Saturday, May 25, 2013

On Building a House

My wife and I moved to our new house sometime in the middle of April. It’s a major development for both of us, but one that we’ve managed to adjust to with little trouble. We’re going with the flow, and things just seem, well, right.

Running our own household is a major responsibility, even if there’s really just the two of us. But it’s something that we seem to have grown into naturally. In a way, getting the house built, with all its highs and lows, has been one long preparation. Moving in was the culmination.

Building the house was our second major project as a couple, the first being the preparation for the wedding itself. It took us a year to get started, and we broke ground a few weeks after our first anniversary. All throughout, we’ve been touched by grace after grace, manifested in the support of our parents, a competent contractor, and timely discounts from the stores.

Our contractor projected ten months for construction, and more or less he was right on the money. The basic structure came up fairly quickly, within three months we could already see the outline of the building, and within six the stairs, walls, and rooms were already in place. What we learned afterwards was that it was the finishing that took the largest chunk of time.

Experience is the best teacher, and we’ve already become experts of sorts. We chose tiles, lavatories, toilets, sinks, doors, showers, paint (oh God, oh God, the paint!); we bought them from the stores, and when we found out they weren’t the right ones, we drove back to return them. Several times, in fact, too many times. Sometimes we didn’t have enough, sometimes we had too much. More trips to the store.

Building a house can be a strain on the relationship of a couple. No exception here, but again, grace stepped in, and what difficulties we had became opportunities to learn patience and the art of making up. And of course we learn more about each other.

It took the better part of a year till we could say that the house was complete (and even then, there are still a few touches here and there.) Now we’ve moved in, and there’s very little of the growing pains we might have expected. Because we were so involved in the construction, you might say that the house bears the stamp of our personalities. The house just feels so...us.

Now we’ve settled into our daily routine. In the morning, before work, I tend the garden and sweep the house; my wife, in the meantime, makes breakfast and lunch. Twice a week, laundry, once a week, groceries, every other day, take out the trash. Dinner at home, and we catch up on how the day went and plan for the next.

I’m married and domesticated. This is the most adult that I’ve ever been.