Renovating the 100 year old farm house my mom grew up in – making it a place for us to grow old in.

All my life my grandma’s house and the surrounding property has been known as “the farm yard” and I suppose it always probably will. Well, here is the farm yard in all of its green and old growth glory. This is how the child in me remembers this place, all green and lush and beautiful, never mind the pealing paint or the old windows, or the weeds taking over, to me it is just beautiful. I simply cannot wait until we are done, moved in and, next spring, I can finally give this yard my full time and add the vegetable garden and the flower beds and bring my horses over here, where they belong. It will never be a manicured yard that is without weeds or dandelions and I would never ever want it to be.

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As I’m writing this the debris (all of it) around the house is now entirely out of mind, hauled to another place to create a helluva bonfire come snowy weather. I have all but three of our new windows and two out of five new doors that I am about to start installing. With the fuel oil and tank gone I can now put in the floor in the wood shed to make a proper mud room and from there I can finally start framing in the basement. I have found the company I am going to hire for the spray foam insulation and have begun the plumbing plans. Are we behind? I’m not even sure anymore… Maybe. Maybe not. I guess we’ll never be technically behind as long as we finish in time. I am predicting Joe and I will probably be staying at my mom’s house through October while we do the finishing touches – floors – paint – -trim – dog fence – etc. But I’m okay with that. It is still getting done and I am still impressed with the ability of us little humans and how much we can actually do when we put our minds to it.

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Seeing the garage go felt like a tiny echo of what is to come as, some day within the next year (before I can bring my horses over) we must take out the barn. With it’s roof shedding hundreds of shingles and thousands of nails every week now the barn has begun to feel the effects of the weather and the rot has begun to show. It is very sad and very hard and, if I had the money, I would save it simply for the sake of saving it, but I don’t so I can’t. With the barn gone I cannot imagine how empty where it once stood will always feel, but my horses will use the space, will run on it and enjoy it and I do not know if it will feel like my home until they can come over. This place will always be our farm yard, it will never be fancy or picky or pretentious. Instead, it will be comfortable, welcoming and easy to live in. Every choice I have made (that we have made) has been to make it a house worth living in, not a house that would be difficult to live with, as it will always be – an old farm house and that’s all it should ever have to be and all we ever want it to be.

I have no time for fancy pillows that are useless as actual pillows or for coffee tables you can’t put your feet on… or end tables you can’t put a drink on. Or for pristine towels that hang around as though our hands are never dirty, when, in fact, we are not allowed to use them so that we may keep up the pretense of having never gotten our hands dirty (as though that would somehow be a good thing). If Rhett were to take my hands he would abolish me just as he abolished Scarlett for not having the hands of a “lady” and I would tell him that if he was looking for a soft handed little girl, he would have to move along. This home will have little patience for the Rhetts or the Scarletts of this world. There will be a horse shoe above our door and a sign that reads, “don’t take your shoes off – these floors are meant to be walked on” Every table will be waiting for sweating glasses, filled with the sweet wonder of ice on hot, humid and over-worked, summer days. You will be welcome to put your feet on anything as in our house it all will be chosen to aid in our comfort, it will be chosen for its ability to help us live. This will be a home for getting dirty, for enjoying the fruits of real labor and we will never pretend here on whether we get our hands dirty or not… because they probably always will be and thus, we will have towels that may always look dirty. Animals will live here and their comfort will be held at the same level as our own. But, most of all, everything here will be well loved.

 

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