George has finally found his "Home Sweet Home" after 14 years of searching. George convinced Erika to move back to Japan, but it has been an uphill struggle. There are many problems that lie ahead for George and Erika before they can finally call Japan, "Home Sweet Home". Please join them as they face the difficulties and celebrate the successes. The journey promises to be entertaining as well as informative.
Summer in Tsukahara
Spring in Tsukahara
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Repairs to My Knee and the House
As I mentioned before, we could not spend a single night in our home in Tsukahara. We did spend a lot of days there. To accomplish that, we had to commute from Erika’s brother’s home. His house is about 45 minutes away. This is where we stayed before we bought our home, so it wasn’t a big deal. It all worked out as we could use his home as a central location to take care of business in Nakatsu, Usa, and Yufuin. The lingering problem was my knee. After 5 days of excruciating pain, I decided to see my favorite doctor in Yufuin. As we had done 6 months before, Erika notified the nurse that I had no health insurance. They understood and kept any tests to a minimum and provided generic medication. The doctor suggested that I might be experiencing gout. He explained what gout was and he had pictures of gout crystals along with a plastic replica of a knee joint. Without doing any tests, he could not be certain, but he assured us that we didn’t have to go back to the U.S. earlier than planned. My neighbor was with us out of concern and she shared our relief about the diagnosis. I learned that gout does not affect only overweight people. Gout is prevalent in Japan because of the diet of seafoods and other foods rich in uric acid. My knee was a 100% after 3 days. I could begin working in Tsukahara on the rotted logs.
I had some interesting reactions to my methods of rot repair by the neighbor’s son and a contractor. The photos show how extensive the rot was. I’m not certain if they believed I could fix the problems. After the repairs were done, they acted surprised at the results. I’m not sure if it was out of amazement or if they wondered why I just didn’t replace the logs? I had a chance to test some Permachink products (sealants and stains)I brought from the U.S. Everything worked as advertised and I’ll be placing a large order soon. A retired contractor has been trying to find a person to build our garage for a reasonable price. He also has access to building materials at a reduced price. He has done a lot of work around the neighborhood and he often stops by to see how things are progressing. I know he loves the property and the house so much that he has offered to help with the restoration for free. I have to admit that I feel a little bit like Huckleberry Finn. I make the work look like so much fun that people are volunteering to help. Free is sometimes more expensive than if someone charges you. More on this topic, later. I worked on a vertical beam inside the house that had some severe water stains. The photos show that the stains were sanded out and treated with a clear gloss coat of acrylic. I’m really happy with the results. Ten or twenty years from now, the house will look brand new. I write ten or twenty years because until we sell the house in Washington, we have to work full time in the city. This brings us to another story.