A year ago or so, I made alpaca blankets as gifts for the special people in our lives. I made those blankets from the fleece of alpacas we had raised. I sorted and prepared the fleece, waited six months for a local mill to process it into fluffy clouds of batting, and then designed, felted and hand-stitched each blanket into its own state of being. It would come to me how someone’s blanket should look and it seemed that the love and affection I felt for and from that person wove itself into every fiber as I worked on it. I loved making those blankets; loved it from the place in me that wrings its hands in vulnerability while basking in the desire to speak out loud.
“I made this for you.”
“I made it myself.”
The house caused me to think of those blankets and the time and space I held when they were just mine and being created and no one knew about them. This house and the depth of its need for restoration is something to behold and will require the work of a contractor and a whole lot of accomplished trades people. Still, in the midst of that, I am earnestly trying to recreate that time and space, where I can set about making or doing something myself and put “me” into this house the way I put “me” into the blankets. Imperfect. Homemade. Heartfelt. Me.
I am not alone in this. Gordy is an “I can do that” kind of person with the right amount of knowledge, skills and the hands of a surgeon (not just a turn of phrase, that one) to tackle most any project I wave his way. So we started two restoration projects this weekend. The first involves reclaiming a simple set of patio furniture that once belonged to Gordy’s parents. It matters to me that we keep them because of that connection, but they are in sore need of repair.
I found a place on line for replacement vinyl strapping and we’re waiting for that to arrive. In the meantime, we stripped down the metal frames and are giving them a new look.
The second project will take us a while. The house has nine sets of exterior patio doors, all with dated brass hardware, badly oxidized by the elements, but all solidly functional.
We did some research about restoration options and I’m buzzed by what we have accomplished.
Of course, this is just the first set. Gordy suggested that I will not be feeling as buzzed about it by the ninth set, but he is not one to be put off by effort either and has since started dismantling exterior light fixtures to stand in line for the same treatment.
I’m all in.