Where the Wind Comes From
People and Houses
Tell Me
Driving - the old and the young
Dandy Lion
Camp Fires
Knots in May
The Itch
A Genetically Modified Poem
Night closes in
The Rain
Mid Fifties in 2000
In the blink of an eye
The Criminal Mind

List of 2007 stories

People and houses in their later years

I have come to the conclusion that older people and older houses, have a great deal in common. As I have grown older, there have been increasing numbers of visits to the GP and occasional to see Medical Specialists.
      A General Practitioner is to the human form as a Handy Man is to the house.
      The GP may prescribe a diet or medicine and, infrequently, even carries out very minor treatments to sores, sprains, ear aches, etc.
      A Handy Man may clean the leaves out of gutters, mow the lawn, and haul rubbish to the tip. Occasionally he will mend a fence, do small paint jobs, help plant or remove a tree.
      The specialist operates: brain surgery, heart, lung, liver transplants. By pass operations and appendices are standard practice these days.
      The house also has it's specialists.
      My house recently had a full 'Kitchen Transplant'. Cabinet makers, electrician, plumber, plasterer, tiler, and a volunteer painter (me), formed the operating team. The patient not only lived; but is far better now than ever before in the 44 years since it was created. (There is some reluctance on the part of the others involved to acknowledge that the paint job fits into the "better" category.)
      This could easily be compared to a heart-lung transplant, as the kitchen IS the heart and lungs of the home. Without it, there is no sustenance, hence, no life! It also costs just about as much.
      The "patient" was totally incapacitated for over 3 weeks. The planing and scheduling took 10 months. (A child would involve less time and no where near as much cost.)
      "Ah", you say, "but the child will go on costing for many years".
      The kitchen will consume more money for food, drink, gadgets, replacement appliances and maintenance than the child in the same period of time. Not counting university. By the time the child has reached University age, the house will have been replaced in full, and it will be time to start all over again.
      Our next house surgery is scheduled to take place on November 20th. At that time a team of highly skilled (and paid) specialists will remove the existing bathroom, remake it in a 'modern' form; then transform a short hall and toilet into an ensuite. Recovery time is expected to be 3 weeks, (isn't it always?) and the 'patient' is assured that this will transform life for the occupants.       Again, the corollary with a highly complex medical event. Plastic surgery could not possibly be any more difficult than trying to turn 2 smallish dreary spaces into 2 large delightful rooms.

©  Mickey Benefiel

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