"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Old Ball And Chain

"I don't think the house has looked this good in years."  I said to SM as I was shoveling yet another load of pine bark nuggets onto the landscaped beds. 

"Maybe we should just put it up for sale now and see what we can get for it."  I continue.  "We can advertise that everything's included, furniture, dogs, everything.  Do you think we'd get any takers?"

To be honest, I think I'm a little high right now.  I'm sniffing the successful fumes of a busy, productive week with many items scratched off of my "To-Do" list.  This week has just flown by!

Over the last week, we've shoveled a total of 12 yards of pine bark mulch onto the landscaped beds in our backyard.  (I got the first 8 on during the week while SM was at work.  He tackled the last 4 this weekend.) 

The front-loader guy at the mulch place and I are on a "smile and hand signal" system.  He see's me coming and already has my load ready to dump into the pickup.  I smile and wave at him as I pull out and head for home.

SM says that the exterior of the house looks great and thanked me for my hard work this week. 

"I don't know why I've let things go for so long."  I said.  It would've been so much easier to toss a load here and there over the years.  But I simply didn't want to spend the money.

When the bottom dropped out in 2008 and SM lost his job, it was all about pinching and careful consideration before spending any money.  Four years later, the house is showing this lack of care and since SM and I have weathered the economic storm well enough, it's time to put some effort back into our house.  Curb appeal first.  Then we'll tackle the inside next.

This got me to thinking about maintenance (and my lack of it) as I was shoveling mulch this past week.  About the fact that when I signed the mortgage papers on the place, I agreed to "maintain" the house in a certain way.

A maintenance agreement if you will.

It's the rare person that doesn't have a maintenance agreement. 

Think about it.

You agree to maintain your car in a certain way so the state will let you drive it. 

You maintain a certain attitude at work so you can make your boss happy and earn a paycheck. 

Your inter-personal relationships and your marriage also have a maintenance agreements.

You try to maintain a healthy weight, healthy lifestyle.


Noun: 1.The process of maintaining or preserving someone or something, or the state of being maintained: "the maintenance of democratic government".

2.The process of keeping something in good condition: "car maintenance"; "essential maintenance work".

Synonyms: upkeep - keeping - support - sustenance - preservation

You can, for a time, put off maintenance but if neglected, it will always come back around to bite you in the butt.

"Do you think if we put an ad out that said Will Trade For RV that we'd get any takers?"  SM asked, wiping the sweat off his face.

"Hell, No.  They've fiqured out what we haven't."  I quiped.  "Homeownership is a ball and chain if you think about it.  We don't own this.  It owns us."

I'm not tired of that ownership yet.  Someday.  But not yet


  1. Hubby and I used to talk about "chucking it all" and hitting the open road, but I've noticed as I get older, home really is where I want to be.
    Your place is looking great. And I'll bet your arm muscles are sore!

  2. A brilliant result and just reward for your week long hard work!

    Not the worst idea - to put your house on the market when it's looking so good - but have you anywhere to move to / that you want to move to? Off grid :)

    Well done - it looks excellent!

  3. Holy-Heckuva-Lotta-Work! But don't you love the sense of pride and personal responsibility that goes along with it? Home is my security, my base to build everything else on. I would NOT be happy living in an RV (no matter how big and/or well equipped). I need my roots sunk deep into the soil. You have a beautiful place in which to sink your roots. You've been an excellent "maintenance (wo)man!"

  4. Ball and chain all right. But I am with you-at this point I'm ok with that. When you stand back and look at all your hard work and it still makes you feel satisfied and you take pride in ownership then you still have that agreement in tact. Ya I'll keep my house for bit longer too. Nice work Tami. Jobs well done. Be proud.

    @ 3Beeze Homestaed