Monday, July 26, 2004

This Summer's Season

Summer in Minnesota is known for two things: mosquitoes and construction. The latter certainly holds true in my humble little Hamline Avenue faux brick abode.

For the past month work has been busily taking place on the upper wing of my house, probably more properly known as "the attic," as the money was appropriated and plopped down to hire a guy to finish it off into a master bedroom.

The work usually begins early in the morning and continues until sundown. My two roommates (they of the feline species- seven limbs between them) haven't exactly warmed up to all the commotion nor do they like being restricted, barricaded in the main level bedroom and bathroom. For the first few weeks they spent the entire day hunkered down underneath my futon frame. Only recently have they decided things are more in need of exploration than anything that is to fear in the grand scheme of things.

One of the things I've heard about home improvement and construction work is that it is fun to watch the progress. I must admit I can't wait to get home from work to see what has been completed. The windows and skylights have been installed, the sheet rock and insulation done, and this past week the walls and ceilings were painted a hue that a friend was kind enough to help me pick out.

The whole thing looks even better than what I envisioned in my mind when I bought the house eight years ago with future dreams of finishing off the attic. I'm not quite sure this house has ever quite felt like it is my own. I've adapted my stuff to fit in the house, and certainly it now reflects a bit of my personality, but the finishing of the attic designed to my specifications has added some kind of personal punctuation to the place.

After I made an offer on the house all those years ago, the previous owner was kind enough to agree to grant me early access before the closing so I could pull up carpet staples in the living room. I was going to have the wood floors sanded and I wanted it done as soon as possible. I remember going into the empty house in the early evenings with a pair of pliers to pull out the numerous staples, thinking and dreaming to myself that I had really just bought a house and soon this was going to be my home.

A similar feeling washes over me when I go up in the attic and look at the progress of the work. I know my roommates will appreciate the sunlight that beams in from the skylights. I can see them sitting for hours in the big windows that overlook the neighborhood. As for me, I'm still trying to formulate in my mind just how I'm going to use all the extra space.

A bedroom can be more than a place to lay one's weary head at the end of a long day (but how would I know any different?). I'll probably move all my CDs upstairs and I'll probably set up my old computer so I always can jot down some thoughts if the mood inspires me to do so. I can see the three residents of this place sitting up there during the twilight hours of the evening, each in our own space, thinking about how exactly we fit (or not) in this world.

I can almost hear my Oscar Peterson CD playing on the tinny speakers of a retro turntable/CD player that has been for the most part been lying dormant in my living room. I just wish that some of those who departed too soon could see it all- see me for where I'm at these days.

Feeling deeper in debt, especially to all those who have given input (and voice) to this little project I must admit that I can't wait to see whatever comes next. All this has taken place as a very significant soul took the plunge and has decided upon a different career direction. I wish her well, will miss what she contributed while knowing that what lies ahead will surely take her to even better places. And believe you me I know I'll be thinking of all this as I lie underneath the moonlight beaming in from my skylights sometime this fall.

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