There are times when I truly love that I married a creative person. Not only is my husband a musician and song writer, but he enjoys building all sorts of things. When we lived in a small one bedroom apartment in Hyde Park, the “vintage” style was ripe for a few upgrades and modernized comforts. This was a blank canvas for Kevin to add a personal touch.
Before we left that apartment, Kevin had painted the kitchen cabinets, built a dining room table, designed and covered a chair with ottoman, built three book cases and painted our daughter’s bedroom a lovely lilac. The landlord wasn’t too excited with our view of how the apartment should be or about the complaints from neighbors that they kept hearing an electric sawing noise coming from our apartment. Needless to say, we didn’t get our security deposit back!
So when we decided to buy a house, we thought it would be great to find an inexpensive, fixer upper. This would give us a chance to make the home our own and allow Kevin the freedom to explore his creative talents.
We’ve been in our fixer upper for nine years and I’ve learned that the fixing never ends. Kevin’s desire to make our home perfect with the right colors, designs, styles, and space is insatiable. I love his appetite for DIY and am so thankful that he spends the time to take on so many tasks. What I’m waiting for though are the words, “We’re done!”
Until that time, I’ll patiently admire his works of art. From the new wall shelves in the dining room, to the designed outdoor patio, I can brag on his attention to detail and color choices to all my girlfriends who jealously wish their husbands had an ounce of his skill. Candice Olson and Ty Pennington have nothing on his imagination and design!
There are times though that I wish he would leave things the way they were. I came home one day to find all the clothes from my closet laid on our bed, shoes in the middle of the floor and my sock basket in the corner. I freaked.
“What in the world is going on here,” I thought. Is he cleaning out my closet? I look at my closet only to see that a new shelf has been hung and the hanging rack has been moved waist high.
“Hey honey, you like what I’m doing,” Kevin asks cheerfully. “See I am going to make some cool shelves to store your shoes, all your workout clothes can go right in this area (he points to the space above the shelf), and now you’ll have more space to hang your clothes. Your dresses will go into this area right over here and…”
He stops when he sees that I am not smiling. “Why did you do this,” I asked trying not to yell.
“It makes better use of the space,” he pleaded. “See how this will work? If you open the doors…”
“No! I don’t want this. I want my closet back the way it was,” I yell. Like a woman who realizes that the colorist dyed her hair the wrong color, I began to cry and panic that my clothes and shoes and purses and closet knick knacks would be lost in this new design. “Why didn’t you ask me about this,” I continued. “I just cleaned out my closet, gave away a lot of clothes that I haven’t worn in a while and, and it just worked for me. Why are you taking over my space?”
“Well, I just thought, that as I was updating my side of the closet that you would like yours the same way,” Kevin said trying to figure out who I had morphed into. “Don’t you think it’s going to be better this way?”
“No I don’t,” I pout. “I can understand if the closet doesn’t work for you, on your side but I like my side the way it is! Put it back!” I stomped out the room in a tantrum.
Kevin and I didn’t speak the rest of the day. He was trying to figure out how to deal with my outburst.
When I went to bed that night, all I could think about was my closet. I just couldn’t let go of that uncomfortable feeling that something in my life was not as it should be. I never thought that a simple change like a closet space would turn my world inside out!
The next morning I woke to the sweet song of our neighborhood cardinal (my favorite bird). She was perched right outside my window, calling to her mate exclaiming to him the beauty of the new day. As I laid in bed listening to their intimate conversation, I thought about all the wonderful things my husband does to make me and kids comfortable and secure.
He lovingly and eagerly finds ways to alleviate some of the inconveniences that our small fixer upper house didn’t come with. Every day he works to make things better than they were.
So despite my fear of change to my closet, I found his greater desire to be what is most important in our lives. This is my cardinals’ song, thank you honey.
So it goes!