Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Bittersweetness Called House Renovation

I haven't talked much about this part of my life via blog lately.  Mostly because the renovation has been a SLOW process.  Most of you know that about 9 months after my grandfather passed away, we were blessed to purchase the home where he and my grandma grew old together, the house that I've always known them to live in.  I've taken the care, ownership, and remodeling of the house very seriously, trying to find a way to make it work long term for my family and still keep the memories alive.  Lately, the house has really started to take off, and in the next couple weeks the dry wall will be mud and taped and we'll be ready to lay flooring, finish painting, install countertops and settle in.  

Tonight I visited the house to see what progress the carpenters had made, and for the first time in a long time, I was sad looking at the house.  I'm not sure if it is because there are such HUGE differences in the cosmetics between then and now or because there was such a MESS left by the carpentry work, but I was really missing my grandparents' home-- the one where all 6 kids would bring their crews in for Christmas, where heated political debates would be held around the table after dinner, where bubbles could always be found under the kitchen sink...  

My goal was to create a home that would welcome my relatives and allow them to remember the times they spent with Grandma and Grandpa.  Tonight, the fireplace and the soon-to-be sheetrocked  paneled walls were the only recognizable elements.  I truly believe that my grandmother would love that we're creating a warm home in which to raise her great-grandchildren.  My grandpa would probably say we shouldn't have bothered, but that it's looking good.  I think they would feel just as I do- bittersweet.


I'm anxious to put the house together again- so that the wide, old door trim and old dark wooden doors will bring back memories.  I'm anxious to revive the flower bed that was my grandma's pride.  I'm anxious to add the Irish Blessing that hung in their house around the top of my foyer walls

"May the road rise up to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face 
and the rain fall softly on your fields. 
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand." 

1 comment:

StumblingServant said...

It wasn't until I read this post that I realized not just how weird it will be to see the house, but how emotional it will be. Not that I won't be excited for you when I see it, but it was the first time I thought, I'll never see their house the way I remember it ever again. I actually might cry when I get there . . . In any case, I can't wait to get home!