Chinches and such. 

I kept thinking about writing the next house-building blog, but it felt like nothing was happening with the project. So I waited. As I drove by day after day, it didn’t look any different on the lot.  The piles of dirt were moved and flattened, and then there were stakes in the ground with flags, but I thought, “this isn’t worth chronicling’. Besides, life got super busy and while Sergio was moving our house project forward, we were also dealing with bigger, more apocalyptic things. 


Believe me, I know deep down we’re blessed that the worst thing happening in our life last month were the fucking chinches. (Whoa, hold on. I thought hard about using the f-word there. And those chinches deserve it). I feel all the guilt in the world for making this into such a huge problem in our household, when many, many people go through much worse on a daily basis. Still, I’d like to acknowledge on behalf of my patients (for whom I’ve written letters to their landlords about this issue) and my family, this shit sucks. 


Just when we thought the chinches were eradicated, both kids got lice. We spent hours the first night at the laundromat, washing and drying every piece of cloth within the walls of our house.  We combed hair every night for two weeks using the tiny metal lice comb, pacifying our kids with more screen time than any kid should ever have.  Then, one night we all slept in the living room to allow the bedrooms to air out from the toxic, anti-green, poison bombs we had dropped in there, and the next morning I woke up with bedbug bites from sleeping on the sofa.  *ohmmmmmm* (that’s me dissociating from the memory of crying when that meant the chinches were BACK).  So that was that. Oh and Sergio and the kids got Strep throat. That was really ok because, Penicillin. And thankfully, my bad attitude makes me resistant to these infestations so except for getting bit up that night on the couch, I was spared. Still, it was a hellish month which we steam cleaned and poisoned our way out of.  

Now we see why I didn’t write about the house. But there has actually been progress, it turns out.  When we came out of our Plague Era a few days ago, the lot suddenly looked like the beginnings of a house! While I thought nothing was happening, Sergio was digging a 200 foot trench for the sewer, water and electric lines. The concrete guys poured the first two parts of their three-part pour, and the plumbers put in the rough-in plumbing. (I had to ask Sergio how to spell that – all these years I thought they were “ruffian” plumbers). The gas line is in. There’s a concrete outline of a house and pipes sticking up where the showers, toilets and sinks are going to go. 

 Now I can walk around the external borders and pretend I’m walking through the future rooms.  The kids love it when I give tours of the dirt, pointing out where we’ll sit and let the courtyard breeze enter while we eat, all the places Lalli will curl up to read, and where we’ll hang out to watch Papi in his outdoor kitchen.  It’s true what everyone says about how the house feels so small when it’s at ground level, without walls or ceilings. After walking around the future living room, I ran home and took a tape measure to our current living room to make sure we’re really going to fit in the new house. We will – whew! 

This coming week the insulation will be laid down, then the tubing for radiant heat. Finally, the foundation will be poured over those layers and the house will really get moving.  The adventure continues. 

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