Friday, October 29, 2021

Home Renovation: Part 1

We’ve begun a small home renovation project.

Long story short, I got tired of wearing mud boots and waders to the farmhouse basement to begin a load of laundry, then praying I didn’t get electrocuted when I pushed the start button. Cody got tired of reading the Angus Journal in his recliner with a February wind blowing through the living room. Caroline got tired of sharing a 7’ x 10’ bedroom with a little brother who has no respect for toy horses. And Cyrus was just ready to see someone else tear the house down and not get reprimanded.

We’re early in the process.

The renovation is taking place feet from the kids’ playset in the backyard. They’ve spent hours swinging and asking questions. If the builder doesn’t finish on time, it won’t be due to delay in supplies or lack of labor; it will be because Cyrus questions their every move and he’s got a bit of a speech barrier. It takes the little guy a full minute to ask the question, three minutes for the workers to translate it, and five minutes for them to explain the work to him. The crew gave him a hat and a foremen’s pencil, so Cyrus is working his way up the management ladder, which is a pretty big deal for a kid who still wears Velcro shoes.

Caroline has shed many tears about this renovation. She doesn’t understand why we would want to make changes to a homestead such as this. She appreciates having carpet so worn out and stained that when she often forgets to take off her chore boots - and tracks (who knows what) across the house - her muddy prints can barely be seen. She loves that she can load her horse trailer in the kitchen and the floors are so uneven that it will roll on its own to the living room. She looks forward to  helping me load the washer in the basement and watch frogs jump across her boots. She adores the fact that when the north winter wind blows in, the windows open on their own and offer her fresh air in her bedroom. She is an eternal optimist who sees the beauty of every situation…except home renovations which threaten familiarity.

County records indicate that our house was built in 1920. Six weeks into the project, a postcard dated 1885 was found in the northeast wall. No wonder the basement floods! This place was built on Miami soil and dinosaur bones. The hand-hewn beams and wooden pegs have withstood many weathering years atop this hill, bearing witness to change, very few family names, and a whole lot of livestock. Today, we’re making a couple improvements to more so enjoy the place we call home.

Thus far we’ve explained in great detail septic tanks, wet t-shirts on grown men (it’s been a warm fall), and when it’s appropriate to hammer through a wall, versus when it is not (CYRUS!!). Caroline is currently in hysterics over the project because she came home to find windows gone and plywood in their place.

“You can’t even look out these new windows! They gave us wood windows!” She is five. I have little hope age fifteen will offer less passion and emotion.

We were so close to getting Cyrus completely potty-trained, then this renovation project began and now he just can’t take care of business while there’s men walking and talking on the roof above the commode.

Can you blame the kid? Stay tuned. We’re just getting started.

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