It was our first house, small and old. It seemed to speak to my husband and I as we drove by one afternoon, not even looking. Although it needed some work, we couldn't wait to make it our home.
We started the project like all good projects must begin - with plenty of energy, optimism and anticipation.
The problem was, our modest house renovation ended up taking much longer than expected as I guess most do. By the time we finished, the anticipation turned to urgency, as our apartment lease was up, and the energy had faded.
Maybe that is why actually completing a project like making over a home is such a momentous occasion. It is more than just a plan put in place. It is a process of working nights and days, dealing with decisions and overcoming setbacks. Getting through that is absolutely worth commemorating.
As our house renovation came to a close, I remember looking back at a few of the times that went in to making the end a reality. Some were crucial to bringing the house up to livable standards; others had nothing to do with renovating. Each of them made completing the process small victory.
1. It takes a lot of primer and even more coats of paint to achieve the perfect shade of red even for the tiniest of kitchens.
2. Watching an old cast iron tub being carted out to the curb on a couple of guys' shoulders is odd. Even odder is looking down the old drain and seeing nothing but dirt because there is no plumbing.
3. A tedious, time-consuming job such as installing tile is a great way to bring friends together, even when laying belly-down on cold tile monotonously mixing and spreading grout. Just ask my husband.
4. Whether for my benefit or his, my husband kept me assigned to the simple, yet detail-oriented jobs. If you need windows scraped or baseboards painted, I'm your girl.
5. Walking into a house that you and those you love helped turn into a home is an experience you have to live through to truly understand.
I imagine most seasoned renovators already know the pride that comes with finishing a home remodel. For me, a young newlywed at the time, all I wanted was a cute little house. I never expected the difficult work that went into making that happen or the immense satisfaction that came from actually doing it.
Even though we moved away almost five years ago, I get happy every time I think about the cozy yellow cottage. But it is not all about the house, it's because I remember everything and everyone that went in to making it ours.
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