Monday, June 6, 2011
Spin Cycle: Renovating and Redoing One's Life
When we bought our home in 1993, we had no fuckin’ idea what we were in for. Becoming homeowners in Hawaii was a huge, huge blessing; but blessings come with challenges. We worked in Honolulu, but the new homes, the “affordable homes,” were being built on the West Side, the Second City.
After ten years of commuting, of working two jobs, of working two jobs while going to grad school, of working two jobs while going to grad school and raising two children, of getting by on 5-6 hours of sleep a night for years – after ten years we were able to refinance and renovate.
The beige, track-house curtains which were frayed were replaced with blinds.
The beige carpet that our children and all the neighborhood kids had trampled for years was replaced – downstairs with a dark laminate flooring, kitchen and bathrooms with stone like tile, upstairs and stairs with carpet.
Our garage sale, mismatched living room furniture moved out and our first couch set was purchased.
We painted every single room and left the world of white behind.
We put in crown molding downstairs. So pretty.
We relandscaped our yard and put in automatic sprinklers, providing us with an extra hour a day we no longer had to hand water. The West Side is dry and hot and nothing like what most people imagine when they think of Hawaii.
It took months. Our marriage had not been given previous opportunities to explore our differences in tastes. It was vast, like a great desert separating two foreign lands.
We set out across that desert to find our oasis somewhere in the middle.
The kids started out thrilled and excited with visiting furniture stores, flooring stores, home depot stores; running through and laying claim to whole rooms at a time.
Hubs and I sat on couches by the hours. Comfortability, design, and a couch that we both approved of became the Holy Grail of quests.
The children started opting to stay home with rolling eyeballs when we went out on renovating excursions.
We both loved the final outcome.
And then life throws one a curve ball.
One rents out the renovated home, which looks like a track home on a zero lot line on the outside and looks like a custom – this is our house and yes we did put in crown molding – on the inside.
One moves to the other side of the island, where one rents a home because one cannot afford to buy over here.
A family takes a leap of faith.
The old home had a postage stamp size of a backyard.
The rental has a humongous yard.
This summer, I want to do some yard renovating.
But. Money is tight and it is not practical to spend money on a yard we do not own.
I’m taking suggestions….
This box was in the yard and I got rid of the piles of trash and leaves, put in some soil and started growing arugula. Planning to put other lettuces in those blank spots.
There is a river that runs behind the house that was made into a cement river decades ago. My daughter bought this plant (which I don't remember the name) and it is supposed to grow and climb all over the fence to provide some privacy from the neighbors yard behind us.
That big tall one in the middle is okra. There is also lavendar on the far right. Some of these plants need to get in the ground, put the ground is so hard and dense, with kiawe roots and rocks, that it takes two hours to dig one hole.
A baby papaya tree we planted last week. We still need to weed the ground around it.
The side yard is huge. The renters before us used it to keep a big boat. This planter is overgrown and a mess but on our to do list this summer.
BC loves having a yard. But when asked to help, he sticks tongue at me. Really.
For more Spins head on over to Sprite's Keeper. The list of Spins go up on Saturday, but checkout last week's spins as well, "Waiting."