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The Madera Tribune

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Home ownership not for everyone

May 23, 2017

I live in a rented house. While the American dream of home ownership is often touted, the reality is much different. Maintaining a house is a lot of work. A few years ago we woke up to find the solar water heater had flooded the kitchen and living room. What followed was almost two months at the then-new Marriot SpringHill Suites. It pays to have great homeowner’s insurance.


While we were out of the house we decided to not only repair the water heater but to replace the roof. I was surprised how quickly a local contractor got the job done. There was a bit of a slump in the construction industry at the time. It only took a few days for a 10-man crew to do the job.


Except for not being able to smoke in the room I could have lived in the hotel forever. We were on one of the upper floors with a small patio overlooking the swimming pool and the hot-tub. The room came equipped with a bar-size refrigerator and a micro-wave oven. Since the three basic food groups are canned, frozen and take-out, given my limited culinary skills a full-blown stove is almost a waste of space.


In the hotel lobby there was round-the-clock fresh coffee and a hot breakfast every morning. I had forgotten just how much I liked oatmeal. Making hot cereal for one isn’t near as good as a bowl from a crockpot.


Every day, housekeepers cleaned the room and changed the sheets. We had use of the swimming pool and the hot tub.


Spending Halloween in a hotel is a bit strange. Most of the trick-or-treaters who visited the front desk were the children of employees. It was fun to sit in the lobby and watch the parade of costumed children traipse in and out.


One Sunday morning when I went to the lobby for breakfast, to my surprise I found a girlfriend getting coffee. She had decided to spend the night at the hotel rather than drive home to Clovis after her high school reunion. Compared to the expense of a driving-under-the-influence citation, the cost of a night at the Marriot was negligible. A wise decision on her part, I thought.


During our hotel stay the Long’s Drug stores were converting to CVS. There were employees staying there during the changeover. In the evening I got to know the “CVS,” girls as we enjoyed the hotel’s jacuzzi.


Living in a rented house, as we do now, I don’t have a dog, but there is a stray cat I feed. Since we don’t know his name we call him “Chairman Meow.” Lately a second stray cat has been enjoying our hospitality too. Since we don’t know his name either we call him Rocky in honor of my late brother.


Occasionally Chairman Meow will let us get close enough to pet him. Mostly he just runs away. Rocky is too skittish to even get close. There is a tree outside my home office window that he likes to climb. I enjoy watching him to see if he can catch a bird. As near as I can tell so far the score is Rocky Cat 0, birds unknown?


Have a great weekend.


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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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