Typically this time of year finds me feeling nostalgic as I look back on the Summer/Spring and all of the fun that I had. I begin to feel some mixture of sadness and resignation at the coming of Fall and the long, cold Winter. This year is proving to be very different. The days are already feeling colder, and the leaves are beginning to turn. I find myself looking forward to the Winter and the opportunity to snuggle up on the couch with a good book, or spend more time playing games and doing projects with the kids. I am absolutely amazed by all that we have accomplished since Spring, but I am also completely exhausted and overwhelmed.
I look back at what we have done and it seems unreal, but when I look at how far we still have to go, it seems just as overwhelming. I never imagined it would take this long or be so difficult. We installed our bathroom vanity at the end of March, and here is all that we have accomplished since….
We started off the Spring with just the utility sink and a working toilet and shower. Dave spent March getting the bathroom vanity and sink installed, while working part-time and taking care of the kids when I went back to work after the new baby. We spent the last part of Spring and early Summer doing drywall. We hung the last of the drywall and Dave taped and mudded while I took care of the kids. When he was done, I would do the painting on naps and after bedtime. The tongue and groove went up in July, and the kitchen cabinets and sink were installed in September. We also prepped a new garden bed and planted a full garden. We have harvested and stored cucumbers (into pickles), zucchini relish, carrots, green beans, squash, and tomatoes. I have yet to put away homemade ketchup, tomato sauce, salsa verde, tomato salsa, corn, and herbs. We also stopped working on the house long enough to split 3 cords of wood (only half of what we need), build an 8×16 shed, and start on a 12×16 shop for Dave. We still have to finish the shop, add some extra stove pipe to the chimney, install the range hood and hook up the gas lines to the oven/range. Then we will finally be ready for winter.
Last winter I was facing this moment without running water or electricity. We have come so far! We are so exhausted and I will shamelessly admit that I am just ready for the snow. I am ready to be hunkered down in the house with nothing better to do. We can celebrate birthdays, enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas, and perhaps find a hobby that doesn’t involve our house. There is still much to do, and it can wait until Spring, when the snow starts to melt and we begin to feel the yearning of finishing things unfinished. For now, though, I long for the days when we can make homemade tapioca pudding, start homeschooling our Kindergartner, and enjoy a book by the warmth of the woodstove.