We’re under construction here.  Well, in the yard, outside.  The crew arrived last Monday with a big digger and a microwave to heat their lunch.  In the yard is a slope that needs work.  They’re building new paths and placing retaining walls.  They hauled away a lot of trash and rubble.  The crew is also laying the groundwork for my new marquetry shop.

It’s a timeless process – one that we all do from time to time.  We do it with homes, cars, and even in our lives.  The process of renewal and restoration.

One reason we bought this house is because it was, as they say, “Move in Ready.”  A nice real estate term meaning we just had to move our things in and start living.  Life is never that simple.  We’ve had to have repairs done, buy new widow coverings, and soon realized that the yard wasn’t setup the way we’d like it.  So we set about planning.

I also retired as part of this move – which requires its own set of changes and renewals.  I’ve worked since I was a teen and miss parts of “work.”  Yes, the money and benefits are greatly missed, but it is more the sense of accomplishment that I miss.  The ability to point to a product or company and say, “I work there or I make those.”

As part of our new year traditions, Heather and I make a list of things we’d like to accomplish. This involves some thought and a large pad of paper where we list the things we’d like to do.  I was just looking at that list and most of my items are what I’d call enabling steps.  I’d love to do more woodworking, and that requires more space and setup.  It also turns out to be a long process.  We started the process of planning the new yard areas and where to put my workshop back in August.  There was the planing, signing contracts and now finally a crew has arrived to do that.

I should say the first part of the work.  They are really just laying a framework for our gardening efforts and my shop space.  It will still be months before it is all complete and each time I look at the construction progress I am reminded of the work that still needs to be done – the electrical line, the irrigation system, where to put the compost piles …

I guess there is a metaphor in there somewhere about life.  We have to plan, execute and adapt to the place where we find ourselves.  There needs to be a grand vision and the patience to work through all the details.  In the end, it might even come close to what we first thought it might be.

It would be nice to come back here next year and post, “We did it!”  Nice, but life is always uncertain and the best we can really hope for is to be closer to our goal.  It’s possible that I might not make a single piece of marquetry.

I’d like to write here that I am hopeful that things will be alright and that I’ll be cranking out marquetry pieces by the dozen.

It’s hard to be hopeful in this world right now.  Disease, hate, and all the negative things often pull me down into pessimism.

But, there is always hope, and on my hill the digger machine is building a new backyard.  If we trust to prayer, love, and compassion, we could build a new world.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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17 Responses to Construction

  1. Pingback: Finding Hope

  2. Baydreamer says:

    I really love the profound messages in this post, Andrew, and I’m sorry for arriving late. So much is happening in life and I’ve lost blogging momentum. But I’m trying to get back on track. We also have a list to do and a list to go. The “go list” all depends on Covid. Sigh. Anyway, I wish you both all the best in your plans and seeing them to fruition. Stay safe, Lauren

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like your metaphor. Hope is a precious commodity; as are vision, patience, and all the other things it takes to build a new yard, happy relationships, and a better world. Here’s hoping everything works out the way you want it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hang in there it’ll all work out in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your last sentences are very true, Andrew.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We can never abandon hope, no matter how bleak things look. Like you, I can get down from all the negativity but finding things to be grateful for helps so much — like your new plans. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Christi says:

    Your last two paragraphs said it all for me. I’m having a hard time being hopeful right now, but without hope we’re done for.
    Your garden and workshop plans sound great!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah new houses. I dread the thought. Better you than me, Andrew!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dave says:

    The way you describe your yard project eminds me of our kitchen remodel a few years back. Four months start to finish, but every day felt like new decisions or related tasks for my wife and I. Had me wondering how anyone does a remodel when the also have full-time work. Not like you get to sit back and just watch your new ktichen evolve. Also, the remodeled kitchen made adjacent spaces look more dated, so one or two other unexpected remodel projects followed (reminds me of a Brady Bunch episode). Hopefully your yard project won’t breed too many follow-ons.

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    • I fear that the, “after they leave” list is starting to grow. What I hated during our house remodel a few years ago was this common phrase from my contractor: “Well, if you’re going to open that wall, you might as well do … ” The project grew faster than we wanted.

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