summer's almost gone

One side effect of this remodeling project: this has been the summer that never was, in some ways. Several factors combine to have made this the case, including some that have nothing to do with the project. Obviously, the energy and attention we've had to pay to the project have preoccupied us; and for the early part of the project, one of our main summer activities - hanging out in the back patio, cooking out or just sitting around - was impossible due to construction materials taking up the space. (And it occurs to me that in most summers, we have a couple of regular traveling visitors, neither of whom made their annual trip here for reasons mostly unrelated to the remodeling. Our friends Janet and Andy and their children were in town for a couple of days just as the project was beginning, and I saw them on my Grand Rapids trip as well; while our friends Bob and Susan skipped their usual Milwaukee visit in lieu of foreign travel this year - they're visiting in late October instead.)

So it's kind of weird that it's September already, feeling as if many typical summer activities never quite happened. (As a teacher, my seasonal calendar is in arrested development: the school year still delineates the end of summer at one end and summer's beginning at the other...although now that I think of it, something similar is probably true for parents of school-age kids, too.) But ultimately, it will be worth it: Rose and I are both in the habit of just wandering upstairs and sort of looking around, for no other reason than to imagine and enjoy the space. We were both up there this afternoon, talking about a couple of details and clarifying window treatments and the like, and it was just a wonderful moment: this is a project we'd been pipedreaming since we bought the house, eleven years ago (in some ways, before that: the idea of buying a house and remodeling it was in her mind at least well before we could buy a house in the first place). And to see it in real life is gratifying...despite its costs (including the monetary ones), minor setbacks, and its tendency to take priority over most aspects of our lives. All that's temporary. The fabulous new space we'll have - and the more it becomes real, the more I really love Rose's design - is permanent.

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