Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer House Blues

The above is painting done by the New Yorker cartoonist Whitney Darrow.  It has a place of honor outside a "new" , circa 1970's, bathroom that was added to the old Victorian home on Martha's Vineyard.  My father hoped the second full bath might improve rental opportunities.  (Hard to believe people weren't flocking to rent a seven bedroom house with one-and-a half bathrooms and an outdoor shower.)
 We rent out the house in the summer to cover expenses.  There is a sign directing tenants: "If all else fails, call Cindy"
This summer has been particularly fraught with house woes.   There was the explosion of the mouse population between rentals.  (We had an empty week) The house cleaner sent expressive emails with photos of the 'mouse pup'. The mice revisited while we had new tenants.  They (the tenants) apparently found this unsettling.   I don't know if the mice were bothered.
  Then, a lightning storm blew up the wireless transformer for the house.
  Then, the propane tank for the kitchen stove ran empty as the gas company neglected to fill it in May.
   My phone was ringing every other day.  Not so, the house phone on the Vineyard which did not work at all.  Most people bring cellphones.  They work pretty well at the house, as long as you hang yourself outside a second floor window in the northeast corner of the house.  Some tenants have resorted to calling from a ladder.
   Which brings me to today's woe.  The plumbing for the 'new' bathroom, which hides behind the "It's/ creature" door is leaking.  And apparently dripping with menace through the floor to the ceiling of the pantry.  The tenants who reported this have rented the house before and are not alarmed by legions of mice, mosquitoes and the occasional skunk.  But they did think we would want to know the kitchen ceiling might collapse.  They were wrong.  I don't want to know these things. 

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