Plugging It In

Bathroom sink works

You guys. It’s happening. It’s getting closer, day by day. My parents did an amazing job over the holidays putting in the bathroom sink, the kitchen counters, and the built-in bed frame. How can I ever repay them?* The side yards and the areas under the front porch and back deck got graded. The water and power got connected, and the outlets and light switches got installed. It’s almost livable!

There is still a constant stream of stress from dealing with contractors and the city. At one point I went to pay Seattle City Light for connecting my electrical service, and – putting aside for the moment the fact that they charged me 50% more than expected because they had to connect my line between power poles, lest my power line travel across a corner of my neighbor’s property – I went to one of their payment locations listed on their website only to meet with a cashier who had no idea what I was talking about.

“Service connections? We just handle electric bills here. Want to pay your electric bill?”

Thank goodness for Dan, from Abode, who was just as frustrated with the city’s arcane bureaucracy as I was. Probably more so. He generously delivered my check to the northern City Light location that he knew for a fact handled service connection payments. There is nothing quite like having a frustration buddy in these moments.

More than anything (except money), house-building requires extreme patience.

* The answer is I can’t. I can only hope to ameliorate my guilt by eventually paying for their retirement cruises and a generous supply of Starbucks mochas.

Lightbulbs are on

Countertops are in

Sides are graded

Smoothing It Over

Hallway Drywall

Every point is a branching point. Every choice leads to more decisions. Every act leads to mistakes. Every accident leads to discovery.

Texture? Trim? Fixtures? Finishes? I thought I had imagined every detail, but there are a million more with every step. And each has an associated cost, measured in dollars and anxiety.

I finally had a panic attack. Over such a stupid thing as drywall texture. Was it too much texture!? Did I have to re-do everything?!? Did I make a horrible mistake!!!???

My defenses, strong against the larger problems of zoning and drainage and misplaced pipes, crumbled from this tiny crack of mild disappointment and vague worry.

There were hugs, and cookies, and sleep.

And the next day, seeing the house all painted, cold winter light casting soft shadows on walls the color of (soy) cream, I felt relieved.

It is beautiful. It is a place I want to spend more time. No matter how much of a Zeno’s Paradox it seems, there are a finite number of steps between now and the day I move in.

Loft Drywall

Living Room Drywall

Electrical Panel

Wrapping It Up

At some point I may be ready to write something about last week’s election. Right now I am sad and angry and afraid. I am learning and listening as much as I can. I am standing with the amazing diversity of people I’m lucky enough to share this planet with. I am standing against white supremacy. Please reach out to me if you want to talk.

In the meantime, enjoy watching my house cuddle into her blankets of housewrap and Hardie board for the long winter:

Interior framing

House wrap

Siding progress