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January 26, 2009

Our house (ca. 1936 and aka The Project), as far as we can tell, wasn’t exactly meant to be a home in the fullest sense. Like many of the oldest buildings in my tiny hometown, which got its start as a cool spot for folks from the Arkansas river valley to sit out the summer, it was probably built for use as a vacation home (cough).

We have an ample living room, a little kitchen, a small but full bathroom, and a multipurpose room – my favorite euphemism to date (this is the room formerly known as The Shanty) – that serves as our bedroom, nursery and laundry area. You’ve heard of the walk-in closet? This, essentially, is a live-in closet.

D and I bought this place three years ago and have been living here for half that time. So far we haven’t managed to cross any one thing completely off of the to-do list. Though we’ve seen progress – new wiring, plumbing, flooring, paint, doors, fixtures, walls, sheetrock, etc. – the exposed ductwork and wiring, the missing wallboard and switchplates are all daily reminders of the work still ahead.

Because we are lost somewhere between work completed and work to do, I have filed us as being Under Renovation. Suddenly, my husband thinks I have chosen the wrong folder.

This particular point of difference has come up because we’ve been catching up with so many friends and family. My standard update references our perpetual renovation project; lately, it prompts D to disagree (as in, “We’re not really renovating.”). I hope you and he will pardon me for saying that of late this  has created many WTF moments.

Somewhere in the past 10 months I missed the memo that unless I’m in the middle of a house project, I lose my “renovating” status and am demoted, according to my husband, to the “waiting” grade. From his perspective, this is honest and appropriate because we haven’t “done” anything in more than three months, and we’re waiting to break ground on a new addition this spring. From mine, it is vague and convoluted, and a little more honest than is really necessary. After all, the term “renovating” is my sole way of demonstrating that I am aware of our plight and am working on it.

Without an active, hard-working term like “renovating,” I’m left to face the music: I’ve settled for living in this crazy place as-is until we build the rest of it.

Yesterday Don’s brother and one of my girlfriends came to visit, and one of us made our billionth joke about babyproofing the house. My friend, Erin, encouragingly noted that the house will be far more baby-safe when we’re through renovating.

“See, Don?!” I said, with more than a little pride, “Other people think we’re renovating!”

“Actually,” my friend said, “I was referring to the addition, not this house.”

So, it’s official. We’re not renovating, just happily abiding in a hovel. I think I was happier in denial.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2009 11:11 pm

    We’ve been “renovating” since we moved into our 1930’s home in 1981. Now that I’m retired, I really need to get some of the projects finished.

    Of course, I don’t have much motivation to do that in this cold weather.

    Hope the ice doesn’t cause you or us too many problems.

  2. January 27, 2009 3:24 am

    It is super cute though!!! Good luck with the Spring Renovation! Maybe Jack will be a content little boy unamused by the many dangers that lay waiting for him in your home that is “under renovation”… good luck with that as well.

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