Yesterday marked two months of progress on the Orchard House renovation. Considering this project was expected to take ‘about four months’ – it’s the unofficial halfway point. So…where are we?
That’s an impossible question. We’re in a tough spot, if I’m being honest. We’re rounding a corner, if I’m being positive. We’re dirty, tired, and penniless, if I’m being dramatic. And we’re super excited about it (!) if I’m a little tipsy.
But seriously, we are each of those things at any given moment. Living through this renovation is totally encompassing, you have no choice but to be all-in. It’s loud, it’s dirty (OMG it’s dirty…), it’s stressful, it’s expensive, and it’s exhausting. I’ve written before about how hiring people to work on your house is a lot like going to the dentist. I stand by that. And right now I’m going to the dentist every day, for eight hours a day.
We have one operable outlet in our “kitchen” (major air quotes here). This means when I attempt to make something I’m constantly asking myself, do I want a fridge, a stove, or a light? Because I can’t have all three… I’m becoming strangely good at cooking in the dark.
Then there’s the dirt. OMG, you guys, the DIRT! It’s everywhere. I went to brush my teeth a few nights ago and threw out our toothbrushes because our sink was not white, but gray. And in some places, black. We’re not even doing any renovation work on the second floor right now! Moving forward, we’ll keep the toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet. But that probably won’t save them. I went to get something out of the fridge the other day (the sealed fridge!) and it was renovation-dust covered. Is nothing sacred?!
And this time having a toddler waddling around, possibly putting things in his mouth and with constantly black palms, is making me completely insane. I’m not a germ-a-phobe, but I’m a normal person who values personal hygiene. Which is totally not happening these days. It’s both embarrassing and aggravating at once. I keep reminding myself that a large part of us doing this for him. Then in a rage of frustration and with a Pig-Pen-esque dirt cloud following me around I pack up all of our (probably contaminated) stuff and haul off to my mom’s house.
Which is where I’ll be for the next week, probably two, mayyybe three. And although I’m happy to be in a clean, dust free environment where I don’t need to worry about stepping on nails or contractors walking into the bathroom at inopportune times – I have to admit, I’m kind of sad to leave. For all of the inconveniences and overwhelming mess, watching the house grow and change has it’s happy moments.
Like at the end of the day when everyone leaves and the baby is napping, I walk around our new sort-of-indoor/sort-of-outdoor space and look at what’s changed. Or last weekend when Ian and I had a stay-at-home date night and spent the majority of it sitting in the one-day mudroom in our heaviest outerwear talking about how much we love not doing the work ourselves and how much we miss not doing the work ourselves. Or just last night when I pulled together a successful dinner in a half-kitchen in the dark and it still managed to taste great! Or two weeks ago when the first of two major walls came down and every night since walking around the sharpie drawn island on the floor to see what our new kitchen will feel like.
So in 600 words, not less, that’s where we are. It’s complicated, messy, and exciting…but most of all, it’s getting done!