Tag Archives: the nephew


26 Feb

Sometimes, “good news” is simply that things are going to hell in a handbasket at the slowest possible rate.

For years, we have been having trouble with the house settling, shifting, sinking, and generally acting as if it’s trying to quit on us. The Squire and I are trying to keep it upright until we are ourselves no longer in that position. There are at least six springs on the property and we have always assumed the problems were related to the ground settling. (It’s listed on the tax assessment as marsh land, which gives you an idea of what we’re dealing with.)

For quite a while, there has been a gap on the outside of the dining room between the bow window and the block wall, and it’s getting wider. Also, the entire dining room floor has been settling, until the side nearest the kitchen is about two inches lower than the side by the stairs. Yesterday, The Squire finally called in a mason to take a look at the mess. The man admitted it was beyond him, as he is a one-man operation, and suggested we contact a structural engineer. We called several, and they all want roughly $400 just to come out and take a look!

Anyway, the upchuck of it all is this – back in the mid-80s, The Squire’s nephew, whose reach frequently exceeded his grasp, helped us level the floors from one end of the house to the other – from the bow window to the fireplace, about 35 feet. When The Squire pulled up the corner of the floor this morning, he discovered that Ernie had not put hangers on the plate along the long wall, to attach the floor joists. They were just hanging in mid-air, and slowly sinking into the sunset. Repairing this will involve jacking up each individual joist, nailing hangers to the plate and setting the joists in place. Heaven know how many joists this involves. The problem with the bow window is that the wall directly under it is crumbling. That will obviously involve removing the window, repairing the damage, and replacing the window, and will have to wait until spring. At least it’s not the entire wall.

In the meantime, in addition to all the mess upstairs, everything had to be removed from the corner cupboard and piled on top of the table, adding to the general disaster area atmosphere around here. Contrary to what my normal housekeeping may lead you to believe, I do not handle chaos all that well. Clutter, yes. Chaos, no.