It seems to be the rule of thumb recently. For each thing I receive; something it taken. It began over a year ago. I was given a house but for me to get it, my mother was taken away (I trust to a better place).
It all began with the inspector who was being a bit of a hard case. One one hand I was glad because I want to make sure everything is built properly but on the other, it was frustrating that he didn’t go through the entire house to give notes but stopped his inspection as soon as he encountered something that he didn’t approve. That meant nothing could move forward. It was also a bit frustrating that one inspector says something can simply be modified then the new inspector comes in and says no, it’s got to be rebuilt (to new code) or removed.
The “it” in this case was the sun porch that was at the back of the house and wasn’t a room that was used much but which I had hoped to turn into a “woman cave” – why should only men have the? However, given the choice of bringing it up to code or spending 1/4 of the money to demo it and have a clean slate to work from, I chose the latter. My only regret was that it was the only room in the entire house that didn’t sustain any damage from the fire and so remained as a reminder of what the house looked like when my mom was alive. Now there is nothing which she had a hand in. Sure the house still has the same layout and overall footprint but every wall, light, door, window will be new. I hope the house will still be imbued with her spirit.
For those who knew my mother, they’ll understand that her warmth and kindness was evident in all the touches she put into the house. I was always the practical, cynical and logical one. She was the generous, empathetic, caring one. Thinking back on it, I marvel that after all she endured – the bombings during the war, the death of so many young men she knew in that war, having to care for her mother with dementia, being abandoned by her husband, raising a child on her own (before it was an accepted practice) and being an ocean away from the only family she had – she was typically cheerful and in good spirits. She always said she felt blessed.
So I lost the sun room but I gained a roof. With the roof on, everything else can move forward. Next will be drywall! Before I know it the house will start taking shape. But, as they say, the devil’s in the details. So many details still to be ironed out!
Here’s the house before and now…
And here is what the back of the house now looks like…
Soon those short walls will be gone too.