Monday, March 29, 2010

First Tasks: Burying the Dead

It did not take long for us to realize just what we had bought into. The house’s unique quirks quickly became serious problems impossible to glibly dismiss.

The staircase to the basement was very narrow, making it next to impossible to move appliances in our out; an impediment made clearer to us by the basement graveyard we discovered on moving day. There were 7 dead appliances; big, cold hunks of metal, including a huge washer/dryer tower and one defunct oil furnace, all of which had been abandoned and left to rust.

We found in the damp recesses of the basement not only the unusual feature of an open well, there was also a door that opened up under the back porch with literately no visible means of exit to the outside.

Neither the house or the original builder could not be held responsible for this dilemma. It was the succession of homeowners who over the years had created the difficulty. Each new owner left their mark on the house by way of “home improvements.” In the case history of the door to nowhere, someone at some point, decided the house needed a back porch. Now, to be fair in laying blame, this homeowner considered the need for providing an occasional exit from the basement and created a prevision for this by making it possible to lift the porch decking to gain access the basement door. This was an awkward plan, but workable. A later resident however overruled his predecessor’s considerations with the installation of an overhead arbor that made it impossible to lift the decking.

If we wanted the dead appliances out of the basement, we had no choice but to cut a new “door” in the back porch floor. My husband Harold and our son Daniel then used a rope and pulley to hoist the old appliances up the five or six feet onto the porch and then dragged them out to the curb.

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