When I look back over my long history as a homeowner, sometimes all I can see is a string of broken relationships.
There was the handyman who saw me through a string of traumatic breakdowns: the rotted windowsill, the rickety porch stairs, the bad wiring in the attic. And then one day he just stopped returning my phone calls.
A couple of years ago, I met a grader. He said he had the equipment I needed to fix my driveway. He said he’d be back the next week. And then he ghosted me.
There was chainsaw guy, who said he’d be over in a week — two weeks at the most — to trim my trees. But he never showed. I called and called and left message after message. After a couple of months, I gave up and found somebody new to trim my trees.
I heard through the grapevine about a landscaper. They said he had a special way with plants. I hounded him for months. Phone calls. Emails. Facebook messages. He finally responded. I was so excited. He came out and looked at my yard. He said he could make it beautiful again. And he did! I asked if he could come back. It didn’t have to be often. Once a month or so? That was the last I ever saw of him.
It took me years to get over that heartbreak. When I was finally ready to put myself back out there, a friend introduced me to a new landscaper. He wasn’t put off by my unkempt, overgrown yard. He could fix it, he said. And he did! He asked if I wanted him to come back again. Maybe on a regular basis? I said that would be lovely. He showed up one time. That was the last I ever saw of him.
I had better luck with the painter. He was reliable. He brought color to my drab, boring walls. But he made a mess of my floors.
At least none of these were like the man who swore that the only way to fix my water leak was to dig up the whole yard and replace $5,000 worth of pipe. Fortunately, I wised up before I wired him the money.
I found a new plumber to fix my water leak. I met him through an ad in the newspaper. He fixed my water leak without digging up the yard, without replacing any pipe and without draining my bank account. We’re still together.
In fact, most of the relationships in my life now are stable.
My air-conditioner repairman saves my life — literally — every summer.
I finally found a good electrician, after 20 years of looking.
Just this month I got a lead on an appliance repairman.
And I must raise a glass to my pest control man. He calls me once a month, like clockwork, to check that it’s OK to come over. He shows up right on time. And then he kills all the spiders.
He’s a keeper.
Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or email@example.com.