The holidays came upon us, and for a
few weeks we found ourselves
preoccuped with matters far removed from Pasadena. We returned to find
all the exterior framing and sheathing completed. This included the
roofs, which were all tar-papered and ready for shingles.
noted the plain 4 x 4s holding up the veranda roof temporarily and
remarked to our foreman, "How much do you want to bet that somebody
calls the city to complain that we're not using turned posts?" Sure
enough, that very day someone did. It's touching to see the concern the
neighborhood has for the welfare of the Farm House, but I must admit
that it can also be rather trying at times.
the house was crawling with activity. The heating contractor was
installing ducting, a plumber was installing the rough-in plumbing, and
our foreman was working on the framing in the basement. I found myself
wandering around the place inside and out, just taking it all in. It
was quite a heady experience. After all, we designed this plan, and I
have been walking through it in my mind endlessly over the past several
years, inspecting it mentally from every aspect, trying to make sure we
had gotten everything right. Now, I was doing the same thing for real.
What I saw compared favorably with my mental image.
everywhere I walked the floor was solid under my feet; the house no
longer reacted to my every movement. The new construction was executed
with great craftsmanship, with nary a misplaced nail nor warped stud.
Inside and out, the house now looked and felt solid and square, and it
was beginning to take on an air of stately dignity commensurate with
significantly to me, its former air of deathly stillness had at last
been banished. The rooms echoed with activity, with industry, with life
for the first time in who
knows how many decades.
have been times when I've wondered seriously whether Lydia and I were
nuts for taking on such a daunting project, and I've feared that we'd
bitten off more than we could possibly chew. It's taken all our energy,
ability and determination to get past the many obstacles we've
encountered, to get everything properly drawn up, approved, coordinated
Now that I see our ideas
begin to take their final form,
I know that
we've done exactly the right thing, and it would still be worth it at
twice the trouble. This may only serve conclusively to prove that we
are indeed nuts, but at least we're happy.
As I write, the lower heating system
is complete and awaiting its
furnace, the rough-in plumbing is done except for a few details, the
electrical boxes are all in place, and the wiring will soon be done.
The house's infrastructure is nearly complete. The finish phase is
poised to begin in earnest, and I will at last begin to take a hand in
Text and original images in this
volume copyright 2004 by Rob Spencer. All rights reserved.