Thursday, July 18, 2013

100 Years

Our house is celebrating its Centennial this year.

Granted, we haven't actually lived in this house for one hundred years (seeing as we are not Zombies) and I will confess the old gal has had a few facelifts through the years. But the bones of our happy home, along with the handful of remaining leaded glass windows, are all part of her original 100 year old charm.

She was considerably smaller when we first moved in. Over the years we have stretched her to her limit; ripping off the roof and adding a third floor, moving staircases, adding 6 feet to the back of the house, reconfiguring the basement (again), remodeling the kitchen (again), and none of that includes the work to the yard and the gajillion other small projects that have been done and continue to be done so that we can keep enjoying her hospitality for another 20+ years and beyond.

The latest project doesn't involve any demo work or structural changes, but it will require some elbow grease and determination. It may also possibly drive me into the loony bin (but I've said that about a thousand other projects worse than this one so you'd be wise to take my hyperbolic threats with a grain of salt.) 

(Can I get a whoop whoop for the nice use of the word hyperbolic?)

For the past four or five years I have been saying that when Jack goes to college I am going to have he and Annie switch bedrooms. And then at some point when I wasn't looking, those four or five years went by and we are.

There are very practical reasons for the switch. His room is bigger. His closet is bigger. He has an extra storage closet in his room in addition to a full-size clothes closet. Considering the whole point of him going to college is that he is going to be gone most of the year it seems to make sense that the child who still has another 10 years of residency status left here at The Centennial House should get the better, bigger room. She's also a girl and we all know what that means in relation to closet space. She's going to need more.

Beyond the practical reasons, I'm excited about the side benefits. The most important side benefit being that this is a golden opportunity to clean out, clear out and get out lots of stuff. 

Me likey getting rid of stuff. 

So, it's all good. Both kids are excited about the move and I'm completely excited about the endpoint when it is really truly all done. What I'm not excited about is the hours and hours of work it is going to take to get us to the finish line. There is painting to be done, carpets to be cleaned, clothes to be moved, trinkets and treasures to be sorted and (hopefully) given away. 

Note to the little hoarder (aka Annie): Mom is not going to tolerate much sentimentality in this process. This is a time to be aggressive, cold-hearted and incredibly focused. Keep your eye on the prize, Sweetie. A clean, organized, beautiful new bedroom. (I've already broken it to her that the Dog a Day Calendar pages will not be making the trek across the hall.) 

So, I'm excited. Annie is excited. Jack is even happy about the change and the potential for a fresh start (his current room is beyond belief messy). Everybody is on board and ready to go!

So, why can't I get started?

Well, I'll admit, one reason is probably just because it is a BIG project and it is hard to know where to start. Do I clean out the rooms first? Do I start painting? Which room do I paint first? Where does the resident of each respective room sleep while painting is going on? Can Nate Berkus just come and do all this for me? He'd have a whole crew to help him so he could knock it out in like three days and he'd look cute at the same time (I'm not going to look cute for one second of this project). I could just sit back and post pictures to Facebook while you all envy me and my Nate Berkus bedroom makeover. Although, why would I waste Nate Berkus on my kid's bedrooms....? Forget it, if he shows up he's doing my room, and bathroom, and closet...And maybe my laundry room too, because only professional help could save that tiny space from the mayhem that it is.

There's that.

But I'm stymied for other reasons. Reasons that have nothing to do with paint colors and boxes of Little League participation trophies (what do you do with those??), and have everything to do with five years that went by in the blink of an eye.

For so long now the whole Great Bedroom Switcharoo was just an idea. A good idea, I'll give you that, but just an idea. It was out there. It was in some unknown future land in which our eldest child was going to leave home and live somewhere else for 9 months out of the year. It was just an idea.

Now, it's here. And even though he isn't going as far away as we once thought he might be, he is still going. He will have a different bedroom, in a different place and, if all goes well, he will be so happy in that new place we won't see him again until Thanksgiving. 

It's a strange thing to hope for, that your child will be so content he won't feel the slightest need to come home. But I do hope for that. Well, I mostly hope for my less selfish moments when I'm thinking more of him and his well-being than I am of my own (luckily, that is most of the time). 

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to miss him like crazy. But at the same time I really hope to be missing him like crazy because that's what is supposed to come next. He's supposed to fly and we are supposed to re-paint the nest, get used to less noise and less garbage, and eventually find a way to live in and around and ultimately fill up the empty spaces. Over time, it will probably even all start to feel normal again, in a new-normal sort of way. 

It might take awhile, but we'll get there. This house has seen a lot of big changes and she's still standing. So are we.

I'm guessing that we will finally settle into that new-normal sometime around next June, just in time for him to come flying back for summer, bringing all of his noise and garbage and beloved quirks with him.  

And that's okay. We will still be here.

Happy Centennial, Sawyer House!
Thanks for the memories!

1 comment:

  1. It's a beautiful home. You should take us on a photo tour sometime.

    We cleaned out Reagan's room last month. I put a row of new totes in the hallway and we started sorting into categories like "school memories", "4-H stuff", winter clothes, etc. The totes went into the storage room and whatever is left will go with her (except winter clothes which she'll come back for a some point.)