When I first walked into our house, I told Realm, “This is doable. We can work with this.” Those probably aren’t the words most people say when deciding to buy a home. The words were full of meaning, though. They meant more about our marriage than they did about the house. Realm is a craftsman at heart. He’s always loved to design and create. He looks at a potential project and says, “I bet I could build that.” In the first years, I responded, “I bet you could, but please don’t.” But things change, and really nervous, perfectionist people—who can’t stand for a project to sit in a corner for years and years waiting to be finished—can change, too. Okay, I still hate the projects unfinished and sitting in the corners, but I have more confidence now that they will get finished. Or, maybe, I’m more confident that I won’t die of insanity if they aren’t completed. (Probably that one.) So, we took on a big, hundred-year-old project that happens to be my house. It feels old. It’s just a baby when compared to many aged structures, but it feels old to me.
Part of my house was a small store built in the 1910s. It was moved onto the property and added onto in the 80s. There is one room I really love because it gives me the impression of walking onto the lower deck of an old ship. A dark, wooden beam crosses the ceiling, and a window takes up the back wall of the irregular-shaped room. We call it the study now, but one day it will become the captain’s quarters.
Sometimes I think we haven’t gotten very far with our house project. Realm, with the help of his dad, added a bedroom and bathroom in the garage. With the help of friends, he and Magne installed a French drain and pump to stop the foundation from moving and the floor beams from sagging. This past spring, we embarked on a family project of pulling up the uneven kitchen floor and adding sturdier sub-flooring. I got to pick out the new flooring for that!
One wall of my kitchen is covered in a large, dry-erase board with item after item of future things to work on. In a way, it’s a constant reminder of who I am. Over the years—especially through this time as a home educator—my life has been under construction. I have learned to embrace the spirit of improving and fixing and growing when I wanted to be established and completed. I’ve had to swallow my pride a million times and accept that I make mistakes all the time, no matter how right I think I’ve got things. I’ve also had to accept the blame for actions I didn’t do or even cause. I’ve been misunderstood regardless of how I want to be understood. That’s part of life. There are many road markers that remind me my journey isn’t over. This project—my life—isn’t over. With all of my shortcomings and my fears, my Creator keeps reminding me, “This is doable. We can work with this.”