The remaining termite damage is small compared to what we repaired over the last year; the short end of the garage and maybe some involvement near the kitchen wall that connects to the garage. I know that things are structurally sound because we made major structural repairs to every other wall in the house, and I know what's on the inside of those walls.
So....I've taken a breath and decided to move forward with renting the house out and buying my brother out of his portion of it.
Yep....I'll be rivaling Donald Trump in no time flat....investor and landlord will be added to my current jack-of-all-trades tool belt.
After catching my breath, I went in search of the deed to the house. It was paid off years ago, and I hadn't looked for it because it was low on the list of priorities in managing the estate. While going through the relevant stack of house-related papers, I found my father's original settlement papers from when he bought the house.
Much to my frustration, I also chanced across an envelope dated one month before his closing date. It was a termite inspection report. It noted termite infestation in several areas of the house.A shock passed through me as I realized that my father knew the whole time that his house had been infested and damaged.
There had been some speculation on my part about how much and when my father knew about this disaster. He had mentioned to me once many years before that he thought he might have termites. This conversation took place in the context of him eventually selling his home.
Now, I realize that it was a lie/half-truth. He didn't suspect....he knew. He knew it before he ever bought the house. He knew it the whole time he was living there. He knew it as he made plans to retire, sell the house, and move to Alabama.
He knew the whole time and he was going to pass it off onto someone else if he could get away with it.
Suddenly this problem wasn't a result of his procrastination, or denial of what was happening...it was the result of his outright attempt to buy a house on the cheap and unload it on someone else, later.
What a family pedigree I have!
Alas, I can't say that the image of my father is tainted by all this. I knew that he wasn't exactly the most integrity-driven person in the world.
As I discussed in my other post about forgiveness, the world can't survive without redeemers.
In small and large ways the Christian life is one of taking the crap and refuse that the world, and other people, spew out and repairing, restoring, and renewing it.
My dad left us a rotting pile of a house and we have turned it into a solid, new, improved home.
He planned to pass a problem onto someone else; we planned to prevent someone else from having the problem.
Lately I don't sermonize much, or have any great illusions about my ability to communicate with God, or for God, but trying to see the situation through these themes is the only thing keeping me going right now.