Recipe: House + Water = Mold
by Bella Rum
My sister and her husband have a house in Florida. They spend their winters there. They also have a place that’s about twenty-five minutes from here where they spend their summers. They returned recently.
My sister and I seldom see each other, nor do we talk unless there’s a reason. Since Dad died, neither of us can think of a reason. We haven’t had an argument. There’s been no misunderstanding, no betrayal, no horrible unearthed secret. We just don’t enjoy each other. It happens. It may be more complicated than that for her, but that’s the way I see it. We both seem to be okay with it this way. We’ve comfortably settled in. An occasional “hi and how are you” is enough.
My closeness to my other sister who died a few years ago may have influenced the estrangement, but I’m not sure. I’ve never spoken with her about it. I think part of the problem is that she never helped with Dad. She visited him a couple of times a year. I think this makes her uncomfortable around my brother and me. When Dad died, she told me she felt uncomfortable “here.” “Here” meaning Dad’s house, my brother’s house… around all of us in general. I’m sure she was relieved when it was all over and she could return to her own life. I can understand that in some respects. I remember how, after the funeral, all I wanted to do was go home and hunker down.
Well, I didn’t mean to write all that, but only to say that she is back in town. Her husband called H yesterday. They play golf together. They see each other more often than my sister and I see each other. There’s no complicated history between them. They just hit the ball around the course.
H told him that we were moving. He told H that when he and my sister returned home last fall, a couple of inches of water greeted them when they opened the garage door. The tank of one of their toilets split and the water continued flowing. Their house is one level, and every inch was covered in water. Everything was ruined. Insurance covered all of it, but can you imagine? That must have been a bad day. I hope it was treated for mold! Tip of the day: If you’re going to be away from your home for an extended time, shut off the water.
My B-I-L said it was 85 degrees when they left Florida. It was 45 degrees here yesterday. I’m sitting here in bed with the covers pulled up. I can hear the rain falling outside. My ferns like the rain, but they’d enjoy some balmier weather, and so would I, thank you very much. It’s almost May.
I packed a few boxes yesterday. H made serious progress on his garage. I wish I’d taken photos of it before he started. Two walls are covered in pegboard and the pegboard was covered in tools. Not any longer. He removed and packed a lot of it. There are pulleys in the ceiling where he hangs his ladders and wheelbarrow. It’s quite the system. He will do it all over again (for the third time) at the next house. Due to his newfound interest in cooking, he’s also excited about the new pantry. It’s three or four times bigger than the one in this house. Funny, everything else is smaller, but not the pantry.