Thursday, May 21, 2015

This Old Cabin, Part 4

Yesterday, we tore out the bathroom floor getting ready to replace a few boards that time and moisture had softened. Jig, our new goldendoodle pup watched with great interest as we attacked the wood and exposed the supporting structures beneath.  I must say I shared her curiosity.  We found a window behind the tub surround, and three layers of paneling and dryway covering the original cedar paneling. (I've included a picture here of the mess before the paneling came off.) It's a kind of practical archaeological play, dating the efforts of past owners by the look of the wall treatments.  If I still lived in the pacific northwest I think I would have tried to "save"that original paneled look!  But we desperately need insulation here, where the temps can go twenty or thirty below zero some winters. The panels sit flush with the outer wall...and so we have to create enough space to spray foam at least four inches deep.



The tub surround was a trick to get out...but since we will install a pocket door to save room, cutting a big enough exit door worked out just fine.  Here it is in the kitchen, on its way to the ReStore. We have spent almost nothing on this project, making use of used building materials, and giving back to the same store the appliances and fixtures that don't fit our plan for the house.



Small seedlings are coming up already in the wildflower garden along the road, even as I eye about four more piles of leaves waiting patiently for me to scoop them into the compost heap. It's a matter of trust and a dash of mystical waiting when those seeds go into the ground.  I can almost see this swath in  the late summer, some 40 varieties of flowers nodding in the August heat.  Maybe that's the great gift of a project like this: the steady dripping of activity mixed with patience will bloom. Maybe not in the way I currently envision but almost certainly in a way that will be enough. It's a doing and then a surrender.  As I age I become more comfortable with such things.

It has been such a delight to slough off the load of "stuff" in my life. The riches of relational love we must cultivate in our short time on Earth will only give fruit when we dig into the rich soil of living beings, not stuff.  The truth is, such things own us and not the other way around. The small space will keep me mindful of this in the future, when I am tempted to fill holes in my heart or mind with dead and numbing things.  Every material object I give away or time takes from me is truly a blessing, a making of space in the shape of time and creative energy.  And as a country western song reminds us, "never seen a Hearst with a trailer hitch."

Indeed and Amen.


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