It was a summer vacation I will never forget, or the summer that followed since it took both summers working almost non-stop to be able to walk in and shut the door behind me.
Well, 40 years later, it became impossible to ignore that the 5 books and their best suggestions had left some basics the builder has found she had not quite got right.
My son was 6 when we moved into the house and the very first thing he did was put his marbles at the threshold and let them loose to roll across the kitchen floor. I asked him what he was doing, "Marble races." The marbles rolled without any assistance to the exact middle of the house. That was the moment that has haunted me until this very evening.
This is the eve of the great fix. IT begins in 8 hours. And will basically mean tearing through my floors to fix the floor joists that are failing. Those 5 books had let me down. Or the reader just missed the point they were all trying to get across, the, upon this rock I build my ... that the whole structure depended upon the base.
It was a dream to live in a homemade house, knowing every nail and how many bent nails filled the nail apron, so much the weight of it is a memory. And on the eve of when it gets its fix, I am nervous to see how quickly taking it apart can be.
But in only 3 months, so many things will be different in all of our lives and I am imagining what laying back and reading again in the bed I got 65 years ago will feel like. I remember the day my parents found my bed at a "junk shop" in Lebanon, Missouri. The gentleman was asking $5 for it, and for whatever reason my day said, "FIVE DOLLARS? that's not enough!" So he asked: $25? and the bed has been mine ever since. It is solid walnut with a headboard that is seven feet tall with burl trim and a top knot on both sides that actually can be removed and used as a strange sort of wooden bouquet, or as a weapon if needed.
So much of what we are all going through now we hope in 3 months will begin to show we have reasons to hope. 3 months all those years ago, got the roof on this house and it closed in for the winter while it sat waiting for the next 3 months to complete the finish work.
We can wait it out. We can figure what's next in our lives. We can study up our next projects. large or small. Time is the thing many of us are experiencing in ways we never thought possible. We do these things, while our protectors are doing the essential work that keeps our lives in place. One of those essentials will be at my house at 8 in the morning to make sure it doesn't collapse with me inside. A worry that I had characterized by our insurance company's inspector and his 30-page report on what was happening beneath my floors and what damage it could cause to the whole structure. It took me awhile to get the courage to actually read the report and have been on edge since. It is a process to find carpenters who are not just into building from scratch, but will also find "saving" homes a path to take these days. And his work on this homemade mess could not begin until it got to be MY TURN!
In the last 12 hours, I have lugged out the stuff of 40 years and crammed it into every space available to provide empty, but that old bed will be the last to go!
I will greet the carpenters wearing my handmade facemask, let them in and then walk away. It took 3 months to get a house built and another 3 months to make it livable. It has been not even 2 months since the first death from COVID-19 in the US. And the first death here in Oklahoma happened only 3 WEEKS ago. We have to starve it and not be where you can become a host for it, that means protecting yourself from everyone, social distance your friends and even family members who are not housebound with you. AND wear the mask of your choice. It hasn't even been 3 months since this virus got here.
Don't let it see your pretty face.
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim