How to Have a House

Living with and understanding a home.

Getting old sucks. Or does it?


Went to an appointment today to visit a couple who have been regular customers for about 8 years.  We realized this when we reflected on the fact that the second time I worked on the house Bob told me he just turned 80.  That first couple years Fran would blow the car horn at me when she was trying to get out of the garage, she had no time for me or my “costly” maintenance on the house.  Bob’s an old Marine who was in banking for years and clearly managed his money well.  Eight years ago he was just thinking of selling his 40 foot power boat he kept on the Great Lakes. Bob’s always hangs  out at the back of the truck and chats it up while I drag ladders and tools in and out. I learn a lot about customers at the back of the truck.  Bob always asks about my kids and wife and gives me tips on how to keep from pulling my own hair out trying to raise kids. Mostly he just laughs because he’d been there and done it.  The house is pretty good sized, about 4200 square feet. They built the house way after the kids were raised and out on their own, meaning it’s about 3 times bigger than necessary, but so is a 40 foot boat.  He paid for them both and can afford the upkeep and operation so more power to him.  Today was sweet.  Fran’s on a walker now and wants a ramp to get over the threshold of the sliding patio door going to the covered deck, I suggested a ramp going into the garage too so she can get to the car without depending on Bob to get her down what are now two of the toughest steps she’s ever seen.  I’ve worried about these two for a while.  Their getting skinny and frail and are as independent as can be. I’ve suggested in home help a thousand times and they aren’t ready yet. Bob forgets he’s cooking and burns food on the stove all the time.  Fran complains Bob’s health is making her nervous. I hear her complaints while installing grab bars in her shower. He’s the strong silent type except for rolling his eyeballs.  They’re clearly in love.  Bob and Fran are going to stay in this big house.  The boat’s been sold but they still have both cars. Fran admitted she doesn’t drive anymore which is good because she was tearing the edges of the garage up 5 years ago.  They will both celebrate their 88th birthdays in the next two weeks.  I better get the ramps in, they’ve got a lot to get done.  I don’t want to be accused of slowing them down.

Author: Jonas

Working on private homes since 2000 has inspired me to share the experiences and challenges customers face. Homeowners and non-homeowners alike are encouraged to make choices reflecting their hearts and minds. Acting on these choices and the realities of time, money and lifestyle add confidence and peace to the lives of those living in these homes.

2 thoughts on “Getting old sucks. Or does it?

  1. That’s Jonas….the level of attention to excellence in his handiwork is nothing compared to his attention and concern for the people he serves….his is indeed an artist

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