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This ol' house

     It's old and it's new. Born in the 1960's; makeover seven or eight years ago. Paul and I moved in after the makeover when everything was shiny new with warm walnut cabinets, new appliances and a wide-open floor plan. Add a pool and landscaping and we were set for life!

     Well, not quite. . . Even new things get old. A house for two opens its arms to embrace a daughter and an old friend, so now there are four. Plus Rocco, Christy's eight-year-old Shih Tzu, who gleefully welcomes every unsuspecting guest to our home.

     Monday morning the gopher-repelling guy came out. They forgot to discard the gophers during the makeover. The friendly critters tunnel over from other backyards to see what's going on with us. We have our "wall," but it doesn't deter them, not a bit. The gopher-repelling guy had hardly left when the yard-beautification guy arrived to pluck weeds and trim the rosemary groundcover, the bottlebrush bushes, the roses and the vines on the backyard fence.

Marcelino is a blessing because of the fact that Paul's disabled, I'm lazy and the other two work all week. While he was trimming the rosemary the pool-beautification guy drove up. I say pool-beautification because he does—the pool sparkles and waves after he leaves.

     My goodness! All this attention to our ol'-new' house! And that's not all. It's been raining a lot lately. A whole lot. And what happens when it rains?

     You got it! Leaks! You know how sometimes when you're outside you kind'a think you just felt a drop of water on your arm and five minutes later it's pouring rain? Well, I was sitting in my favorite armchair, the one by the fireplace, watching TV or reading—I don't remember which—when I got that same feeling. Except I was inside. It doesn't often rain inside.

     It had to be my imagination. But was it? I looked overhead in case there was a rain cloud somewhere up there. Of course there wasn't. That's silly. The rain was all outside, coming down in sheets. But my arm was a tiny bit damp, so I looked harder. Sure enough I spied water drops on the wood-paneled ceiling and shallow puddles of water on the fireplace mantel.

     Leaks are supposed to come in one place but this wasn't following the rules. There were drops scattered here and there above my head, ready to plummet to the mantel in random fashion.

     I did what you would have done. I removed the artwork that was now damp on the bottom and set about to find a few bowls to catch the drips. And about those scattered drops, I clearly remembered another leak with scattered drops—from years past, in another house. The caulking of the flashing around the chimney had dried out over the years and shrunk. You know, the flashing that prevents leaks when it rains, if it hasn't shrunk too much. So we're on schedule to have the flashing re-caulked.

     Like I said, even new things get old. The carpet was old and tired and recently I replaced it with vinyl plank flooring and now Christy's closet needs the door put back on properly and the molding replaced to hold the flooring in place.

     The ceiling fans are getting tired, too. One of the four bulbs quit and won't work even with a brand-new bulb in its socket. Not on just one ceiling fan, on two of them. And the bedroom ceiling fan remote quit and that ceiling fan refuses to work by manually yanking its chain. So we have a few things to do around this ol' house and then it will be like new again—for a while.

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