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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Temporary Occupancy Permit

Today was a long, yet somewhat productive day.  Both of the kids were up at 7 and spent some time making thank you notes for various hotel staff.  I had them make handprint turkeys that say "I am thankful for you" and they colored and added their names.  We handed some out today and will give out more tomorrow.  After breakfast we headed to the library to get some books to read this weekend and do a craft.  Then we went towards the house.  To our dismay, no one was there to work today.  So this week only 1 day has had any work done.  We spent much of the day at the neighbor's so the kids could relax and play.  Carolyn read an entire Cam Jansen book, she definitely has missed being able to get absorbed in a book.  I spent some of the morning at the house cleaning things up.

Before I get to today's findings, let me rewind to the information we received yesterday afternoon.  Our contractor finally got in touch with the commissioner and was told we need smoke detectors in every bedroom and they need to communicate with each other.  This was the first time that this requirement was mentioned.  The village also said they had no paperwork regarding our home being designated as not fit for occupancy.  So we could have been living there this whole time and no one would have cared!  Not that I really wanted to live there during the construction.  But that is unbelievable to hear.

Just after 1 our contractor arrived with the smoke detectors.  The village commissioner showed up at almost exactly 1:30 and didn't take more than a few steps inside.  I was still working on cleaning the playroom and kitchen so heard the whole conversation.  He definitely remembered being at the house on the day of the storm and quickly wrote out the temporary occupancy permit.  That means we're allowed to be back in our house.

I discussed with the contractor that we are very frustrated with the very slow progress of the last couple weeks.  He said he's trying but coordinating the different groups is hard, yada yada.  There's no reason that work is only being done 1, maybe 2 days a week.  We will definitely be letting the referral service know of our frustration once our house is put back together.  The must frustrating part of today's conversation came when we were discussing the occupancy permit.  He said that they could have erected temporary walls so that we could live in the rest of the house while they were doing the work.  He tells me this now, nearly 3 months after I've been living in a hotel?!  I would have slept on the futons if it meant having my own kitchen and disrupting the kids' lives less.  Not many days would have been disrupted by noise since they haven't done that much work.  It's a good thing we were separated by some distance when he said that, because I really wanted to punch him.  He says he understands how hard this is, but there's no way he does if he didn't think to offer that as a solution back in September!

In any case, we're headed home Saturday.  Obviously nothing will be done tomorrow, but the painters will come Friday.  That means the tarps can come down once they are done, so we can get through the house easily.  I thought I'd be more excited about going home, but there's a bunch left to do.  The skylights aren't in, there is no flooring, no gutters, and no sidewalk.  Our table hasn't been fixed and the carpets haven't been cleaned.  Overall the house is really dirty.  So Saturday we'll go home to clean and get things situated while doing laundry.  And then Sunday we'll get to enjoy at least being in our house.  Everything but the sidewalk is supposed to be done by Tuesday.  But it's hard to believe any timeline from this guy now, since everything gets pushed back.  I hope that everything will be okay by next weekend and we can get closer to back to normal.  At least on Saturday we can start to deal with the psychological issues of being in the house again.  Hopefully there won't be any storms for a while.

Thank you God for watching over us through all of this.  Please continue to guide the workers' hands as the finish the final repairs.  Bless all of the hotel staff for they have been wonderful to our family.  And bless everyone else around us for all of the support they offered.  We're going home... and I can't wait to use my kitchen again!

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