I didn’t get around to posting last night — our day ran long again, this time in more pleasant ways, and I simply didn’t feel compelled to produce an account. Permit me to play a little catch-up this morning.
The “cleaning crew” that was scheduled to show up at Second Chance Ranch Wednesday morning ended up being one girl — an insecure and self-absorbed girl at that. She seemed nice enough, though, and she had a big job ahead of her, so we kinda felt bad that her employer, an outfit called Merry Maids, had sent her out alone.
She took lots of breaks. She worked slowly. She skipped over stuff that she knew needed to be done and we had to remind her about details that she missed.
Three hours into a job that should’ve taken two, she ran out of rags and asked if she could come back the next day. (Not an option.) We found her a dozen clean rags and she kept going.
Shortly thereafter she announced that her vacuum cleaner was broken and again asked if she could return Thursday. Deb called her employer and suggested that they bring out someone else to help. They refused.
The girl kept cleaning, sort of, and then unceremoniously declared that she had to leave to pick up her daughter. Deb called Merry Maids again, only to be told that they’d never do work for us again — and why was that?
On account of the way Deb had abused and mistreated their girl. Seriously.
So not only is this urchin an emotional wreck with no work ethic, she’s also a fucking liar. And we paid money for work that wasn’t done.
While all that was going on the lawn-care guys were weed-whacking, picking up fallen branches, mowing the lawn and power-washing the concrete sidewalk. As on previous visits they worked hard and did a spectacular job, without excuse or complaint.
The owner of the company, a stout fellow only a few years older than our not-so-Merry Maid, caught wind of our housecleaning pickle. Unbeknownst to us, called his wife to see if her mother could come out and give us a hand — after she got off from her full-time job at 8pm.
She arrived at 9pm and got right down to business. Her son-in-law, who’d just put in a full day himself, pitched right in. Less than 90 minutes later the place was spotless.
Her price? Less than one-third of what Merry Maids charged us.
Humble, hardworking folks like that, people who aren’t afraid to do the jobs that most won’t, are the backbone of the America that I know and love. They’re the ones who’ll make it great again.
We slept in ’til 6am yesterday, taking time for showers and full cups of coffee before driving to Second Chance Ranch to meet our realtor’s photographer. The realtor herself, a family friend, stopped by, too, and after the photos were done she planted a bright “For Sale” sign in the front yard.
The place officially went on the market at midnight last night.
We stuck around for a visit from our security guy, a friend and former customer, to set up our system to accommodate our imminent departure. We canceled phone, cable and trash pickup, and we arranged to have mail forwarded to our P.O. Box in Arkansas.
I expect we’ll drop by the house a few more times. We have several items stashed in the garage, most of which are bound for the storage unit. But for practical purposes, we’re done at Second Chance Ranch, the house that’s been our home for 12 years.
Like I said, shit’s gettin’ real.
Yesterday afternoon we relaxed at our campsite under Ernie’s awning and the towering red oaks. The park reminds me, in a way, of Dakota Campground in Mitchell, situated in a grove that tempers the summer heat but still permits a breeze.
We were paid a visit by a good friend, a guy whose expertise and work with home repairs over the years have been invaluable. After chatting awhile we drove to Second Chance Ranch to have him perform one last job — stopping a supply-line leak in the master bath.
From there we headed back in the direction of our campground to a microbrewery that Deb and I are fond of. We enjoyed dinner and drinks and more conversation, making memories that’ll have to last ’til we meet again.
It was the kind of day we needed badly, a chance to mark progress, breathe a little and rest our tired and aching bones. Today, unless we extend our pause, we’ll move a bunch of boxes and totes from our small, short-term storage unit to the big one holding the rest of our household goods.
That’ll involve a couple of dozen short hand-truck trips — all downhill, I should add — and more heavy lifting. I think we can handle that.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.