Hole-y Moley

5 Jun

Sometime late last year, our house started cracking up. Not giggling maniacally  like that crazy house in “Monster House.”

Cracking in half.

We first noticed when the bathroom door became a little hard to close, which meant I had to do my whole morning routine with a peeping corgi watching my every move. I would see the silhouette of giant bat-ears outside the shower curtain. He would sit and bark at the blow dryer, then carefully study me as I applied eyeliner. I think he’s emo.

But I didn’t really get worried until in the living room, a little crack started climbing down the wall. And then it became a big crack that looked like this:

Yes, those are Donkey Conga bongo drums on top of the TV cabinet. I rock that game. Shush.

Yes, those are Donkey Conga bongo drums on top of the TV cabinet. I rock that game. Shush.

So, we checked the warranty on our 10-year-old home. It, of course had expired like 2 months before the crack appeared. Yes, of course it had.  So we called a foundation company, who cheerfully told us it would cost eleventy billion dollars to fix.

I’ve mentioned, right, that I quit my job to go back to college full-time and become a highly paid educational professional? So awesome timing, you shifty little foundation, you.

As much as I occasionally would like the children to have their own home, we didn’t think letting the house split down the middle was the right answer. Mostly because the kitchen would be on their side, and then they would probably burn the place down. So we scheduled the two-day foundation repair process.

Monday, a small army of foundation repair crews descended on our home, and started digging holes all around. Not little holes. Holes big enough for the construction workers to disappear in. With their radios playing really loud. Every now and then, a little hard hat would pop up out of a hole. Kind of like life-size whack-a-mole, only I couldn’t actually hit anyone with a mallet.


Day one seemed to go very smoothly. They dug holes, they unloaded their patented Cable Lock Plus system, and then in the late afternoon, they let me know they’d be back tomorrow. With the jackhammers, so they could also dig whack-a-holes under the porch and driveway.

The second day, I was brushing my teeth and unprepared for the earth to start moving when the jackhammering started. And I discovered that when your Sonicare toothbrush gets jolted up and brushes your eyes, it hurts like hell.

The sound and shaking was relentless. And of course since I had procrastinated, I had a paper to write. I plugged in my earphones and some tunes, and started working.

Suddenly, everything went dark.

The construction supervisor knocked on the door. They’d tripped a breaker, could he get to the fuse box?

The jackhammering started again. Pop. Dark. Knock.

Again. This time, it wouldn’t come back on. I called the power company, the supervisor went to get a generator. I kept my cheerful smile plastered on.

They got finished, we got power back, and the house was re-leveled lickety split. The crack in the living room went back together, the bathroom door happily opened and closed again, and two of the jackhammered holes were patched back up.

I heard water rushing outside. I happily messaged a friend, “oh good!  They’re hosing things down and cleaning up. Either that or they just hit a water pipe. Ha ha ha!”

Then, another knock.

“Uh, when we were working on the porch earlier, the jackhammer kind of hit a water pipe and broke it.” Shut my stupid mouth.

So the water was shut off, the plumber called, and the gaping hole left in the back porch. He came and guess what? More porch had to be jackhammered up to get the pipe fixed.

Day three, no water in the back half of the house, no plumber. About 4 in the afternoon, I called and said “where are the people who are supposed to be putting my house back together?” The construction crew arrived, went around back, then another knock.

“Uh, the pipe is not fixed, we can’t fix the patio.”

“I know. The plumber said he couldn’t get to it, and that you would need to jackhammer out more of the porch.”


“You guys work for the same company, right? Do you talk to each other?”

“Let me call him.”

So of course, the plumber would have to come the next morning. Day 4 of the 2-day process. The same morning my daughter was graduating from elementary school, so I informed them they would be on their own.

She graduated. We went to breakfast, we got pedicures, we stayed away from the jackhammers.

And when we got home at 3, NO ONE HAD COME.

So, I called. Not cheerfully. And finally, the plumber and his jackhammer of destruction came and fixed the pipe and turned the water back on. And shrugged when I asked about the porch situation and said someone would fix it the next morning.

So today, the first day of summer vacation, we all got up and dressed bright and early so we’d be decent for the construction crews. Of course, that was unnecessary, since said crews came at 3 this afternoon, on day 5 of the 2-day process. After I had called again, and done what is known in some colloquial circles as “ripping someone a new one.”

But now, it is done. All level, all patched, and I am ready to let it go, and get on with the summer.

Although I am more than a little sad that I can no longer make jokes about living in a crack house.

9 Responses to “Hole-y Moley”

  1. CJ Jackson June 6, 2009 at 7:34 am #

    Funny post! I enjoy your blog… and your sense of humor.

  2. ingrid June 6, 2009 at 8:15 am #

    I hope there were some adjustments in price for your pain and suffering.

  3. Elle June 6, 2009 at 8:30 am #

    Damn! Five days? No wonder I hadn’t seen you around much. Don’t worry, you can still live in a crack house. It’s just been through rehab, that’s all.

  4. SweetPeaSurry June 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    Ahhh the happiness of homeownership and the blessings of construction workers. Could life BE more simple? HAH.

    I would have kicked someone in the boy parts. Sheesh!


  5. Em June 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    O-M-G what a fricken nightmare! Eleventy billion dollars is more than I could ever afford. I applaud you for keeping a smile on your face. Mine would’ve disappeared into worry-lines at the first sign of the crack… and those worry-lines would’ve grown deeper at the same rate of the crack.

    Glad you got it all taken care of. You ARE good!

  6. RJ Flamingo June 7, 2009 at 2:56 am #

    I can’t believe it all got done in only 5 days! And that you got workers to come out at 4:00 in the afternoon!

    If you lived here, you’d have been lucky to have it finished in 2 weeks. And no one would answer the phone after 3:00 pm.

    You must have some pull, now that you’re a local celebrity. They must have been afraid that you’d blog about it. Oh, wait…

  7. Icy Blue June 8, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    Ok. I love this post for several reasons. First, the good news is that you made it out alive to tell the story. This is huge. Fact is, there is great entertainment value in your hellish vibrating house story. Second, you make me think that perhaps I am one step closer to allowing the memories of my home construction to come out of their hiding place in the far back corner of my brain. I may someday be able to write about them. and perhaps, I dare say, discuss them. 🙂 Finally, I am reminded of the 8 years in our prior home, lying in bed looking up night after night as the crack above us stretched the length of the room. This was followed by the inevitable sinking in of the ceiling above us. But we watched and watched and became indifferent. And thanks be to God, it never chose to open up and overtake us. I love your post and I’m very glad you made it through… without going postal.

  8. Bethany June 9, 2009 at 7:29 am #

    Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn!!!!!! Someone’s got a little black cloud hanging over their crack house!


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