Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

September 15, 2013

Marta Hepler Drahos: Summer wind-down not tranquil

It’s been a trying summer in lots of ways, not the least of which is the illness and death of our third old dog in eight months.

So we were looking forward to playing tourist at the end of August with friends from St. Louis and with our 3-year-old grandson, who is coming for his first visit from Colorado with his parents.

My husband is already installing a window in the downstairs den when, at the last minute, we decide to spruce up the rest of the guest floor by taking on several other long-ignored projects. With the zeal born of a ticking clock, we paint and add knobs to sliding glass doors, put up a bathroom linen cabinet and replace the mattresses on my grandparents’ old spool bed.

We finish on the weekend of our family’s arrival with less than an hour to spare.

I haven’t had time to shop for groceries but figure we’ll pick them up as we go along.

We finally unwind over the next few days, during which I get in my first swim of the summer. The boat gets its second or third outing.

After seeing the family off, we go into high gear again to prepare for our friends’ same-day arrival. It’s been pouring since morning but I think nothing of it until they text to tell us they’re behind because of rain and fog. Just then, I hear ominous sounds from the basement shop.

I go downstairs to investigate and find my husband standing in a puddle of water.

It seems a roof joint has sprung a leak and water is flowing down a wall and spreading across the floor. Already it has soaked the bottoms of two bookcases and damaged some of his drawings from art school.

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