136: Do-Over

A lot of life is about do-overs. When you make a mistake, lots of times you get a do-over: you get to try again to get it right. Some mistakes, however, are permanent, which is why most of us try mightily hard not to do them in the first place. Thankfully, most of the mistakes most of us will make in our lifetimes are not the “permanent” sort, and we will get a chance to get it right the next time.

Our apartment here in Morocco is built of brick and concrete: masonry. Morocco is generally dry – except for a few weeks that usually occur in the late fall, when it is fairly common to have several weeks in a row of rain. Other than this seasonal rain, there is the occasional snowfall further up the mountain, and a shower or two every now and then that settles the dust. So, as I said, generally, Morocco is dry.

Mildew and flowers

When we rented our apartment in January, it had been quite some time since the last significant rainfall. There was a little mildew on the apartment’s masonry walls, but not much: a little bleach and some fresh paint – no problem. Then we got a good Spring shower, and discovered where the leaks were: lots of them. The landlord made repairs, and the little mildew on the walls increased quite a bit. Still, no point in painting until the leaks are fixed, right? So, we cautiously waited until the next rain to be sure the leaks were stopped. Well, they weren’t. The landlord made repairs again. We waited until the next rain to see if this time they were stopped, and we began to kill off the ever-increasing mildew with bleach in preparation for the eventual painting.

Winter turned into Spring, and then into Summer: a nice long, dry spell. I bought paint and began. I painted the traditional bathroom (the one with the toilet we affectionately call the “squat” toilet) and I added a lively border of blue and red flowers with trailing vines and leaves. Quite artistic, I thought, and the fresh white paint really brightened up the formerly dark space, too. Then, I moved out into the main bathroom, with the toilet us Americans think is the traditional one, and painted it, too, admiring my work as I progressed. Then, the kitchen. This was more trouble than the bathrooms, since there was all that “kitchen stuff” to move out of the way. But, even though it took twice as long as both bathrooms combined, there came the day when I could admire the freshly painted, virginally white walls and ceiling with great pride and satisfaction. Then, I moved to my husband’s room – the really big room, and he helped to complete the work in this one. DONE!! On and forward to the living room……..and then the fall rains began. Three weeks of unending rain, drizzle, heavy fog, and more rain. VERY high humidity. We could not do laundry because the air was so wet, it just would not dry, and we discovered that we still had several significant leaks, in spite of multiple patch and repair jobs.


The mildew returned with a vengeance. Times infinity, plus one. All the lovely fresh, pristine white paint rapidly turned damply black. Mildew bloomed across the ceilings, down the walls, and congregated for chats in the corners. It held conferences with sold-out mildew participants behind cabinets, the fridge, and around the windows. *sigh*

Time for the do-over.


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