Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Renovation


There is a blue house sits at the end of my street. I would estimate its age to be 25 to 30 years. This is relatively new in many parts of the country. Where I live, in the Land of Shiny and New, it is positively prehistoric.

After being on the market for several months, the house recently sold. The previous occupants were an older couple—not elderly, just older. The woman has several health issues and the house’s upkeep simply proved too daunting a task for them.

Being curious (nosy) by nature, as soon as I saw the For Sale sign in the yard, I looked up the listing on the internet. The pictures of the house’s interior continued the theme from its exterior—outdated and dilapidated.

I got the feeling as I looked at the pictures that what my eyes saw was very different from the eyes that must have taken those pictures. Where I saw the reality of worn carpet, cracked plaster and outdated fixtures, the eyes behind the lens of the camera saw what the house once was. The memories within the walls of the house and in the hearts and minds of its inhabitants served as rose colored glasses, preserving a beauty that has long since faded.

The previous owners have left. Work crews have descended upon the house and have begun the task of renewal. Overgrown bushes and trees are being pruned, dead plants are being dug out of the flower beds. I’ve counted three rather large trailers filled with branches and debris so far, and they’ve barely made a dent into the overgrowth. Drywall, insulation, doors and fixtures lay together in a large heap on the driveway. The overcast, cold day adds to the ugliness of the scene. To the workers, it is just another job; the stripping away of the old and useless. The mess is temporary and will soon be cleared away so new life can be breathed into the house by yet another group of workers. Eventually a new family will move in with a fresh start at creating new memories.

The renovation of this little blue house on the corner holds a distinct advantage over the renewal that sometimes must take place in our lives. Because while the previous occupants of the blue house have moved away and do not have to witness to pruning and/or demolition of those things that no longer serve their intended purpose, we are a captive audience to the sometimes painful yet necessary pruning, demolition and reconstruction that must take place within us in order for us begin anew.


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This blog post is a submission into "Beginnings" writing project hosted by lovely and talented Laura Barkat over at Seedlings in Stone

beginnings

19 comments:

Candace Jean July 16 said...

As much as some of us hate to see things change, there comes a time when everything will be new again. It's time for the house. I so often think about my own renewal, but don't want the memories gone (even the painful ones) - I just want to be shiny and new somehow.

"The mess is temporary." Yup.

Glynn said...

Trees often have to be pruned to grow properly -- otherwise they become wild and unproductive. The same is often true for us. Good post, ma'am.

Corinne said...

The good thing about renovations, or rather, when they're done well, is that there's still a hint of the old left in the new.
Loved this.

bman said...

Great post! It's kind of sad to see so many older houses being completely gutted and remade. Old houses are nice and roomy and the memories are good!

You're completely right, though. It's so hard to let go of things and our old ways. But... that's what God wants us to do.

Nice writing; very reflective.

Jewda said...

That was awesome.

~*Michelle*~ said...

This was great..like Glynn said...we often have to go through a messy, sometimes painful, pruning in life in order to bring forth the "good fruits" that God intends for us.

Thank you for this gentle reminder that this mess I am currently in, is only temporary.

Billy Coffey said...

Wow, what a great post! Very well done. I wish I could think of something smart-aleky to say, but I just can't. Bummer.

Helen said...

Very beautiful and thought provoking. Thank you.

Tina Dee Books said...

I think I was this house over the last year and a half--so ready for the new and renewed.

Loved this post, Kat. xoxo.

Rebecca on The Homefront said...

Sometimes I wish I were the older couple, packing up and moving away from all the muss and fuss of renovation in my life. How often do we wish we didn't have to be present for the hard, painful work?

Wonderful, thoughtful post, Katdish. Thanks!

L.T. Elliot said...

This is one of the most unique things I've read about new beginnings. Sometimes those beginnings are painful--even if they're necessary.

Maureen said...

An excellent post, Kathy. And from this beginning, you can riff on a lot of interesting contrasts: the house, the body; the eyes that see what was, the eyes that see what is, the eyes that see what can or may be; old and useless, shiny and new; the inside, the outside - who you are, who you try to be; the messiness of moving on, the turmoil of staying put.

Heather of the EO said...

I'm so glad I read this. I currently have absolutely no time (or internet) for blog reading and I miss it. Since I'm borrowing my parent's internet again to get a whole lot of stuff done, I stumbled on this post through good ol' Twitter or I probably would have missed it. I was supposed to read it, I know that much. Perfect timing. I'm going through my own personal internal renovation while moving and changing an old house, so I really felt this, both aspects of it.

Thank you.

♥ Kathy said...

I've lived in some really old homes and have found things like names carved into the backs of doors and kid's growth charts marked on the walls. I just couldn't imagine taking those memories away so I never changed any of them even though they weren't MY memories. I know that sometimes the walls CAN talk.

L.L. Barkat said...

yeah, I don't always like being around for the project... let me sleep, that'd be good, I think.

jasonS said...

Wonderful post- thanks Kat. I don't like it, but that pruning and renovation is so necessary. I can be thankful when I realize this.

Chris Sullivan said...

Great post. It is so hard to take off those rose-colored glasses. A house sells, a company brings in new management, but in our own lives nobody is going to make the change but us. It isn't easy. Even once we acknowledge a problem, most of us tend to avoid pain, struggle, conflict change and all the unpleasant things that accompany growth. We are set in our ways and it is easier to sit on the sidelines embracing mediocrity than to work day by day at becoming who we want to be. It seems like such an uphill battle that we never try and lose the only life we have to fight for.

Bridget Chumbley said...

Beautiful post!
I used to hate change... now I look forward to renovations in my life...

Wendy said...

Okay, am I the only one who thinks that house is cute? Seems sad to me to try to get rid of what was as if it never had been.