We exercised our electrical enhancements monkey this week. On Tuesday our electrician came out and tidied up our “to do” list. First order of business was hooking up the cool USB charging outlet in our office area. Tom the electrician cut out the drywall, ran the wire to an existing outlet and even checked my work at the other end where I installed the new outlet. I wasn’t expecting it but he even put the drywall back and mudded over the seems. One less chore for me.
Out on the screen porch we had him add some outlets. When we built the house we just had a cable tv wire sticking out of the wall, and no outlets to plug in an actual tv. One of our electrical panels had an open slot so he ran new wire from the panel, and the cable interface in the basement to the rim joist by the screen porch. He spray foamed the hole for the wires to make sure we maintained air tightness in the house. He even sprayed some foam around the new plumbing spigot pipe that was installed last week. One less chore for me.
Out on the porch there’s a hollow column that is perfect for mounting all the electrical boxes to. As it turns out we asked for a ton of outlets so the column looks pretty bad now, but through no fault of Tom’s handy work. Rather just overzealous owners. We have outlets for the tv power and cable. Way up top an outlet for twinkle lights; we’ll loop those around the back porch next Spring. About 36″up another outlet was placed so we can plug in a blender for margaritas or whatnot during party time. That outlet also has a switch for the twinkle light outlet. Lastly a regular outlet down low…not sure why we did that one other than maybe for a table lap out there. Like I said, it looks awful but once we install a tv and bar countertop they should camouflage most of the visual destruction.
After the porch we had the electrician take a look at an outlet in the upstairs hallway that never worked. Turns out it wasn’t hooked up so he was able to do the with little fanfare. In the basement he pointed out a couple oddities that were questionable but in the end we determined didn’t require immediate action. One is the pump for the septic is on a GFI outlet. Apparently the code was recently changed to no longer require pumps to be on GFI’s because if the GFI trips and we don’t know about it then the pump won’t work…I guess you figure out it’s broken when the toilets all start backing up. Also anytime you have wires leaving metal conduit there should be a transitional coupling and there were some other inconsistencies but like I said, nothing that is a deal breaker.
Lastly outside I had him look at a random set of metal wires sticking up from the ground in one of the plant beds. Apparently no one bothered to hook up the ground wires and bury them so he hooked them up free of charge for us, which was nice because he’d been working for like 9 hours already and I’m sure his family was waiting for him at home. I’ll have to cover the wires next chance I get.
So if you’re in Northeast Ohio and need a good electrician, shoot me a line and I’ll give you Tom’s info. He even covered our filthy floor and stairs with a drop cloth as he moved about the house. Really did a nice courteous job.
So that’s it for electrical for the house until we finish the basement.
As for the rest of life, it is its typical roller coaster existence. Work has been slow so the thought that we’re preparing the house for sale crosses my mind often, and then things pick up here and there and we’ll be fine….then they really pick up and I get ahead of myself. Life is funny that way.
I finally finished that painting and it’s soon to be owner is happy. And my weekend will be occupied with an art show so that’s always good, though way too much manual labor for an old guy like me.
August flew by and now September is hot on its heels. As the season winds down my sense of urgency only increases. Maybe it’s the world around me. The days are getting shorter and the yard is filled with activity. A world that was lazily enjoying the heat of Summer is now busily preparing for Fall. When I was cutting the nature trail I heard the geese moving through the valley headed for their cold weather home down south. In the yard yesterday the air was filled with dragon flies….it was incredible, not sure what they were doing but suspect the time of year had something to do with it. And of course the birds are everywhere including countless yellow ones and even the occasional cardinal.
We’re trying to get the boys out as much as we can. Wringing every warm hour out that we can while there is still time. Between loads of mulch bound for the front planting bed, I worked with them on how to hit a baseball off a tee. And as we discussed the finer points of a different type of swinging on the swing set, we looked up and watched as jets left contrails in the waning September sky.
“Dad, who’s in there?”
“I dunno bud, probably people just like you and me.”
“Where are they going?”
“Hmmm, maybe New York City or someplace.”
And it brought me back to being a kid watching planes fly overhead, leaving vapor trails across the sky. As a grown up I know whenever I’m in a plane I always look down at the world…the buildings, fields, cars….and wonder what the people are doing down there. I imagine that they’re just driving home from work, or leading their ordinary average lives, driving to the store for milk or a lottery ticket, getting ready to pick up their date or hang out with friends. Just another day, and here I am stuck in a plane coming or going. Even when I’m flying home and it’s been a long day, as the plane approaches the runway I look down and to those folks on the freeway it’s just another Thursday. There’s something to be said about it being just another Thursday. Yesterday when we looked up, if those people in the plane could have seen us I bet they’d be thinking it was just another day of the week for us.
And they’d be right.
And that’s okay. There’s something extraordinary about ordinary days.
Today we knocked a few things off our list. And added a few more. By special request I got to watch our oldest partake in swim lessons so I could see firsthand how well he floats on his back now. As we walked out I looked at all the kids playing various sports at various levels and realized how many more ordinary days we had ahead of us, god willing. It’s a lot to process during a few dozen paces to the car, especially when time is both eternal and fleeting simultaneously.
I don’t have answers, and I don’t really need any frankly.
Every day is extraordinary.