Deconstruction, House and Acreage Restoration

Nostalgia for the Present

“Back when the pioneers were moving west, before our house was even built, nails were a hot commodity. When the pioneers were packed up and moving to a new town, they’d burn their house down so that they could come collect their nails to take with them for their next home.”

If I was five years old again, I would have written in my journal that “today was the best day of my life.” Despite being the longest day of the demolition and the dirtiest (I’m talking about Saturday, May 3), it was the best day ever. The Fella and myself were the “dynamic duo.” While I started out removing nails and sweeping to keep the demolition on track, I soon graduated to removing insulation and using a crowbar to take off extra pieces of wood in the rafters.

It was beautiful.


I arrived on site about an hour and 1/2 in to the demolition (I had some work emails to catch up on and Tyler had errands to run to get some different tools and wood). One of the window was already out, to make reaching the dumpster to throw out the garbage easier. (Apparently said window wasn’t even nailed or screwed in place-Holmes would be upset).


The plan was to finish the upstairs down to the studs. We almost made it. But we did get the carpet torn up, the insulation out, the bathroom tub demolished, and the rafters cleaned up.

The thing about the day that was so beautiful was the way our dynamic duo worked together. I have heard time and time again that going through a renovation can be the most trying time for a marriage. I guess I should’nt have been surprised that it has been an easier go for us. I mean, I did marry the guy-fully aware of his personality and he of mine.

The progress by late afternoon:


When one of us was tired, we tell them to take a break, get a bottle of water. Despite the fact that I don’t move as quickly as Tyler (and am not as strong) he let me work at my pace without comment.

In the morning we listened to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on NPR. They played a variety of the classics-literally. Handel, CPE Bach, some Opera. Then the New York Philharmonic came on and it started to get a little intense. First some Benjamin Britton, then a piece by a Russian Composer about Stalin (whose name I didn’t quite catch), then Bela Bartok. By that time, the music was so intense I took over the radio. We switched to classic rock. Because, really, who doesn’t love tearing apart walls to Led Zepplin?

The story I opened with was one of the many fun tales I heard throughout the day. As I learned how to tear apart a house, I learned a lot about how a house is put together. The Fella and I chatted. We told each other how we envisioned the space. As new walls were opened up, we learned a little more about our house…our home.

While I was absolutely covered in insulation and sweeping it into garbage bags (it was the old, crumbly insulation) I looked over at the Fella as he pulled up the carpet. And I felt it. Nostalgia. Nostalgia for the very moment  I was experiencing. I’ve had this feeling before. Where you are enjoying what you are doing so much, you already start to feel sad knowing that the moment won’t last forever.

That was today. The day we pulled apart the upstairs. The day I will always remember as the day our dynamic duo really proved that we were meant to work together as a team.

Down to the studs.

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