i didn't think the contractors would be working today with forecast of torrential downpours but as early as 6am i heard noises of people outside. i got up by 6:50am, hoping to intercept their boss joseph to give him the check, but i only saw the two workers. annie was preparing to leave and was surprised to see me up so early. i told her it was because i was waiting on the contractors. she left by 7am. i'd asked her yesterday about her early starts, the reason is because she has less than 2 weeks left on her project so it's a race towards a deadline. she also needs to give a presentation at the end of the month, so she's preparing for that as well, on top of her GRE studying.
for the time being the rain was held in check. the latest forecast said the worst of it would be during the evening commute, but with chances of sporadic showers throughout the day. the contractors seemed to have stopped working on renee's deck and focused entirely on our gutters, trying to get it done before the rain. i felt a little bad, because i'd essentially poached renee's guys, delaying the completion of her project. only afterwards did i learn that they were waiting for the cambridge building inspector to arrive to sign off on the cement foundation they'd put down (he didn't show up today).
since i was up, i decided to make a grocery run at market basket while it was still dry. mornings are a good time to visit MB because it's very quiet. it seems like in every aisle there were employees restocking the shelves. i got ingredients for making simple sandwiches (not italian subs) as i still had plenty of whole wheat bread leftover from last week's adventure in grilled cheese.
returning home, i decided to put the bike away in the basement to keep it out of the rain. it happened again: another rodent stuck in the basement stairwell. this time it was just a mouse. it looked like it was trying to squeeze underneath the basement door but thank god i added that layer of cement 2 years ago, to prevent this sort of thing from happening. it saw me and tried to run away, but it could only run around in circles. i tried to help it out by putting down a stick so it could climb out, but it didn't work. i also noticed it seemed to be injured, that it could only run at an angle.
i went next door to renee's backyard to ask alejandro if he had a shovel i could borrow, so i could scoop out the mouse. he seemed curious, "show me, i help you," and followed me back to my backyard with the shovel. "have you seen any mouse here while you're working?" at first he said no, but later said they saw a rat (he didn't know the english word, asked if i spoke spanish, "un poco," i replied, i thought they were brazilian), about the length of his hand (i wonder if it was the same rat i saw on monday?). i showed him the mouse. i only needed him to scoop it out but it looked like he was going to kill it. i was about to object but said nothing. that mouse was injured anyway, better to put it out of its misery. "sorry mouse," alejandro chopped at it with the tip of the shovel. i thought maybe that would decapitate it, but it was still intact, twitchy for a few seconds, before finally dying. we buried it in the backyard. "he goes to mouse heaven now," alejandro said as he left.
the rest of the day i heard the clanging of ladders as the contractors continued around the house replacing nails with screws and caulking any leaks. i closed the blinds so i wouldn't have to awkwardly watch them through my 11 windows as they worked. yesterday they finished the western side gutter (facing renee's house), today they were finishing the eastern side as well as the front.
they finished close to 3pm because i saw them packing up their equipment into their trucks, including the pair of tall ladders. i also noticed joseph was here so i went out to give him the check. he showed me photos that his guys took of the repaired gutters (alejandro had shown me some earlier). they cleaned out the front gutters but didn't replace the nails. he said that was extra work (i thought that was included) but the front gutters didn't need repairing as they were still in good shape. they did clean out the gutters, including the bend in the downspout, which was clogged with leaves, which might explain any water leaking down onto the front porch.
i thought they'd left so i went go to use the bathroom. minutes later joseph called me. he said the check i gave him was glued to the envelope. i went out to write him a new check, and that's when it realized it was already raining.
the rain that'd fallen earlier had stopped and everything was dry again. things appeared peaceful but it was only a matter of time before the remnants of hurricane barry swept across the area. around 5:30pm the weather suddenly changed. it got really dark and multiple thunder and lightning strikes occurred before the sky just opened up. it wasn't just raining, it wasn't just downpours, but torrential downpours, near zero visibility, all during the evening rush hour.
i wanted to go out and check on the gutters but i also didn't want to get completely soaked. but i could already tell the difference from the sounds. in the past, during a downpour, the water would rain on the back of my window AC unit like a waterfall, so loud it'd drown out all other sounds in the house. that didn't happen today, instead it was very quiet. later there was some pitter patter noises, but only because the rain was falling directly onto the AC, not because of any leaking gutters. so that $1000 fix worked!
the torrential downpour didn't last very long, 5-10 minutes at most, and the rain stopped 30 minutes after it started. i caught my roommate walking back, i opened the door for her as she approached the house. afterwards i went outside to check the gutters. naturally everything was dry, but there also weren't any residual leaking that normally happens after any rainstorm. i noticed the downspout in the front of the house had washed away some of the dirt, which is a good sign, meant the spouts were working.
annie finally paid me the other half of this month's rent, 17 days into july. all in $20, because she couldn't get to any banks while the teller was still opened, so she had to withdraw the money from the ATM.
i had a salad for lunch (blue cheese dressing). for dinner, a simple sandwich, no grilling, whole wheat bread, virginia ham, american cheese, mayonnaise, and some lettuce from my salad bag.