Grandma Moses stated it best when she said – Life is what we make of it, always has been, always will be.  Lately life has been challenging for my husband and I to live it, though.

We are currently several months behind in moving into our home that we’re building.  We’re not inexperienced builders…nope.  This is our third house that we’ve designed and built together.  AND we’re still very happily married!

Between the two of us, we consider ourselves fairly well-skilled and organized people.  The many things that have gone wrong have simply been out of our control.  Often leaving us feeling frustrated and angry.  So I’ve taken to taping a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson in my notebook as a reminder to breathe.  For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness. Indeed!

As with anything in life, there are two sides to the coin.  But sometimes I feel stuck.  I stare longingly, hoping to transform it into something it’s not.  Something it will never be.  When all I really have to do is flip it over and focus on the other side.

The latest situation in a long tedious line of situations, is having our kitchen cabinet maker walk off the job six weeks into him “supposedly” working on our cabinets.  But the flip side is it appears that we have a great, new cabinet maker who will do an even better job.

We had our first meeting with him just the other day.  We walked through the entire house and went over all the pieces to be built.  It was a long process to have to repeat.  As we finished discussing the last project, the bookshelves in my office, I summoned up the courage to ask the dreaded question.  Logic told me what it was going to be, what it had to be.  As he informed us of the new completion date (2nd or 3rd week of April) my heart sank: hearing it out loud made it definite.  Sadness crept over me as if it were the worst problem in the world.  Ongoing frustration had taken its toll.

Just then, our builder received a call from his wife.  Answering it he said, “honey I’ll call you right back, I’m finishing up a meeting.”  He put his phone back in his pocket.  His phone rang again.  This time panic washed over his face as his wife told him that their son had a severe allergic reaction and was being taken by ambulance to the hospital.  Tears washed over his daddy face.  As he ran to put on his shoes, he looked at me with terror in his tear soaked eyes and said in that voice that gives you chills, the one we hope to never use, “She said he’s turning blue.”

Our house problems fell away as I remembered a similar call.  Now I was the one fighting back tears.  He ran out the door as we yelled out to him to please drive carefully.  His little boy is alright, by the way.

While it’s true that building this house has been a study in contrasts.  And I absolutely cannot wait to have a life again.

Our life together, flip side or not, is a good one. But a house, made from brick and wood, bound together with nails and cement: is just a house.  This house of ours is not a living, breathing entity.  Not yet.  Not until we arrive and give it a heart.

Until then, we will carry on.


“Fall seven times and stand up eight.”   Japanese proverb



2 thoughts on “A HOUSE IS JUST A HOUSE

  1. Barbara. Martin Shockey March 7, 2014 — 1:16 am

    Wow. Wow. Wow. As I fight back tears, I say to myself, “Barbara, THIS, you must remember. A house is just a house, as you have stated. All things have a priority. I need to keep them straight.

    Thank you, for this very moving blog.

    1. Thank you so very much, Barb. You are so kind. Building a house is stressful (this one in particular), but I’m grateful that the universe sent me a message, to remind me of my place on this beautiful earth.
      If you need ANY help – let me know, please.

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