Right now, there’s an excavator digging a trench, about four feet deep, from the front of my property, under the driveway (thank you God that they were able to go under instead of through it), to the house at the mudroom door. They’ve spared the beautiful flowering cherry tree in the path. If we’re fortunate the root system won’t be too damaged for it to survive. The meticulously laid slate walkway and the concrete semi-circle in front of the door, as well as the shrubs and flowers around it, have all been removed.
I bought this place fifteen years ago for the privacy, which was a border of at least forty-foot-tall pines along two sides (plus the stars at night, which you can see because we’re in an area away from traffic and the glaring lights of consumerism). Then I moved forward with gutting it and pretty much recreating both the inside and outside. The back yard was just a sloping meadow that now has tiers, stone walls, and beautiful trees. The interior, first floor has only a few original interior walls. It was a slow and thoughtful process that got us to where we are today.
If you’re a homeowner you’ve probably been through all kinds of repairs too. It seems like, however, we’ve been hit pretty hard the past five years.
In 2013, the company that owns the oil pipeline behind our house used their right-of-way to take down all those majestic pines that bordered the back. Before they were gone, I didn’t even know that there were homes behind us!
In 2014, we found that the contractors that built the deck I added over a decade ago did not install the flashing properly causing the sill plate to rot, leading to the entire degradation of the back of the house requiring it all to be rebuilt.
Two years ago, the floor in the mudroom and powder room simply “dropped”. And, just this past October, the ceiling of the library—my favorite room in the house; my “Zen” place when I’m not outside came down. That involved major work to rebuild and repaint both that room and the dining room, adjacent to it. Larry was still repainting the week of Christmas and I was touching up the bookcases and setting the table for Christmas dinner the same day!
Not one of these issues was covered by insurance. So, on my way to intentional living in a peace-full home—and in spite of my distress, sadness, financial concerns (and honestly, anger at times)—we’ve always weathered the storm.
Before doing any excavating (or even digging to plant a tree) there’s a requirement to call 811. It’s a one-call hotline that let’s utility or pipeline owners come out and mark underground facilities. How cool would it be to have a one-call hotline to God? I often feel like there are so many people I wish I could help, so many prayers that need to be answered, so many moments of feeling inadequate. How amazing (and obviously unrealistic) would it be to simple give God my “wish list” and have it all cleaned up and put away?
Since we discovered this water leak, Larry’s been turning the water on and off at the street, running just enough water for us to shower in the morning, and then long enough for us to do some laundry or wash dishes in the evening. That, itself, has given me the opportunity to again realize how amazingly arrogant I can be to assume that I should have running water whenever I want it. Even though it’s been over two weeks of this routine, I still automatically turn on a faucet before I remember that I have to use sanitizer, or soap and water from a pitcher, to wash my hands. We are so blessed, aren’t we? We often don’t appreciate that, do we?
So, as I write to you, I still hear the contractors digging. Soon, hopefully, they’ll start running new pipes that will, again, deliver water to our home. They’ll fill in the trenches, and we’ll start the process of regrowing grass and rebuilding walkways. We’ll try to save the bushes and flowers that were pulled out. We’ll start again. Life is like that, isn’t it?
Bandaging and repairing. Building and improving. Destroying and defacing. Sowing and reaping. And, like our homes and property and careers, we are always in flux. Nothing is forever. Nothing, except God waiting in the wings for us to rejoice and dance; waiting in the wings for us to cry and break down and waiting in the wings for us to find grace.
Let me know your stories of challenges overcome, and battles won. Ask me questions. Share how you feel. After all, we’re all on this journey together!
©peace full home®/intentional living
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You do such a great job of making lemonade out of lemons!