I have been feeling overwhelmed lately. The sheer magnitude of everything that needs to do be done to fix up this house is staggering. We knew it would be work, and we knew how MUCH work it would need. We also knew it would take a while until it was finished. Bud has been estimating a year. I am expecting it to take much longer.
My work around here has consisted of keeping the household running (cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, etc.), while Bud has done most of the manual labor. We have fallen into a routine of having a cooked breakfast (we really like our bacon and eggs), fending for ourselves for lunch if we are hungry (I’m often not, Bud is) and having a cooked supper. I also take care of the chickens, I have mowed the yard twice (and let me tell you, ‘mowing the lawn’ has taken on a whole new meaning out here in the country.) I also assist Bud with moving things, handing him things and holding things in place. Important stuff. My other main job as far as this house is concerned has been the ever-nagging task of pulling nails out and scraping wallpaper off of walls. Ugh. It’s so hard to make myself do it. I’ve put it off a LOT.
The projects we HAVE done on the house are not finished, and that’s why I haven’t posted pictures. Also, this house is so dark, it’s hard to get good pictures without the flash. I know my family is curious to know about our progress. I hate to post pictures of ‘half-done’ things, but that’s the nature of how things are going here. We’ll work on one area, and get pulled to another more pressing job that needs to be done. For example, we ordered the refrigerator. The kitchen is not built out yet, but the refrigerator was on sale, so we are going to just put it in the room and plug it in; however, it will not fit in through the old door.
We had planned all along to replace the door. Our furniture in storage will not fit in the door, either, when we finally get ready to move it out of storage and into the house. The refrigerator just bumped the door replacement up in priority.
I can tell you NOW (since our security is no longer at stake,) that the door had a skeleton key lock and the lock would not work. The door had been broken into when it was sitting empty before we bought it, and the wood on the door was busted. Bud had placed an old latch on it that we could latch from the inside, but it was complicated to lock it when we left (I’ll spare you the details) so we most often just left with it unlocked when we went to town. We feel relatively safe out here, but I feel much safer now that we can properly lock it.
Bud had to remove all of the molding from the old door, remove a sheet of the siding, remove the air conditioner window unit, move an electrical outlet, shore up everything, patch up the hole where the air conditioner was, put in and secure the door, then replace the siding. Eventually, we are going to have new siding put on, but that is way down the road.
To illustrate how save it is out here, how the neighbors watch out for each other, and to give you an idea of the kind of neighbors we have…we went to town to get three pieces of lumber and loaded it into our flatbed. The gravel road really bumps the flatbed around. We had gotten almost all the way home, and I looked back and didn’t see the wood, so Bud stopped so I could check it out. Gone. All three pieces. We traversed the bumpy road almost back to the highway and we found our three pieces of lumber scattered along the road in different places.
We had passed the mailman, windows rolled down. It’s a one lane road, except for a few wider places. Bud and the mailman exchanged ‘howdies’ as they slowly passed each other. (We know our mailman’s first name, by the way.) Shortly after we got home, I got a call from the mailman, telling us he had passed some lumber and figured it might have been ours. He also said he had found a wicker back chair on the road and asked if it was ours. I told him, ‘no’ and he said that maybe it was the _________’s and he would call them, too. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen in the city. I like that about living in the country.
I’m rambling…but that story seemed kind of important, somehow.
I have to reiterate that even if we could do no more work out here on this house, it’s a small price to pay for the beauty and peace we have found out there. I am completely happy out here.
We have had so many confirmations that we are where the Lord wants us, not the least of which is the way the Lord has taken care of us financially. Bud was a teacher, I was a housewife for the past several years. We have lived frugally, but we buy quality–the best we can afford at the time and still pay cash–so that we don’t ever have to buy it again…and we are also out of debt, for the most part, except for the note on the house (which is very little.)
We knew that it would take a while to get the house done, and we had planned to do it a little bit at a time as finances allowed. It seems that we have been blessed so many times since we have moved out here with unlooked for and unplanned money that has allowed us to purchase something we have needed.
Recently, we got an escrow check that will cover the cost of our refrigerator, wood stove and cooking stove. There have been other checks like that which have come out of nowhere (old deposits, credits to our closed electric accounts in Texas, etc.) We have been careful to tithe on the abundance the Lord has blessed us with and to thank Him for taking such good care of us, and he has continued blessing us with more. I think, too, (my personal opinion) is that sometimes the Lord blesses us so that we can bless others who might be in need that we otherwise wouldn’t have the means to help in that way.)
I wanted to share that testimony to encourage those of you who might be in a similar situation.
Here are some pictures of the utility room. The ceiling still needs to be put in, there are shelves that need to go up, curtains that need to be made and decorating that still needs to be done. I chose a washer and dryer without a lot of bells, whistles and electronics. I figured it would be less to break, and much less to have to figure out. (I don’t do do well with a bunch of buttons to figure out.)
I finally decided on a shower curtain. Since we are going with a ‘rustic’/’primitive’ theme. I chose a ‘primitive’ shower curtain. My iron is in storage and it needs to be ironed. I don’t yet have a matching bath mat or towels, and the shelves on the far wall still need to be done. The ceiling has not yet been put up either. There are no windows, so there is only the overhead light, which means using what natural light I have to take the picture, or turning on the horrid light.
I’m so proud of all that Bud has done. He’s not a framer, carpenter, tiler, plumber, etc., and he has had to learn all of this stuff as he has gone along.
I’ll leave you with a picture of Grace in one of her exceedingly rare moments of rest!