The Ongoing Saga of the Yard

Fences and Walls

I talked to the contractor plumber guy yesterday as they were pouring concrete. “Are we gonna make it under the figure you quoted,” I asked. If we go over budget I’m gonna be in trouble — all I have is a loan for the amount they quoted me… And they’d already done work that wasn’t included in the bid — my retaining wall was back in place already.

“Yeah, we’ll make sure we’re on target,” he said.

“Um… How much would it be for you to put my fence back?” I asked, looking at the retaining wall, thankful they moved the railroad ties into place with their backhoe — it would have been miserable to try to lug them into place by hand.

He paused for a minute, shovel in hand, and wiped the sweat from his head. “I was planning to put the fence back for you anyway,” he said. “It’ll only take us a few minutes while we have the tools here.”

“Oh, THANK YOU!” I said. “I’ve been worrying about this stuff. I simply don’t have the tools to do any of this. It’d take me days to put the fence back using nothing but a trowel and a broken Phillips screw driver. I might have a hammer somewhere, but I think the handle fell off it a few years ago…” Three cheers for Tri-State Plumbing!

So, the way it looks, all I’ll have to do is rake and reseed my yard, and plug my little Blue Spruce into a hole somewhere. The plumber/contractor people are supposed to be back later today to take the concrete forms out, put the fence in, and level my yard… Unfortunately it’s supposed to rain the next few days (it’s getting cold out there — highs in the low-mid 60’s are a shock from last week’s mid 90’s) so I’m not sure if they’ll be able to do much work. I’m not looking forward to the mud.

In any case, I really, REALLY appreciate Jody’s offer/idea in the comments of my last post, but it looks like things are going well — MUCH better than I had anticipated, in fact. I’m not sure I’ll need any help at all, but rest assured that I’ll holler loud and long if I do! And it feels wonderful to realize that there are people out there who are willing to lend a hand! I very much appreciate it!


Throughout this whole ordeal I’ve been referring to “the neighbors.” To be honest, they’re really good people. This whole thing started when their plumbing started acting up. They called the landlord (they rent, you see), who ignored them. They called him again a few weeks later. No answer. Finally they convinced the property owner that they really needed someone to work on the plumbing… That’s when all my problems started — the contractor cut my sewer line whilst working on their plumbing.

But it’s not their fault — the neighbors rent, the contractors were doing what they were paid to do… The guy who actually owns the house could have stepped up to the plate and offered to chip in and help me out a little, but it’s not his obligation to do so.

The neighbors themselves are really good people. The lady is in poor health and works as much as she can. The husband works (I believe) at the local packing plant — a hard job. They have an extra room, so they’ve taken in a homeless man and have “adopted” him — they call him “Dad.” They’re truly a family, bloodlines notwithstanding. When the house across the street from them was burned by an arsonist, they took in one of the “refugees” and let him live with them for a few months for a very small stipend — enough to cover his food.

I get a good feeling when I set out a 12-pack of empty cans for the local homeless guy to cash in. These guys gave a homeless guy a home, even though they don’t have two nickles to rub together themselves.

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8 thoughts on “The Ongoing Saga of the Yard

  1. The Guv'ner

    It’s awesome that at least, pain though it is, things seem to be resolving satisfactorily. And your neighbors – wow! They sound amazing. What an astounding thing to do. I guess all their lives are enriched by the experience, them and the homeless man.

  2. pistols at dawn

    This is why you will live a long happy life and I will die of a heart attack next week: I’d be so mad at the contractors who screwed up the job, at the neighbors for hiring someone to fix property that isn’t theirs, at the landlord for not fixing the problem, and I’d just yell a lot and crap on their lawn every night and then I’d be the crazy one.

  3. Jody

    What wonderful news all around! I’m so glad you explained your neighbor’s situation. Sounds like they deserve a big thumbs up! As for Tri-State Plumbing, you can always recognize their great service on Now, just get the city council on third base, hit your homer of a proposition, and you’ve got a grand slam.

    Who would have thought? Don’t you just love it when things turn out as they should?

  4. Chris


    It’s not all roses — we still have a loan to pay off. They turned down our application to increase our home equity loan, so we ended up taking a higher interest loan. The whole thing is going to cost me roughly two or three month’s wages, so somehow I need to find two or three extra months in the next couple years in order to earn enough to cover the loan…


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