When we first bought this house we made a list of things that had to be repaired or replaced. One of the things to get repaired was the chimney. This old house has a brick chimney that some one had parged rather than repoint the bricks. Over the last few years the parging has starting coming off, bringing a distressing amount of brick with it. Finally, we found someone who could and would do the repair work.
The crew showed up on Tuesday only to get rained out after they had removed the old bricks to just below the roof line. We were at work so all we could do was hope they had covered it well enough that no rain could blow in. We got home and found that they had a done a great job of covering the hole. A phone call promised they would be here Sunday afternoon to finish the work.
This morning around 11am the chimney repair crew showed up to complete the work, even though it was cloudy and cold. The contractor chose a lighter colour brick than we had, under the parging. They rebuilt the chimney, giving it a slightly fancier lip than expected, and capped it to keep rain, snow, and squirrels out. It isn't a functioning chimney, and hasn't been for years, but the house looked naked with it. Now she looks whole and complete once more.
So now I can mark "Repair Chimney" off my seemingly endless list of things to get done. But, that is one of the joys and heartaches of owning an old house. The heartache of finding someone who can do the job and do it right, or learning the skills to do it yourself. The joy is seeing the house slowly but surely returning to its original beauty and knowing that she will stand for another hundred years, through rain and shine.