Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Shack.

I suppose it's only natural to second guess one's own decisions - especially ones made on a whim.

As my children move their belongings into The Shack I can't help but think "What are we doing with this dumpy little place?" And I watch in amazement as they excitedly decide where to hang their pictures and place their limited furniture. And memories fill my mind.

Our first house after living in apartment for a few months when we were first married: The Little House. It was smaller than The Shack, and we had a baby to fit in. It had running water. It didn't have a bathroom. There was a shower and an outhouse. The shower was the dividing wall between the bedroom and the living room. There were basically no kitchen cabinets. My china cabinet became the tupperware/corelle shelves.

The baby's crib was in the closet/pantry/storage room. The mice roamed freely so we got two cats to add to our family. Whiskey and Tequila. They got along well with the two dogs, Cheech & Chong, whom we also housed. We were happy and in love. And I honestly didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. Considering some of the abodes my parents raised 5 children in, I really had nothing to complain about. But truly, I didn't feel I had an reason to complain. We had company for dinners, we had pool parties (yes, we had a pool table in our 20x20 house) and I even hosted a bridal shower for my sister in this tiny home.

I am recently learning that joy and happiness come from within, not from our circumstances and stuff. Well, I think I always knew it in my heart but now my head is catching up and I can really think it through.

As my kids cheerfully accept their unfancy little home I can't help but be proud of them for their lack of greed and need that is so prevalent in our society. And my heart is confident that they'll do alright and be happy ever-after. And I thank God for the 2 months of crowded nest we had to get to know our daughter-in-law better.

Who'd a thunk it way back when I got that phone call "Mom, can we come stay over night?" that we'd be in this position 2 months later.

The cabinets are sturdy but filthy. There had been birds flying freely in the house and they were fed on top of the upper cabinets. It was not pretty. We thought the wood was just a dark greasy dirty version of the cabinet doors. Turns out they were painted bright yellow like the counter top!

We washed. We painted. We added new appliances and wallpaper border. Painted the range hood fan and voila... the 70's tiles become in vogue.

Jade kicked down this little spindle wall with the force of Gladiator.

There were layers and layers of lino on the floor under the disgustingly filthy living room carpet. The little house really smelled bad when we first got the keys. But 2 hours later when the carpet was laying in the front yard, the difference was amazing. I can't imagine how much animal feces and urine was in the fibres.

I love the green that Jade chose for the walls. It really gives the room character. That's an air conditioning unit on the wall. The fan works, but it's hard to tell during the winter how much it will actually cool the south facing living room.

Jade and Crystal learn to use a cordless drill as they put yet another layer on the floor.

There were papers from 1963 between layers of the flooring. This tells me they were replacing the floor in 1963. Makes ya wonder how old the home really is. The paper was interesting to read. Men's underwear was 39 cents and Volvos were cool.

A nice soft yet bold purple in the bedroom, totally transformed the room. Yes, the wood on the floor is the final edition. We sanded and Varithaned the OSB and it looks very good - peasant's laminate, we call it.

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