Monday, February 26, 2007

House Dreams

Well, after three weeks of construction, the outer shell of the addition for our house is done. We can hardly believe it -- we've spent months and months planning this addition, and it's startling and odd to see it looming up above our old carport. And it's amazing that it's up -- given the wind, freezing rain, and snow we've had over the past weeks. But our construction crew (Klassen Construction, great guys) didn't quit until the job was done.

Lots still needs to be done -- if the weather lets us, the standing seam metal roof will be put on this week. And then we need to scrape together the money to get it wired for electricity (need to chase down our electrician friend), insulation, roughing in the plumbing -- and then, yes, finishing. We're anticipating that finishing will take us a while.

But that's okay, because not having a lot of money means lots of time for dreams. And that was what I was doing last night, as I walked through the bare studs, lit only by some Christmas lights we strung up to see by. We have a floor plan and some ideas, but now is the serious dreaming stage - mentally putting up one finishing, then another, then another -- hanging up paint chips (which are fortunately free), collecting samples, rearranging, more dreaming -- Andrew and I have discovered we prefer having more time than money when it comes to decorating. When we take our time and go slowly, instead of rushing to have a magazine-shoot-ready house in record time, we enjoy the process more.

And it leaves time for God, too. When my mind wanders over curtain fabrics during the rosary, (as it often does) my spiritual director says to include God in that distraction. What do You want, God? Do you prefer red over beige? (God has His opinions on curtains too, though I've always found Him very gentlemanly and hesitant to share them unless pressed.) So I try to include Him in the process, asking His guidance and help, to keep even the most mundane parts of life ordered under His Fatherly will. I've no doubt that some of the unexpected finds in our remodeling -- such as stacks of barn wood offered to us, for free, at just the right moment -- were thoughtful gifts from Him.

An important part of work is dreaming.


LeeAnn said...

Lucky you! Are you adding bedrooms or living rooms? If I could add one room to our present house it would be a family room.

There's a certain satisfaction that comes from using hand-me-downs or thrift store items (or only buying really marked down new items) and making something beautiful from it. I prefer having limited choices in some things. Shopping at a little grocery store like Trader Joe's or the co-op is a lot less stressful and even faster than shopping at Safeway (for me). Decorating or building with self-made limitations can be fun too. (If I had a choice between remodeling an existing house and building my dream house from scratch, I would choose the remodel any time.)

External limitations (not having enough money for anything else) can be less fun...unless you can learn to love this for this gift it can be too. Which is what I love about your post, Regina. And I love the little remark about asking God's opinion on the curtain fabrics.

Flighty Girl said...

Hi Regina,
I really love the advice you shared from your spiritual director.

noelle said...

hi there, i found your blog from coffee and diapers. i just wanted to let you know that i love it! i find it to be very inspiring for mothers. your life looks so lovely, and different from mine here in southern california. i used to be much more into the montessori approach (wood toys and all that), but over the years i've let it subside. thank you for reminding me to bring simple beauty back into my childrens' daily lives.

regina doman said...

Welcome Noelle! And don't feel intimidated: there is a lot of, shall we say, "non beauty" in my life as well. :) Spoken by the mom who issued an ultimatum on toy-pickup and purged a room that had been in disaster-zone-state of emergency for three weeks. And who just tried to fix a rusty washing machine unsuccessfully by spraying Fantastik in the pipes.

As I said, this blog is for inspiration, not impossible ideals. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing!

regina doman said...

Thanks Kelly!

LeeAnn - the addition is mainly office space for my husband, but we're cramming an awful lot of small rooms in there as well, including closets (we only have two in our existing house, and no basement, no attic, no storage...)! Into this 24x32' space, we are planning on shoehorning in:
on the bottom floor: entranceway/mudroom (with closets for coats! And hats/scarves/gloves/etc!) and 2-stall garage.

On the top floor: long narrow 2nd bathroom, meeting room (for office and homeschool, etc), retreat room (I'll blog about that later), guest/future teenager room, and hallway that was supposed to be a tiny "book nook" but has gotten huge due to the frustrating insistence of the staircase being long and high and taking over the western half of the upstairs. So it's almost like another playroom, which I admit we could probably use.

FYI, I took the picture from standing in the future office.

We definitely feel very lucky. Or should I say, blessed.

And ditto on everything you said about second-hand items.