The directory said “2004/Dirty Paul.” I knew exactly what photos they were, even 17+ years later.
The old house wasn’t on a slab, there was a crawlspace under the house. Not much of one, maybe 18 to 24 inches, sometimes less, sometimes a little more. Fortunately, there were not a lot of spider webs or other critter-spoor down there. But it was dusty as hell.
I would end up down there once every couple of years for some plumbing or other problem and it was a pain. Getting in was only accessible by a teeny, tiny portal, maybe 18 by 24 inches, and that was at the bottom of a knee-high wall surrounding the portal and the screen door covering it. Getting in was a real contortionist trick, as was getting out. Immediately inside were some of the larger drain pipes from the two big bathrooms, so it was a really tight squeeze.
Moving around in there was also a royal pain, crawling on my belly, not even able to get up on my knees to crawl. As you can see, I was not in the finest of physical shape at the time (not that I’m any freakin’ Adonis now, but at least now I’m about 40 pounds lighter) so by the time I had been under there a few hours I was sore, sore, sore.
This particular day I believe that I was running coax cable for internet and cable TV. I had drilled holes in the floor in all five of the bedrooms, as well as the kitchen and living room. Then I dragged a drill underneath the house, drilled out a hole though the foundation into the family room/den at the end of the house (where the internet & cable hookup was), and started dragging cables. LOTS of trips from, each room to the portal to the family room. Hours and hours under there.
I got done what I wanted to and we did like having internet and cable in each room on a nice, high-speed, secure, wired connection. This was before wi-fi was real fast or reliable, and in a 3,300 square foot, one-story, ranch-style house, wi-fi always pretty much sucked over about half the house once you got away from that end. (That, of course, got fixed and upgraded a few years later, but at the time it was a big deal.)
Nevertheless, when I finally crawled out, exhausted, one of my kids was there with the camera. (None of those apples fell very far from that tree!)
At least my hair was still dark!