Jeff and Randy have finished cutting, jointing, moving, placing, and leveling all of the foundation beams. They are all set on the mocked up foundation pillars in the backyard. I must say, at first I was disappointed at the size of the house's footprint, but the bottom floor is only the kitchen, living room, dining room, and a half bath. Plus, as I told Jeff, I would much rather see a smaller foundation than expected, but have the possibility of actually building the house, than to see a large and roomy space with the looming fear that it will never, ever, be finished!
The next step is to finish cutting, jointing, and assembling the floor joists. I think we have 30 or so rough cut, which would be enough for the 1st floor.
We continue to be on the lookout for trees that are big enough to serve as the tall posts for the house. I think we have 2, and need 10 more.
I had a little breakdown this weekend. A good thing has happened. Someone is buying our house. Not just anyone... but the right couple is buying it. They are young, and energetic, and I can tell that they are just quirky enough to accept that house for all of its unique imperfect perfection. It is a great house. I love it. I love it because we worked so very hard on it... and because our children grew there... and because it was like a living, breathing member of our family. We molded it and helped it to grow and flourish back into its beautiful self. It had lost itself for a while... and it needed us. I love that house.
It just hit me like a ton of bricks that we are in this in between spot, and the only way to get out is to dig to China with a spoon. Somehow, we have decided that we can accomplish this monumental task of building an entire house from nothing... from trees. I feel so far away from a place to call my own... from a place where I can unpack all of the treasures that have no place to go.
It hit me that, for 14 years of marriage, we have worked on things without enjoying the comforts of our hard work. I am 35 years old... and I just want somewhere to make pretty. Somewhere that is my own that I can be proud of... that I can have guests visit without a long explanation of its state. For my entire adult life I have had to explain the process we are in, why there are piles of crap everywhere, and why things around us are in a half-finished state.
I had a pitty-party.
Our 10 year plan began about 4 years ago. We moved almost three years ago. Phase I was selling (ok, so that part took longer than expected) & moving, Phase II was to work on the house in Inman, so that we could move to the very long and hard Phase III... building our home. I think that, unlike working on the house in Bethlehem, it's hard for me to get my head around this process. This leaves me with a panicky feeling of just not knowing what to expect. What I do know is that Jeff is working his tail off. We are deep in the trenches of work, where he and Randy are working on it about 5 days per week, after work and on weekends. I bet Jeff puts in 20 hours a week, on top of a full time job, farm, and family. The foundation beams are cut, joints cut, and they are in place. Now, they will move to the downstairs floor joists. A lot of times, I am focused in the day to ay running of our family and not thinking about the 10 year process that we are in. But, times like this weekend make me feel like I am in the middle of an ocean, on a tiny piece of wood. I cannot even see the shore.
Part of me is jealous of all of the normal people out there, who sell their house and move into a new one. Jealous of those who move into a house where they choose their paint colors, unpack their boxes, hang their curtains, and live there. What are we thinking? What are we doing? What if we work this hard and don't succeed?
And then, Jeff sent me a text.
"Family isn't a house."
He reminded me that, by the time the beams are in place and the structure is erected, my kids will be old enough that I can really be a huge help... like my pre-mommy self was on our past house projects.
I know he is right. I just have to trust, and I have to learn to be very patient.
Five years ago, I cried because I wanted to have a closet and a master bath. This weekend, I cried for the same reason. The thought of not having these things until I am over 40 years old takes my breath away.
But, I have to learn to trust.... and to be patient... and to let go of the weight of embarrassment.