What is our life like right now?
Since the beginning of the year, Ben has been working one week at Sahlstrom’s Heating, one week on the house. It’s been going quite well and we’re finally seeing progress move a bit more steadily! A little over a year ago we bought the house and farm site officially (had been sporadically working on it before then), and now have some $$ saved for materials, so it’s just up to time. We’re pushing hard and maxing ourselves out. We have a calendar and projected timeline and are keeping track of all the hours. For a four-week period from April-May recently, Ben worked an average of 79 hours per week + ministry + family time + date nights + social life. Not sure when we sleep? Yeah, neither are we.
On house weeks I try to spend as much time as is feasible over with Ben, with the kids of course. With their ages now, mostly I just watch kids and am moral support more than “help.” This spring we finished clearing trees around the property line, put up fence posts around the perimeter, and burned huge piles of brush. We did minimal landscaping to clear a garden spot, and we will soon be working on clearing and preparing the area for the new septic system. On rainy days Ben works inside continuing the electrical (which is 3/4 done), but mostly we’ve been working outside. It is a crazy, unfathomable amount of work to break in a grove site that hasn’t been lived on for many, many years. I prefer* it though – to getting a place that is ‘done’ – because it really becomes ours with blood, sweat and tears.
*= depending on the day, how many hours of sleep I got the night before, and how optimistic I am feeling
The other day I brought the camera out. Though we often wish the house were done and this time of sacrifice over, it IS a time to treasure, and memories we’ll have for the rest of our lives. “Honey, remember that time we built a house? And you did all the work yourself? And we lived like we were broke so we could own a home debt free?”
“Yeah! We’re never doing that again…” we’ll probably say with a smile.
I want to remember this snapshot in our lives. The way everything looks – undone, untamed, imperfect… and beautiful.
What is our life like right now?
Kids. Playing in dirt. Going home caked, mudded, and rocked.
Wind. Ceaseless, harsh, heartless prairie winds.
Unfinished. The end of the story is not yet written. The journey continues…
Broken. And somehow majestic.
Beauty in the broken.
Old. Being made new.
We find all sorts of treasures.
People used to throw all their junk and trash in the woods, so much of the grove is filled with rusted metal and broken glass.
Among all the things that could cause injury… Ironic.
Makes you want to stop and think…
Who lived here before? What was the little boy’s life like?
Did he have a sister? A good mom and dad? Where did they play?
Did they imagine any of the same things in the woods?
Were his eyes as blue as the sky on a perfect spring day?
Did he sport a tousled and untamed mane?
Another generation of kids, dirty and happy at play.
You wonder, who wore these shoes? What was their life like? Why are we given only this little glimpse into the history that walked our land?
We feel privileged to be the next ones. Making memories here.
But there’s work to be done. Dirt to make lawn. A construction zone to make home.
“I’m helping you, Dad!”
The sunlight through the trees, and the randomness of the blue door.
Fence posts in a straight line marking the new edge.
Our very first garden of our own!
Sacrifice. Patience. Communication. Hard work. Delayed gratification.
Electrical. HVAC and plumbing. Construction. Masonry. Carpentry. House-building. Architecture. Interior design. Decorating. Landscaping. Tree-cutting. Botany.
Life lessons learned at the house. We didn’t go to college, but we got an education by building a house. Time will tell if it was worth it.
I took the [road] less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.-Robert Frost