We live in a not-large home, a weird, 16-sided (hexadecagon, for purists) designed by my father and based on a low-income house plan (he’d read that round houses are good in hurricanes). My parents essentially built it themselves back in the mid-1970s (complete with the then-popular harvest gold). Half of the house (well, technically, 7/16) is a great room – kitchen, dining, living, all in one half moon. The remainder (9/16 for you math peeps) was separated into several rooms – 3 bedrooms, two baths, and some odd storage rooms.
In 2006, my mother painted the harvest-gold paneling in the living area, and replaced the harvest-gold carpeting in the same area with hardwood floors. When Don & I moved to Virginia in 2013 to build the store, we replaced the kitchen. A couple of summers ago, we removed the 70s-era acoustical tile squares from the main room, and opened the ceiling to the roof. The contractors (brilliantly) filled in the old paneling, now painted a fresh green color. We were very pleased.
In January, Don (the financially conservative one) suggested that we embark on an ambitious plan to finish the house the way we’d like: enlarging our bedroom and bath, enlarging another bedroom, and re-doing our limited storage are by moving the other bath. And, by the way (he suggested), it would be nice to have a boat, which of course meant re-building our nearly-50-year old dock and adding a boat lift. Rationale: we’ll be here for a long time, let’s make it the way we want it. We jumped in with both feet (and I can hear my mother’s words resonating: “You’re spending money like you had it”).
In February, we committed to the boat. In early March, we moved everything out of the three bedrooms, put our bed and most of our clothes in the (small) living room, and moved what we could to the porch. Over the next several days, 7/16 of our home (three bedrooms, one bath) were torn down (at this point, 2/16 remains untouched so we could have a bathroom during construction). Framing of the new layout began shortly thereafter.
Then came COVID-19, along with its physical and financial effects.
Social distancing? Not gonna happen at home. No room. Want to go to bed early? Can’t do without your partner concurring. Waiting for construction materials? Delays. Expenses? Going up in an inverse proportion to the market going down.
On the bright side, we’ve had our dock/boat-lift application approved under Chesapeake Bay Act regulations, and found (we think) substitute materials that can be delivered timely. Our contractors – general, electrical, plumbing, insulation, sheetrock – are doing what they can to move the project along. We love them. And the boat is scheduled to arrive in late April.
Don & I are both facing the challenges with patience, tolerance, humor. And longing for the bed to be moved out of the living room.