Swim At Your Own Risk

To Whom It May Concern:

I feel a need to write a preamble to my newest essay, starting with a caution that you should not eat almonds while reading it.  Trust me, I know of what I speak, because two days after I wrote the first draft, I tossed some almonds in my mouth, and did a really good job of breaking a molar all the way to the root.  It gave me such a creepy feeling, I had to abandon this essay for awhile as it seemed somehow responsible for my fate.

 To clarify, I want to assure everyone that I love my house, despite the challenges.  My muse just decided to have fun with a dental theme, even though that was not my goal when I started the piece.  So before I eat any more almonds, I want to assure the universe my essay is all “tongue in cheek.”  

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!


Swim At Your Own Risk

By Beth Diane Bradley

“The Joy of Home Ownership.”  I wonder how that phrase first came to be, and exactly in what tone of voice it was expressed.  Because oddly, when anyone says that, it’s always due to less than joyful circumstances.  In other words, they may as well be saying “the joy of root canals.”

So what bites about owning my house?  Well, the day after I moved in, a torrential rain seeped into my basement causing damage requiring the services of a restoration company — using the money that would have gone towards a root canal if I ever need one.

To prevent further problems, I wanted to cover all the bases – clean gutters, longer down spouts and in case there’s a power outage — sump pump back up. I then asked a handy man to do an assessment, and found out there is a crack in the foundation that goes all the way to China. I guess some people just inherit bad teeth and no amount of fluoride is going to fix it.

He also explained the gutter on the front of my house was not installed properly and dumps all the water over the front door.  They do say opportunity knocks. I could put in a dunk tank some day, and start my own carnival.  Rinse and spit, please.

The house was also set down on an existing basement that is slightly smaller, creating an overbite effect.  Friends often ask me, “What’s between the inside walls and the basement anyway?”  I don’t really know, but I wonder if it’s the dead bodies of those who ask too many questions, or didn’t floss their teeth – ever.

A few other problems have been fixed — such as bracing the step to the deck, so no one falls off and breaks a tooth, and repairing the gate that retains my canines in the backyard.

It’s only been a month since I left the safe haven of my apartment with a landlord on speed dial to fix any problem that came up — and the number of “personal growth experiences” I’ve had qualifies me as a graduate of home owner’s “boot camp,” or should I say dental school?

Let’s just say I’m ready to accept reality.  I might decide to leave the water alone next time — and open up a neighborhood swimming pool to go with the dunk tank.  Friends get in free, but bring your own Waterpik!