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Step One

dozing the drivewayIt It seems that step one took about fifteen steps to get to. The VERY first step was to gather together the cash: of course the definition of the newly coined word “cashtration” is “the state or condition resulting from buying or building a house”. That stage involved, of course, four weeks of misinformation, frustration, miscommunication, changing loan officers and plain, ordinary stalling due to laziness punctuated by periodic flurries of express mail and faxing, and finally culminating in me getting bumped up to the office manager, who earned her keep by vigorously pacifying me after her subordinate managed to spur me into a frenzy of disgruntlement. Whew. Then the money came.

Cash in hand, I began hiring, which, inevitably, resulted in a whole new clusterfuck. I got the well driller first, but he can’t get his rig into the lot until a road is built, and the road can’t be built until the fellow with the 318 swing-hoe-with-a-thumb cleared his scheule (it took me the good part of a day to memorize all the names and capacities of various heavy equipment, so that I could determine if various operators were up to the job, as well as to become conversant in state statutes governing the movement of equipment on the highways…), and, well, you can imagine the rest. In the end my friend’s husband dashed over with his antique “cat” to bull doze a road. That piece of equipment, incidentally, looked exactly like a battered version of the bull dozer in one of my first books: “All About Trucks.” It was like having an old, old friend helping me out.

 So now that I have a road, the well-driller has backed out, claiming that in my part of the world wells just arent that deep, so at $28 a foot, its not worth his while driving his rigs out here. Now my mission is to convince as many people as possible that they, too need a well, so that the well driller will have enough work to do. I actually found myself trying to charm the guy, using that tone of voice and gentle kidding manner that is the telephonic equivilent of batting my eyelashes.

Wish me luck, because there’s no way to pour concrete without water, and if I can’t pour the concrete, I’ll lose the most valuable asset I’ve got on this job: Roger, the World’s Most Competant Local Contractor.


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