I have put far too many pretty pictures up here lately. I think I need to bring myself and all of you back to reality. The dusty, grey, non-functioning reality. This is the bathroom as it currently exists:
Monthly Archives: April 2011
Bathroom vanities are expensive. At Home Depot, we’d likely be dropping at good $500 to get something we want. And then we’d still have to buy a sink. Boo.
Ikea’s cheap. And we like their stuff. But none of their vanities come in the 20′ depth that we need. Boo.
But wait… in passing, on the weekend, my MIL mentioned that she had once wanted to convert a dresser into a vanity to put in their bathroom. When she said it, I don’t think the option fully sunk into my head. Two days later, it finds itself fully lodged in my thoughts.
How beautiful would something like this be?
Our 4th weekend in the house led to one of the most exciting bit of progress yet: walls!
In the process of this move, I’ve been thinking a lot about community, what it means, and how we fit into it all. We’ve moved into a ridiculously friendly neighbourhood, a neighbourhood in which people recognize each other as they walk down the street, a neighbourhood that greets newcomers, and looks out for each other and their dogs. (Well, mostly.)
But, it’s not the only community of which we’re a part. And it’s not the most important, or the one for which I am the most grateful.
In January, we (loosely speaking) made the final decision on a church home. Since then, we’ve been slowly drawn in to the embrace of a very different kind of community than the one we have moved into. We’ve met new people, learned some new names, and began to share our lives with them and they with us.
A few weeks ago, as we left a dinner with a couple from the church and a group of chatty youth, the host presented us with an extra lasagna, carefully wrapped up and waiting for the oven. When we got our new stove, it was one of the first things we baked up in excited anticipation. It’s the perfect thing. An easy dinner when I’m tired after packing and unpacking. An easy lunch for days when I have no time to brown bag anything. (Oh, right. That’s every day.)
With each bite, I am grateful.
The more community I experience from all places — our neighbourhood, our church, even at work — the more I appreciate it and the more I understand how important it is. One day, I’d like to be able to extend the same thoughtfulness to someone else. Could we do this without them? Probably.
But why bother?
The more we delve into this house, the more we can see the years of neglect it’s gone through, the lack of care and attention to detail. According to our neighbour, contractor after shady contractor has been hired to fix things as mandated by the city. At one time, he says, the front door was plastered in notices from the city about the state of disrepair the house was falling into.
And yet, the whole thing is just a little rough around the edges. I’m not saying that we bought the house version of a lemon: the opposite actually. Our renos that have involved demolition of what is existing have gone surprisingly well. There have been very few of those unexpected problems that people so often find beneath the surface of the house, very few problems that have added hours or days onto our renovation timeline.
But, there have been other things, things we’re not quite so sure how to deal with, things that just don’t look right.
Case number 1: The Basement Bathroom
I won’t bother talking about the upstairs bathroom. It was much worse. But the basement has its own special challenges, more difficult to deal with because they’re not so bad to warrant a complete gutting.
Like the toilet, for example.
A kitchen is not a kitchen without a stove. It’s not a house if there is no kitchen.
Our house is a house! Because we found a stove!
Whenever we show people the house for the first time, it’s not unusual to get this question:
“So, is there a second storey?”
Sadly, we say no, no second storey.
See, our house has a gable roof with a dormer sticking out the front. It’s one of the few things that give our house any sort of curb appeal.
By the end of the day on Saturday, the Husband was frustrated with their progress upstairs, but I couldn’t be happier. The bones of our house have finally begun to reform, allowing me to envision exactly how everything is going to look. See? It’s the skeleton of our bathroom!
They spent two extra hours undoing the hookups for the tub and redoing them, which set them back further than they wanted. If the Husband had had his way, the bathroom studs would not be the only things up: the drywalling would also have been finished and the space prepped for the tile we plan to put in next week.
But I don’t care. I can see it now. It’s going to look something like this:
At 10:05, as if someone bigger and greater than us knew what was going on, the rain slowed to a drizzle. By 10:30, the garbage was gone. Completely. Three of the guys turned their attention to the bramble of vines choking out our (surprisingly healthy) elm.
Meanwhile, one of the leaders dug up our tiny flower bed by the garage and planted the flat of pansies we had picked up. She also found an iris (I think?) growing in an old, broken pot and transplanted them for us.
Not half an hour later, it started to pour again.