Originally published January 19th, 2003.
when the time comes for me to become a home owner and not a renter, i want to have my house built. i don’t want to just buy a house off the market.
and i want to build and erect the first wall. i want to have an integral part in the construction of the future of my life.
and i really don’t think this is too much. and i know i can handle it.
my dad built our family’s house from scratch. he modified a blueprint. he had some excavating buddies dig the hole. some other buddies laid the concrete. my dad and his friends from work constructed the frame and did all the carpentry. my grandpa love helped with the heating units. my grandpa gross helped with the plumbing and pipework. a family friend did the drywall, another did the electricity. we all helped paint the walls. my mom’s uncle did the carpeting. the trimming was done by my mom and dad. wallpaper done by my mom and friends.
every step of building my house was done with care and love. you can’t find that when you buy from a realtor. you don’t have the memories of playing in the huge piles of dirt, or running around inside the deep hole that would soon become the foundation for your home. you don’t have the privilege of picking up the “nickles” left by the electricians and making games with them. you can’t remember standing in the place that will someday be your room and seeing the stars through that woodframe and thinking of how this will be the place where you will grow up.
you can’t remember being 9 years old (or maybe 8…) and helping your father and his friends erect that first wall.
i wish everybody could be as lucky as i am.
life is simple; and sometimes we seem to neglect that.
small things build up into something big and memorable.
i want to build.
* * *
Present thoughts: I still get this. However, there is something equally romantic about the concept of an older home. A home with a history (as discussed last night). You can take something old and make it new to you; you can still build those memories. You’ve just got to take the ownership to do so.