Monday, November 7, 2011

The First Six Months: Doers

It was a simple question, really. We were at a party and the subject of our house came up, so we ticked off the completed projects and the To Do's. Someone then asked us, completely nonchalantly, "Who are you paying to do all of the work?"

We laughed.

We've paid one person to help us out so far: a carpenter who took down the old fireplace mantel and built us a new one. We are not carpenters. But here's what we are, I'm proud to say: we are painters, stainers, sanders, floor-layers, mould-ers, caulk-ers, saw-ers, hardware-ers, framers, door-hangers, light-ers, decorators, and more.

In the first six months of homeownership, we've been doers. I like it that way.

Of course, it's cheaper to be doers. And our local housing market... it isn't cheap. We put it all on the line to get into this house of ours, and working on it ourselves stretches our dollars in a big way. Being doers is about so much more than saving money, though. It's about putting your mark on a space, about truly making it your own. It's about investing with your time and your energy, our most personal currencies. It's about getting personal, with every nail and screw and paint stroke. It's about a sense of accomplishment.

My grandparents did it. My parents did it. And now I do it.

There are things about a new house that are appealing, no doubt about it. The existence of even a single right angle, for instance. That's a novelty to us now. (Or at least to me - T grew up in a pre-Revolutionary War house that was even more crooked than ours is.) The thing about old, though... it has soul. It has romance. This is a house that talks to me with every creak. And I love it.

This week, I thought it'd be fun to honor our first six months in our house with a report card of sorts, and to lay out what we've planned for the next six. Some might say the second half of our year will be a little less doer than the first. We're calling in reinforcements to help with some biggies. Knocking out walls, for instance. Rebuilding ceilings for new lighting. Stuff that scares me. But there are lots of projects left, both big and small. I also know that because it's me, there will always be projects. This house is a work in progress, just like I am. We're in it together.

One more thing: thanks for playing along the past six months, truly. You guys have made all of it more fun. Stay tuned through the week for a special surprise on Friday... just one more way for me to say thank you.

1 comment:

  1. aw i love this post! i couldn't agree more. i work on our house because i love it, it's fun, it's rewarding and it gives me a huge sense of accomplishment.

    i'm also cheap.

    but seriously, everyone should be proud of the space they come home to.

    can't wait to see this week's posts!


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