Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bad(ish) and Good Endings

After the agonizingly-long and sleepless, post-copper-theft weekend, I managed to get in touch with our insurance agent, who a) scolded me for thinking that our theft would be covered once we lived in our home before he b) LISTENED to me explain that we do NOT live in our copper-thefted home, after which he c) declared all flippantly (like, duh) that of course we have builder's risk insurance, it's just not with his agency (Allstate) which we were supposed to have known.
Why we should have known this, I have no clue. We never received any policy or paperwork indicating that we had a BR policy (which is why I've been losing sleep and poring over our settlement documents.) I learned today, though, that Zurich is the only Builder's Risk provider who doesn't require that the owner sign the policy (agent and lender is okay), and our BR insurer is--you guessed it--Zurich.

So I filed the claim smoothly enough (no one has seemed to suspect that I have stolen the copper my dang self, which evidently has happened to many others, including my agent--twice), and then this morning the adjuster called to tell me that we have a $1,000 deductible.
Now, $1,000 may not sound like much money to some, but it is a big fat lot to me and my husband. Since we cannot move in, we will need to continue paying rent, as well, which brings the damage up into a range that, well, made me cry.

Actually, the $1,000 made me cry. The copper theft made me cry. My parents leaving this morning made me cry. None of these teary-episodes has lasted long, but I can tell that my heart-center is off, and I am ready for that to end.

Often, my solution for bouts of self-pity or pseudo-woe is to funnel said sadness into anger.
Ah, anger! So much beefier. So much more satisfying.

So today I am mad at our contractor, whose workers left a pick-axe on the rear deck (what they're using a pick-axe for, I have no clue) that the copper-thieves used to pry open the door. He also has posted a big ol' sign on the front of our house which, along with the electrician's sign, the big, caboose-red dumpster, and the weeds that look like something out of the Rocky Horrow Picture Show, all scream "HOUSE UNDER RENOVATION! NOBODY'S HOME!"
I sent an email asking that the signs be removed, but nothin' doin'. So our nighttime "security system"--a car parked outside, a battery-powered Coleman lantern on, and Latino music blaring (tinnily) from our shower radio--will have to do until the dang project gets done. Yes, I could weed the yard my dang self. But it's in the contract. And it's hot. And we're paying a ton o' money for this. And I need to pack. And I am feeling whiny and sorry for myself and in the mood to blame. So there.

Yesterday, though, I learned some very bad news, indeed. My dad and I were in Lowe's (I was buying watertight containers to house photos and important things) when I got a call from one of our immediate neighbors. I had called her to tell her about our theft, but she'd been out of town.
Since she'd returned, she'd learned that ours was one of THREE copper thefts in our little tucked-away part of Holy Cross in just this past week. Another more dangerous theft occurred when the brother of one of our crime committee's co-chairs had his truck stolen and was hit by his own truck in the process of the theft. He'd been hospitalized. Another neighbor, she reported, had had his home broken into EIGHT TIMES in as many months. She told me that members of the crime committee were meeting with the Fifth District. I hope something reassuring came from that meeting. Scratch that. I hope that something productive and meaningful came from it. (What's reassuring to the NOPD and we residents are often two very different things.)

Hearing about the spike in thefts scares me--especially because the summer in New Orleans leads to lethargy in the daytime followed by stir-craziness at night. Heat can bring out the worst in people, and I am afraid of the long summer not just because of the rapid approach of hurricane season, but because of the inevitable uptick in crime.

Still, I can't wait to move. Can't wait. (Did I mention that Simon woke up to six gunshots right outside our door last week? One of the shots fired poked a hole in the roof of our next door neighbor's house. We have suspected them of on-the-side drug dealing, and it appears they pissed off someone whose territory they'd encroached upon. So, b-dang b-dang: warning shots. They've been packing their things yesterday and today, and I am so, so, so ready to follow suit.)

Ah, how wonderful my city must sound!
Well, I never said it was all good. It's just that I love it so.

Let's end with something good, though. Because in spite of all this bad stuff, I had a really wonderful time with my parents. My mom and I packed books (well, she packed while I took on the unenviable task of sorting and agonizing over what to keep and what to get rid of), my dad took my old computers to the Green Project for recycling. We ate lots of good food. We walked along the levee. We laughed a lot. We made fun of my cats, who seem to be loving the moving-process, what with all the new surfaces they get to call their own by sleeping on/climbing in. We talked about how wonderful it will be once we really HAVE moved, when my parents will be able to walk down the street to see the sunset (or my dad to dream of putting a boat on the Mississippi, which, BTW, I have said is NOT allowed and have promised to thwart via a slingshot-pelting with stinging buckmoth caterpillars). In spite of the theft-whatnot, we had a wonderful time, and I miss them already.

So, here--oh happy ending!--is a picture of Anna taking a "break from packing". Oh, how I wish I could have the same attitude toward the moving process as my cats!

1 comment:

John said...

Will the insurance pay only to the contractor, or will they get an estimate and then pay you directly? If the latter, then the contractor might work with you to minimize the costs and erase some of that deductible cost. But I'm glad you're getting close to moving in--that should at least help. Keep your kitties' teeth sharp!