No house meant we needed a new plan. Husband flew out here to find us a house one weekend last December. I was at friend's birthday party when I got his phone call about this house. Husband knows my buttons. The he first thing he said was that this house had an office space I wouldn’t have to share with a guest room. What?!? A space that was going to be all mine! Sold! It was a foreclosure, he said, but in not bad shape and, Husband promised me, my office would be first on the list to remodel.
It wasn't first.
It wasn’t even second.
First we had to replace the windows, all the windows. Because some of them were not actual panes of glass but were really saran wrap and packing tape panes of dead bug bits. Then there were the den glass doors that didn’t actually close - or touch the walls on any side. Which meant it was snowing and raining inside. A lot.
Second on the to-do list was the driveway retaining wall and the steep hillside. The very narrow falling down brick retaining wall in the driveway wouldn’t make it much longer. It didn't help that the tree in the planting bed at the top of the wall was pushing it over and threatened to fall every time a bird flew by. And then, due to the large amount of mud Tigger the Dog was bringing in from outside every time she went out we had to do something about the mud hill. That meant second on the list was to hardscape outside. Sadly, even though we hired someone else to do the work, nothing happened with my office.
I’ve lost track of third. All I know is it was all more important than my office space. The floor of the den was springy and rain/snow damaged and we were unsure that it would hold the beautiful new deck doors. The doors that led to nothing since outside deck, that had been attached to the house with only two bolts, had been pulled down during the outside work. Then there was floor of the master bedroom that sits over the garage. Someone had cut large chunks out of the beams below to make room for the garage door opener. Which meant that every time TTD walked by the bed, it felt like a 4.0 earthquake on the Richter Scale. We also had to fix the wonky electricity, the lack of insulation in the walls, the blah, blah, blah and the blah blah blah... My point is, we were ten months in, currently working on the kitchen/den project and I still had no office.
Then, other day, I read an article/blog about peoples writing spaces. The author had gone and interviewed all these writers and artists in their creative spaces about how their spaces came to be and how they worked. These were home offices of successful artists and writers of books I’d grown up reading, books they’d created in these studios on their large properties or additions to their large houses or offices in their average size homes. It was awesome to read, to look at photos of what other folks felt were important to their creative process. (And yes, I did feel pretentious when I wrote that.)
It inspired me to just make my office a functional space - despite the fact that it is currently just un-insulated cinderblock walls, a dirty linoleum floor and has no electricity, heat or air. I took the old workbench from the garage, dismantled it, sort of sanded it down, hauled it thorough the basement and into my office. I repurposed our old dining room rug in an attempt to hide the pink and green check linoleum floor. I pulled up one of our counter top chairs and now, two plants, a box of tissues, and a pen pot later and I am happy. Ish.
I do have to walk through the construction site that is the den and through the former home for dead rodents that is our kitchen to get to the basement stairs. And I do have to carry my laptop and my cup of tea down the stairs - stairs that will someday collapse and kill me - because there is no heat and no electricity. But I have a lovely view from my window of our expensive outdoor hardscape, the fire pit and the tips of some flowers that haven’t quite realized it’s fall. I can watch the chipmunks dart about the woodpile, the wheelbarrow and the four pallets of bricks from the falling down brick wall. The washer and dryer provide my heat and my background soundtrack. I probably will get a splinter from the workbench and am likely inhaling radon, and other toxic fumes that will lead to an early death -BUT I’m writing in MY office and that makes me happy. For now.