I get by with a little help from.. duct tape

There’s a new wrinkle (as could’ve said the never-old-inside bird to the glaucous caillagh so astonishingly reflected in the mirror).

It turns out that for future (asap!) economic reasons, we have to rent out at least one bedroom. Husband says, “We have GOLD up there.”

The rest of us chuckled behind our hands.. He hasn’t been upstairs lately — actually, not since 4 kids and their mom lived up there for 9 years…

The glaring paint peels in the bathroom (via a 3/4 dead ceiling fan above the light that only vented into the attic anyway) have developed paint peels; the flusher hasn’t been replaced, yet, but since it is direly needed and I don’t know how to do it, it has been document-clipped and rubber-banded on the inside of the tank, (and duct-taped on the outside) into reliable(ish) workability.

The heater cover has been missing for decades, and hopefully we’ll never again develop a shower-tub clog and drastic leak like the one that necessitated opening up to its weird old pipes from the never-repaired hole in the dining room ceiling below. Yes, that repair, too, has been jury-rigged. Poster paper and duct tape when the paper tape didn’t hold. What this all means is, NO ONE can use the bathtub as a bathtub — only the shower in it. That doesn’t leak!

Indeed, I’m not sure (none of us are) where the “gold” comes in.

On the way up the stairs are little holes which (until puttying and sanding and painting and just before the curious-toddler visit) bear a round smiley face and two shaped greeting card floral covers. One was a punch hole from anger (not mine). One was from having anyone but myself move furniture up or down stairs. Another (on the other side) is from when husband started to fall down the stairs. His elbow, perhaps, but the worst part was ripping out one end of the banister from the plaster wall at the top. It has been braced, and thank God all the middle bars and other end held!

The hallway leading to the upstairs was supposed to be cabbage rose-colored. It was and remains Pepto Bismol pink, of course, and semi-gloss, so is probably visible from Pluto. That will need to be redone. The rug on the stairs is avocado; I probably need say no more, but it did get ripped a bit up at the top landing, because son-in-law long ago had delusions that it would all soon be replaced. (Ha ha, it is to laugh, as Daffy used to say.)

One rentable bedroom is smaller than the other, and would be the quickest to rent out because it needs no wall or ceiling or floor work. It has only one (but brand new) window, but does have a non-leaking skylight, too. Unfortunately, it’s the only room with attic access. *We* (son) only go up there about once a year, so it’s not the hugest problem.

The other (someday-rentable) room is almost twice the size of the other. Unfortunately, it has one outlet, and only one of its sides works, having been blown long ago. Also, it has massive furniture in it that needs to be moved out, and metal bunk beds that need to be photographed, sold and disassembled.

Its refinished wood floor now has endless papers and melted things stuck to it, and the walls and ceiling need to be repainted. (Or, this could be months more of daily work.) Daughter took almost nothing with her in her move-out, including some forgotten important papers and keepables (times four) that I come across with each new drawer and cubby emptying, but suffice it to say, I alone filled 8 contractor bags mostly from the two rooms. So far. (It was to save her sanity. I have no regrets.) There are 2 contractor bags of clothes for 4 for me to go through… someday. Someday before summer camp begins in exactly one month!

My thought for either room is maybe a college kid (since we are near many) who doesn’t want to cook much, doesn’t smoke, does not have any pet beyond a fishbowl and who (please, God) won’t invite sketchy sleepovers. (Older teen grandson has a room up there forever or until he doesn’t need it.)

Daughter has suggested many suddenly homeless friends, but I’m not okay with any of them living here due to not being single, or not being childless, or due to histories.

The (first?) rented room will be furnished –double bed/bedding and towels, bureau, desk/chair/lamp, hamper, step-on trash can, food cabinet, power strip, toaster, hot pot. WiFi and off-street parking and maybe front yard space is included, but not laundry facility access.

It’s just too overwhelming, though, to both fix and lose the bigger bedroom just now. It has a window a/c in summer whose air is blown across the hall to grandson’s tiny room and to the nicer room. It would be removed if a tenant takes over that big room. That leaves the a/c in the dining room, thankfully; grandson and I and his gerbil spent some uber-miserable July and August nights on futon and rollaway bed down here in the more humanely aired Grand Central.

I do understand husband’s fear and our reality. He works really hard and obviously way too much — he can’t fix much of anything here, now (let this be a warning: the *someday* never came except for his gardens) and he won’t hire anyone, but as I had to remind his drink-uppity self one night, he could’ve asked rent from anyone in these years, and it was mostly I who made it possible for many people (16 besides us 6 and not counting the Austrian exchange student, Helmut, nor the Fresh Air Fund kid, Joakima) to live here, it was I who made it possible for himself to have a ground floor room instead of dying in the basement or on its stairs, and thus that I, having hardly ever had a room here, have laid claim to one of those *golden* rooms above!

(At least for now, but I left that part out as well as how I plan for two to share that cooled room with a huge wooden partition while gutting grandson’s room for his new rug, desk, paint and, if I lose my marbles, a ferret cage.)

If you hung in through all that venting, you’re the true gold, and I thank you! If you have experience/advice on renting out room(s) in a private residence, please don’t hesitate to offer it! 🌹

And yes, I’ll be away for a while.. stay cool! 😉