Sunday, October 6, 2013

This is the Life: An Unfinished House, the "Hartwell Syndrome", a Room Bed, and Boredom

I've been busy today, busy doing what I want to do. I've mowed some and cleaned up around the yard and the building site. We had all the old insulation pulled out from the old part of our house. For those who aren't quite sure what I mean, when my husband and I married, we moved out to the country and had a little tenant house remodeled. We added a porch and a bathroom/laundry room, and it was the cutest little place. It seemed that everyone congregated at our little house in the country. In the summer, we went tubing down the river which is close to our place, and then everyone would come and gather. We'd sit on the porch, laughing and carrying on. It was fun.

When our children started arriving, a lot of that stopped. Our priorities went another direction, and those friends who didn't have children started to drift away. That happens. As it was, our little four room house, yes, four room, kitchen, and 2 small bedrooms, plus the added on bathroom became just a tad too small. So my husband went about building another house onto our house when our fourth child was about to be born. Yes, fourth child. Yes, we lived in a four room house with three children. Hey, people do it all the time in China and Indonesia and other places. As it is, the house is kind of eclectic and well, has never really been totally over 30 years. But that's another story.

Our children grew up perfectly fine successful people, all college graduates, all extremely creative and talented...and they never lived in a fancy all color coordinated house with really great matching furniture. One son had what he called a "room bed." and that's pretty much what it was. We still speaks fondly of that "room bed." I'm writing a book about their growing up years and having a crazy Vietnam veteran as their daddy. It's title is "I Married a Crazy Vietnam Veteran". He's a loveable crazy Vietnam veteran, though.

With the children all grown and moved away and me retired (my husband retired years ago, but that's another story), I noticed that the house was beginning to show age...lots of age, like some old abandoned houses only it wasn't anywhere near abandoned. Then there was my mama. Daddy had died two years before and she insisted on staying in her condo. That was okay for a while, but she has been alone a lot. I knew she was lonely, but she wouldn't admit it. She's a little stubborn  red-headed 90 year old Irish woman. Soon, I started making overtures of her possibly moving in with us. At first, she wouldn't even discuss it. You have to know that nursing homes and assisted living places are not where my mama is going to live...not while I have a breath in my body.

When her doctor suggested that she didn't need to live alone anymore, Mom said she'd move out with us if she could build a little apartment onto our place. That was fine with us. Then the wheels started turning in my head. We needed to fix our place up. We could do it, but with someone else doing it for us. My husband is 70 now. He's not going to be doing any hammering or building any more. Besides, he has the "Hartwell Syndrome." That's a family affliction that causes members of the family (generally male member) to start projects with the good intentions of finishing them, but somehow something gets in the way and these project never get totally finished. I think it's boredom. The idea was great, but finishing it was not so much. I didn't want to be living in an unfinished new house project.

So it's moving along. We're still living in the living room, but we're getting used to it...sort of. Someone told me that most people having such a major renovation move out and live in a motel or whatever. Well, we're not some people. I like home, even if it is a bit cluttered now with dressers, boxes, and such in the living room. My washer and dryer are still in place. We have clean clothes. Both our bathrooms are fine. In fact two of our sons totally renovated the downstairs one before any of this other renovation took place. I was fearful that the "Hartwell Syndrome" might kick in and it did a bit, but it is now totally finished and beautiful.

I just thought of something. I hope the "Hartwell Syndrome" isn't catching. Our builder is really good. I'd hate for him to get bored.


Princess Wrangler said...

I can't wait to see it!

Mary Evans said...

I love the Hartwell syndrome!