accompanying fly-screen door fell out of its grooves into the house (these two door have a very close relationship).

Then, as if all of the doors in the house were following some sort of evil ritual, the shower door in the bathroom also fell out of its hinges – well, sort of. You see, it was a sliding door that had stopped sliding, so, in order to get into the shower, you had to hold your breath and squeeze through a small gap. Yesterday, Ming became so annoyed with this that he took half of the door off and propped it against the remaining bit of the door. He didn’t prop it very well, however so, when I had to go to the loo in the middle of the night, I bumped into it and it fell into the shower recess. Thankfully, it didn’t smash and is now outside with the rest of the rebellious doors.

Today, the kitchen door is nearly off its hinges, the front fly-wire door doesn’t close unless you force it to, and the key to the glass front door won’t work properly (which means we often have to climb into the house through a window, although that won’t be necessary anymore since we now have an almost door-less house).

Ming has been trying to fix all of these things this morning and has done a great job and I am very proud of him for trying to do this kind of thing by himself when he has never been taught. I like the way he is figuring out how to fix things without anybody’s help and with very little nagging from me. He is doing jobs I used to watch Anthony do, and he is doing them willingly and cleverly.

I had a pretty grim weekend with all of the doors in my own house-of-cards breaking, or falling, but I guess that’s what has to happen before the ‘fix you’ thing can happen. Anthony always waited until things were totally broken before he would address the situation: doors, pumps, hoses, fences, vacuum cleaners, me.

My pompholyx was finally healed enough for me to visit Ants yesterday and, when he saw my scarred hands, he reached out and stroked my wrists with his cool fingers, and watched me carefully as I smiled through unshed tears of utter misery at being separated from him.

Me: I can’t even do the bloody dishes because I am not supposed to go anywhere near rubber gloves or detergent.
Ants: Well bring me home and I can do all of that for you!
Me: But Ants, it’s nearly 3pm – it’s too late to bring you home now and, I hate to say this, but you are too sick with the PD to help me – you will only make it all harder.
Ants: (Silence)
Me: Oh great, so have I hurt your feelings now?
Ants: No.
Me: As soon as my hands are better I will pick you up to go out – is that okay?
Ants: Has to be, doesn’t it.

Then, surprisingly mobile for that time of day, Ants walked me out to the parking lot and waved goodbye. I stopped at the end of the driveway to the nursing home to check in the rear vision mirror that he was going back inside the nursing home. I watched as he slowly turned the walker around and limped back to the nursing home doors which opened automatically. And, when he disappeared through those doors, I tried not to think about anything except how well those doors worked!

Oh and the ducklings keep getting through the faulty door of their chookpen – argh. In one more week they will be too big to get out until I open the gate (which hopefully won’t break before then!)


The best thing about a house of cards is that it is so interesting!

60 responses to “House of cards

  1. Trisha says:

    It’s weird how everything in a house can break at the same time. Our light bulbs always blow out 3 and 4 at a time. But your door situation is especially bizarre! I’m glad to hear Ming is getting to work on fixing them for you.

  2. My goodness….You must have been afraid to open any door….. Thank goodness the glass didn’t break… I’m so glad your hands are getting better., and I hope totally heal…. Take care Julie… Diane

  3. janeslog says:

    A woman lawyer was fed up with cowboy builders so she went to college to learn different building trades. She repaired her own house.

  4. Laughter and sadness, such strange bedfellows.

  5. dogdaz says:

    Whoo. Gives new meaning to open a new window. Glad Ming the fixer is doing magic.

  6. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Well, at least life on the farm is never boring, Julie.

    I thought the Gang were entertaining enough, but now the House seems to be begging for your attention. As long as it doesn’t ‘bite’ like Godfrey, I suppose its really quite funny.

    Well done to Ming too……

  7. bulldog says:

    Does sound as though a little maintenance is called for… doors flying every where… sure the house isn’t haunted… ?? lol

  8. susanpoozan says:

    Glad your hands are at least on the mend. Sorry about all those doors.

  9. Well done to Ming. I hope he manages to get all your doors working again. He has a lot on his shoulders now, being the ‘man of the house’. It must be so heartbreaking for you to have to leave Ants, when he is so wanting to be with you. *hugs*

  10. My mother-in-law used to say, “you never own a house, a house owns you” It doesn’t offer any comfort, though I found over the years with my own house, she is right. Imagine if you could replace all of your broken doors with automatic sliding doors like the one at the nursing home, not too shabby, though probably if I tried to do something like that, an electical storm would happen and I’d be stuck in my house unable to get out. Old houses argh!

  11. It must have been such a relief to finally see Anthony. It sounds like your house is trying to break in Ming to repairs. Let’s teach him all about doors first…..

    I’m glad your hands are finally feeling better. Anthony’s cool touch must have been like balm. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. mimijk says:

    Sometimes metaphors are better when they’re not so real!! Relieved that your hands are better and thankful that Ming is proving to be a very capable fixer of broken things (ah, there’s a good metaphor for you!!).

  13. Oh I so like that you have decided to go for the “open concept” of decorating…LOL sounds like Ming is definitely coming into manhood and all that entails. Good man Ming! So happy to hear your hands are healing and not so painful …Oh, and you got to visit with Anthony how wonderful, I can imagine that your not being able to bring him home with you is agonizingly painful to your heart and soul. I don’t know how much longer before I too walk in your shoes as Bob seems to be getting worse each day. Yesterday he literally buttered a paper plate and placed it in the microwave, luckily I caught him before he turned the darn thing on. Julie you are in my thoughts and in my heart friend God bless you and so glad you are feeling better. {{{hugs}}}

  14. Oh my, when it rains, it really rains! Good luck to you and Ming with all your doors. I love that in Ant’s heart he wanted to do all those things for you. He can’t. But I believe if he could, he surely would, without a second thought.
    Diana xo

  15. elizabeth says:

    Glad your hands are getting better Jules and that Ants understood your pain and didn’t get upset at not getting to go home with you. Small mercies I’m sure helped you carry your cares a little easier. (((hugs)))

  16. It’s always sumthink! Good on Ming for helping. So poignant what you said about looking in your rear view mirror, leaving your honey. Here’s hoping a new door opens (that won’t fall off the hinges) and brings more sumthink that is good! Love to you.

  17. Lisa Rest says:

    The contrast between brokenness and mending – it’s a fine line, in reality, it seems, but distinct. I can relate to parts of the old house seeming to conspire all at once. Glad that Ming has found his handy side and your hands are better. :-0

  18. Lisa Rest says:

    I meant ๐Ÿ™‚ – I don’t know what “:-0” is but I hope it is not offensive!

  19. Terry says:

    the saying is when it rains it pours, although it doesn’t help, I do understand

  20. You’re experiencing every homeowner’s nightmarish reality. Once you fix something, something else will break. Good luck with those flying doors!

  21. Fun stuff as long as you’re not living it. But it does make a great story. May all your doors open and close in sync and may all your windows look clean and bright on a hopeful world. A new blessing for you–not exactly Irish. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. ksbeth says:

    i say just go with an open floor plan style like on the beach in tahiti. if you can’t fight it, embrace it. glad to hear your hands are getting better –

  23. viveka says:

    And I’m moaning over that one of the legs to my bed has come off – but I can’t find anyone to come and fix it. So I use books as support just now. Can you send Ming over???!!! I think Ming enjoys being the man of the manor. *smile – good on him. 100 year old house … I don’t envy you when things are falling apart … and it will do so.
    I like that you’re frank with Ants and tell him that he are sick, why pretend … even if he maybe forget the next moment. He knows โ€ฆ that he isnโ€™t like he used to be and I think he has accepted it in some ways โ€“ then there is other moments he does.
    Time to go under the duvet ….. Nightly hugs.

  24. Ok this post had me laughing, I am sorry but one door after another was funny may not had felt funny to you at the time but it is. Tim is one who is like Anthony he likes to wait till something is really broken before he will attempt to fix it………

  25. Widow Beach says:

    Such an apt title–I realize my issues are not the same as yours; nonetheless, my life feels like a house of cards too. It is comforting to have company, however “distant”, though that’s the beauty of cyberspace–it brings us all closer. God bless you.

  26. I have a lot of little undone house maintenance chores….. one of these days.

  27. Lynda says:

    I’m glad your hands are healing, Julie, and that Ming is able to help with the carpentry and repairs! (((O)))

    PS: Trust me when I tell you this… it could be worse. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. FlaHam says:

    Julie, You have raised a wonderful son, and a maturing man. I know you and Ants are very proud of Ming, and you have every right to be. With all of Ants issues, reading clearly isn’t one of them, he reads you like a book, relishing the words on each page, and only turning the page when he is ready. Oh to have the love you share, what a pure joy. Please take care, Bill

  29. Judith Post says:

    We have a 1920’s bungalow that we love, but old houses come with special treats. Something always needs fixed:) You, Ming, and Anthony make such a great team. Each of you is strong when the other one needs you. Wondrous.

  30. diannegray says:

    I know exactly what it’s like living in a house where things break all the time, Julie. When we lived in the old barracks on the farm my foot went through the floor one day (white ants!) So glad Ming is learning about maintenance – it’s a great skill to have ๐Ÿ˜€

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