Building a Life



My hand turned the doorknob, and I stepped into the tiny, tiled foyer.  “Yoo-hoo!” I called into the next room.  “Anybody home?”  Waiting for a reply, I glanced into the next room.  The walls were now gray; panels a robin-egg blue.  That distinctive odor of fresh paint greeted me.  The stained beige carpet was partly pulled up and folded over, exposing the hardwood, maple floors beneath.  A pile of tools, paint cans, and brushes were scattered across the carpet.

       “Come on in,” replied Sharon as she walked into what would soon be the living room.  Her blond hair was tucked up into a brown, hipster-style hat, and she wore a baggy, blue sweatshirt, and old yoga pants.  “You know you can just walk in, right?  What?  Are you afraid we’d be walking around naked?”

       Well, you are just newlyweds, I thought, but I instead answered, “No, but I didn’t want to walk in on your without any warning.”

       A sunny smile spread across her face, “What do you think?” Before I could answer, her husband, my son, Johnny walked into the room.  HIs sensitive brown eyes darted back to the huge opening that was a wall, only last Sunday.  

       “Wow!  The wall is gone!  It looks great,” I answered, walking over to inspect the newly-framed opening.  Now the kitchen was open to the dining room and living room.  “I love how much light there is in here and how open this is. Was it hard?  Did your friend come over and help?”  The questions just spilled out before anyone had a chance to answer.

       “Yea, Josh came over to help.  It didn’t take too long once we got started,”  Johnny replied.  He glanced over to the corner where cream city bricks were exposed -a former chimney, probably.  “I found this when we were cutting out the wall,” he added, stroking his bushy brown beard.

       “I really like them,” Sharon added.  “They’ll make a great accent wall.”

       “My friend will come in and grind out this grout,” he said as he pointed to some crumbling mortar, “and refill it.”  His shining eyes sought mine.       

       “It will be gorgeous as that accent piece.  This is such a neat house.”

       Sharon held up the wooden piece that would frame the arch in the upper corner of the framed-in wall.  So proud.  Johnny added details of the work they’d accomplished.

       Following Sharon, and with Johnny trailing behind me, we entered the tiny bathroom for a tour–new tile, fresh paint, Dolphin gray on the walls, burnt orange on the vanity.  “I really like these,” I said as I pointed to the new colorful knobs.

       “Yea, I found them at World Market yesterday.  I bought two types,” Sharon said retrieving the other style from the vanity drawer.

       “I like the ones you chose the best,” I replied as I held them both up to the newly-painted vanity.”

       A smile lit her face.  “Here is the fabric for the new shower curtain,” holding it out for me to see.

       I reached out to examine the fabric.  Rubbing it between my fingers to feel the texture, I exclaimed, “It’s a perfect choice.  You have such a great color sense.”

      My tour soon ended, and I gave them both a hug.  “I better get going so I don’t slow down your progress.  You know I’ll be back next Sunday.  It looks wonderful!”

       Stepping onto the porch, I pulled the door closed behind me.  A smile flitted to my lips, They aren’t just renovating a house, they’re building a life.  


About bjdonaldson

I'm an average woman who enjoys reflecting on life, writing poetry and ponderings, and having a good laugh. DIY, baking, and cycling are fun, too. If you visited me, I'd invite you in for a cup of coffee and a little chat. I am a Literacy Coach, Reading Specialist, and former classroom and Reading Recovery teacher at an elementary school. Getting up in the morning is not hard; I still love making a difference in the lives of children and teachers.

10 responses »

  1. This is so well-written. It reads like an excerpt from a novel.

    I was wanting more of your inner thoughts throughout, but I feel like I got them at the end. They’re building a life. And you’re so happy for them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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