My New Manuscript: This Old House

My memoir (ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod) is in the hands of a third agent. The anthology is ready to launch. And because it is the first time in a bazillion years I'm not writing, editing or gnashing my teeth over a manuscript I have turned my focus towards my greatest source of pain since becoming a homeowner: our house. It is so hard to care for something you never really wanted! I always wanted a 33rd floor apartment or a haunted farmhouse or to travel my whole life without any keys or address so while buying the house I grew up in was both a necessity and in many ways a blessing it wasn't exactly a dream come true.   

After years of wanting someone else to take over, my house is my manuscript now. One I am at last co-writing instead of demanding someone else author for me. While my husband has knocked out walls, laid new floor, installed new windows and spent God knows how much time in the crawl space doing God knows what, I've never seen actual work on the house as my actual responsibility. And that has been miserable for both of us.

But something has been changing inside of me. I have becoming willing to actively participate in this aspect of my own life. 

And so, my husband and I spent all three days of Memorial Day Weekend building fence, hauling lumber and hanging siding, my own requisite blood, sweat and tears shed. The entire emotional gamut visited. But it wasn't the cursing that surprised me. It was the bliss. My husband is so happy I finally care about our house it's as if he married another woman. Sweating, lifting, hauling and heaving all weekend felt like the physical manifestation of a long overdue remodel of not only our house but our marriage. 

As I cut the siding and he nailed it on to the back of our house, I felt like this was somewhere I could live and he was someone I could live with in a profoundly new way. I never wanted to get dirty working on my house before and now that's all I want. Let the repairs begin! And please remind me I wrote this in 6 months when I've forgotten it all  again.

Today we have been married for 16 years. I hope tonight for our anniversary we hang more siding and celebrate managing not to tear the whole house down.

Valley HaggardComment