It's done at last. As of the last day of our Ocean Springs stay, the errrant contractor is gone! He is out of our lives! Now we just have minor things to attend to from a distance, which would be true even of a brand-new house. Setting all nasty commentary aside, the errant contractor did do good work when he worked. The house is beautiful. It has gone from being an eyesore to the crown jewel of the neighborhood. Seeing the house finished was an emotionally overwhelming experience which left Jennifer in tears much of the day. Part of it was the release of two years of stress and aggravation. Most of it was knowing the house now looks better than my dad ever dreamed it could, and he isn't here to see it. While we know he would have been more fired up about the contractor woes than even we were (and we were pretty darn fired up), we also know the house would make him swell with pride...and it makes us feel his absence in a way we hadn't felt as yet.
Thank you to all who have offered and given moral support during this ridiculous process, not least to Mary who has repeatedly housed and fed us and listened to the griping throughout. Without further emotional ado, here it is:
We hope to settle in for a good hiatus from Ocean Springs now, planning to return by fall next year to visit friends only (and not deal with any house issues, inshallah!). In January, the house will be on the market for renters (no good trying to sell in this market, even if we wanted to), so please keep your fingers crossed we get some good ones. Of course, if you have a hankering for small town life with good community and a family-friendly atmosphere where the weather is lovely this time of year, you know who to call. There could be a brand-new, fully inspected and certified four bedroom house on the bayou with an amazingly huge back porch with your name on it.