We didn't have much of a plan on what to do when we returned home, but I definitely wanted to make some headway on a project that started the day after we closed on the house. Our downstairs first floor bathroom. It's been unusable since then. We had demolition to do, and we needed to work on our idea of what it would look like.
For 2 full days, we demo-ed the plaster and lathe walls. We were sweating profusely, debris falling from all around covering us with a layer of grime. We finally reached the framing and the brick wall. We exposed the guts of our house. We saw the reminats of a fire. We saw a man's work. These walls are old. Our house was built in 1927, and I'll never know all the stories.
There are little hand and feet prints in the concrete of our garage floor. There are wheat pennies falling from the walls. We are changing an old girl of a home. She's getting a make-over!
Once the demo was completed, we framed up what once was a pantry to our kitchen to add space for the bathroom. We swept and mopped the floors everyday after our work was completed because of the dust and stuff flying everywhere.
We finally reached a point where we had small projects that were tedious but necessary. We installed a fan with a light fixture. We ran the duct work. I cleaned and sanded our claw foot tub. We cleaned the exposed brick wall with muratic acid. We put up drywall on the ceiling and walls. We started the walls with the first full coat of mud. We prepared the floor and leveled it for tile. We painted the claw foot tub. Black. We discussed the wall sconces. We moved the toilet, and changed the layout of the bathroom. We did new plumbing work. For a good week, we worked diligently on the bathroom.
We are seeing change. And this is the kind that is rewarding. The kind that has a remarkable feeling because we did it. The kind that when people walk in to one's home, they ask "did you pay someone to do this?" And the answer is no. It's the way we want it, and even though it can feel tedious, it will be completed correctly.
And, we are blessed to be able to invest in this whole-heartedly. It's a home, and it's for my family. It makes me feel thankful that I'm healthy and able to do work with my hands. I may not always remember that manual labor is the way of life for many people, including my husband, but it makes me appreciative and grateful for those artists who are able to do so. Jesus was a carpenter. And, although it's hard work, it's humbling to do it one's self.
So, amongst all the other "must-do's" in a day- like make food, take care over our daughter, sleep, run errands that are required for the other must-dos, we were busy. I watched a little girl for 4 days one week, and work went slowly. But, we were able to help those who helped us during a time of need. And, I was able to bake homemade wheat baguette, prepare lovely meals for those we love, and catch up with some friends.
The weather for us in St. Louis has again been incredible. We have had our windows open, wind blowing through our linen curtains, and we've played outside. Picking peaches at dusk in Illinois with our daughter was just one way we made the summer memorable while at home.
Adam and I also had a date which is so necessary if you have children!! I decided that I wanted it to be fun, and not so dressy. So, we played tennis at the court near our house- we rode our bicycles there and played. Then we rode to Maplewood on the bikes, and had a light dinner at Boogaloo on the strip. We rode back to Schlafly in the night air, and continued on our way to Failoni's Bar. A St. Louis classic Italian bar. It was such an amazing evening- we were just concerned about having fun and being together. It wasn't about getting dressed up- it was about being ourselves and talking. I hope I never forget that night.
Ultimately, I'm glad to be home. I always worry about the fact that I'm not working, but I pray that my hands to good work. And, they do. I made meals for friends that I delivered. I made 2 homemade peach pies as thank you's for people who bless us. I gave a working mom of 2 a meal to go, and I felt great about it. And, I don't expect anything in return. I even feel guilty mentioning it here because I'm not bragging. It's a good thing to do those small things for those-- and it is rewarding for me. I'm glad to do it.
I'm glad to be home. We're working hard. And, there's always something to be completed. A task at hand. I hope that you enjoyed reading this today. And, thanks to all of you who follow and read!