Making a House a Home

Hi.  How’ve you been?  Anything new?  Honestly, I have zero idea what’s happening beyond my walls.  But I do hope you’re all alive and well.

We’ve been hunkered down doing our own house renovations for days.  It all feels like some sort of fever dream.  Oh wait.  Maybe that’s also because we’ve had fevers.  Did we actually do house renovations or was it in my imagination?  Guess I’ll find out when I get on the other side of it…

Somewhere along the way the kids got sick and I developed some weird mutant virus that can only be blamed on the exposure to far too glue and manual labor.

But it ain’t been easy, that’s for sure.  So once the kids went down and I felt it coming on, my husband and I switched to a zone defense and he tackled the reno while I stuck with the kiddos and the usual parent/house duty stuff.  My sweet and amazing husband finished the project we started together all by himself.  I could not be more proud.  I would come downstairs every so often to ask to help him, find him crouched down with a mask over his face, surrounded by wood panels and power tools, and he’d look up at me standing on the steps in my sweats and messy bedhead, and he would just shoo me away.  What a sweet and strong man I have.  Although… I do think he much preferred it that way.  I think he secretly liked being the one and only boss.  But basically I haven’t really seen my husband in three days even though we’ve all been under the same roof and inside the same walls.

Whenever my family and I are sick and we’re unable to go grocery shopping, I really am thankful for the kind of housewife my mother made me out to be.  Turns out we didn’t actually need to go to the grocery store.  We had meals already homemade and frozen on hand.  And a pantry full of backups for all the things we could ever need.  We ate mac&cheese, split pea soup & roasted carrot quiche w/ cumin&feta, lasagna, my homemade sourdough breakfast bread that’s always backed up in the freezer… I always have veggies like peas, broccoli, spinach and kale for emergency use, frozen berries and bananas for smoothies, and thanks to the plethora of canned and jarred (healthy) goods I keep on hand, the kid’s applesauce and other comforting and sick-friendly snacks, baking ingredients that allowed for my daughter and I to bake cookies today amidst the chaos, even the UTH milk I always have in my pantry and so many more things I’m forgetting to name, we had everything we could have possibly needed.  I also relied heavily on the under-the-bed stash of toys and activities I keep for the kiddos for a ‘rainy day’. (Thank you Dollar Store.)  I even had saltines and cold soda water when the nauseous part of this crazy thing knocked me down.

And let me just say that saltines when you’re sick taste like a warm hug and are made of magic.

So that part felt pretty damn good, I’m not gonna lie.  The being ‘prepared like a wilderness creature pre-winter’, not the ‘being nauseous’ part.  It felt incredible, even when the fever was high and the dust thick… to know that I was able to keep my family afloat through it all.  While my awesome husband kept on truckin’.

Teamwork.  That’s how you get shit done, people.  You work together equally on the same task when you can, but when you’re needed elsewhere, you split off and conquer your area so you can meet up in the middle eventually and find each other, knowing everything was handled as it should have been.  That’s the key.  That’s how you create that Saltine Magic.

Before we laid the new flooring, and before the virus took over, all four of us took turns writing something on the concrete slab.  We wanted to write our own little something on the foundation of the house that has been our home for longer than we’ve been a family.  It was my idea, and I’m just glad I came up with it before I got knocked down.  Maybe no one will ever see it… maybe it would just be our fun little family secret whenever Future-Us drives by the house that was once ours.


Maybe one day, many years from now, a new family will decide they want a change and will rip up the floor with their bare hands, just like my husband and I did.  And when they do, they will find our words and know that someone else was just as happy in this home.  And I hope it makes them smile.  I hope it makes them stop during their hectic day of renovations, when they’ve been working nonstop and are tired and achey, and look up to one another and realize why they’re working so hard in the first place.

Because at the end of the day, a House is made of wood and stone but Love is the thing that makes a Home.


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  • Reply cary October 7, 2015 at 6:53 am

    so precious. you made me cry. i love you and am so proud of you.

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