Monday, November 28, 2005

Simple solution

My daughter must have heard us talking about what to do with our flooded home.

After stewing for about two weeks in seven feet of foul flood water, the house is cooked. My wife and I have been talking about what to do next. Structurally, I'm thinking the wood frame and brick veneer are probably okay. The slab is just as solid as ever.

The roof is good, that much we know. As my wife grouses, that damn roof didn't loose a single shingle. If it had, and if rain and wind could be blamed for some of the damage, we'd be able to make a claim on the second part of our insurance, the homeowners policy, and we'd be able to get more money. Alas, that did not happen, and all we have is the flood claim to bouy us through this financial tragedy.

But would it be wise to invest so much money to restore our house? With so much damage, perhaps it makes more sense to tear it down and start all over. And wouldn't it be better to build a house much higher than it is now? But what if we're the only ones to rebuild on our street? What will we gain if we're the lone family in a deserted neighborhood?

We've been talking about this for three months, I suppose, bouncing these and many more questions about. So finally, the other day, my daughter had some input.

"We should make a video and send it to the Extreme Home Makeover TV show," she said enthusiastically, "And they will come fix up our home!"

Not so bad a suggestion, I think, coming from a 9-year-old.

Of course, we know that there is no simple solution. We know that no one, not Ty Pennington, not George Bush, not even Santa Claus has the power to just wave a magic wand to make it all better.

The task at hand is long, hard and expensive. There are hard choices to be made, a lot of effort to be expended, and money, a lot of money, to be invested by individuals, businesses, and government at all levels.

It's going to be difficult, almost as difficult as it was to explain to my daughter why we would not be sending a tape to ABC television.

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