Waiting on parts, service, progress

Six weeks after my move, the condo is 90 percent settled. It’s that last 10 percent that drags out.

Since I bought this place in November, the kitchen has been rebuilt, the hallway closet now has room for coats *and* tool storage, and the walls are painted a restful light blue (“Silver Cloud” by Benjamin Moore) with white trim on the new crown moulding. The new television and fireplace are installed, two mail-order area rugs warm the hardwood floors in the living room and primary bedroom, and a new headboard is in place in the guest bedroom/study. I have a new stackable washer/dryer, a new electric range (condo rules say no gas appliances), new kitchen floor and countertops, and new cabinets. All but seven boxes of books are unpacked. Pictures are hung.

So what’s the problem, bunky? After a controversial Facebook survey of my friends (see Oct. 28 on my Facebook), I decided to have my mother’s 20-year-old sofa reupholstered (rebuilt, really), and then I acquired two similarly-aged armchairs which also needed work. Why buy new? Reduce, reuse and recycle has been my slogan since grad school. So I found a small upholstery shop whose owners said they’d pick up and deliver as part of their fee, and the work would take only two weeks once they had the furniture. You can pick out the keyword in that sentence. I gave them a (gulp) $1,000 deposit and have been waiting for an opening in their workflow. Today, they said it may be May before they can do the work.

I’d also like to have someone build floor-to-ceiling bookcases because of my writer’s habit of collecting way too many books. (See seven unopened boxes of books — a previous 10 boxes have been opened and are on temporary shelves.) But that project will have to wait until my bank account recovers.

The day before I moved from Joliet to Chicago, I backed my barely-year-old car out of my Mom’s garage and whacked the driver’s-side rearview mirror on the door frame. It’s useable, but just barely. A Ford dealer in Joliet estimated the repair at about $1,000, once the whole contraption was shipped in and painted and installed. A Chicago Ford dealer said it would cost at least $1,400. Guess which one I chose? Even though Joliet is an hour southwest of Chicago, I’m going to try to get it done when my tax accountant has my tax return ready, and gas up there (I can save about 40 cents a gallon there, thanks to lower county taxes).

Ford Escape, pre-accident
The car, before my collision with the garage.

I’m also getting antsy to go somewhere. It’s that time of year, end of February, long before spring arrives in the Midwest, when I just like a change of scenery. A friend and I are talking about an epic Western road trip this summer. Another friend invited me up to her northern Minnesota cabin in August. I have a Southern California wedding to attend in July. I’m thinking about New Orleans Jazzfest in May, if I’m ready for crowds by then. My brother-in-law pointed out that airfares to Paris are pretty low right now (but so is the balance in my bank account and the state of my French language skills).

After almost two years of uncertainty and uproar (my pandemic was different from yours), maybe I’d better lie low and get to know Chicago and its environs better.

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