The flaming leaves are beautiful this year. This photo was taken almost a week ago and the colors have only intensified. I revel in them, knowing that in another ten days the leaves will fall and the trees will be stark and brown for the next six months.

The short-lived beauty of the season reminds me that all time is fleeting. The sixteen-year-old son of a colleague, a boy I taught for two years, committed suicide last week. He was revived and lived for two more days. It has been harrowing. I did not sleep for a week, dreaming about him.

In the midst of this aching sadness I have continued to march through chores. Gradually I am getting things done. I remain frustrated with my builder, who has been back for a few hours on about 5 days since the last week in August, but does not seem overly (or even at all) concerned about finishing the job, even as he now defines “finishing,” i.e. leaving off many items. The “completion date” for the house was June 30, 2017, and unfortunately I made the terrible mistake of paying him the final installment at that time.

Here is the southwest corner of the house in October, 2017. (The grey is pre-primer.)

The builder told me when he quit work in the fall that he would be back in the spring. In the spring, he angrily said he would be back in August. He would not meet with us. He did not answer emails or texts.

Here is the southwest corner of the house in October, 2018.

The back of the garage was scraped in July, 2017 and has been bare since then. After a summer of drought, it has rained on and off for the last two weeks. We need rain badly but as I look at the forecast and know we may have snow by Halloween, I worry that the painting will be finished in a slipshod manner in poor conditions. Who knows when he will be able to get to the brick work on the chimney or the contracted screen porch. It appears he will finish very little inside the house.

At this point I am focusing on my own many projects and trying to stay positive. Certainly with Owen’s death I am pointedly reminded that contractor problems are not the big problems of life.

One Response to October

  1. Ned says:

    So sorry to hear about the young man. I’ll keep all who knew him in my prayers. 16 is far to young.

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