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.

phlegm99455_20.htmlI 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.

alternate textInside, 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.

dollopMoreover, 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 its age.

instanterMost 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.

sciaticaThere 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 and funded.

chadsNow 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 the work.

Stay tuned.

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Text and original images in this volume copyright 2004 by Rob Spencer. All rights reserved.