Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Home" from "Home Away From Home"

The RGV CoachHouse FINALLY reached completion.  Suddenly, the contractors were gone.  The daily schedule of waiting for, interacting with, and cleaning up after contractors stopped as suddenly as it started:  three months after it started, to be precise. NOT the 5 week duration estimated by the prime contractor (and NOT the 10 week "double the contractor estimate" that I silently guessed).  

The trips to the local box stores stopped.  No more decisions; no more corrections; no more waiting and watching and negotiating. The CoachHouse was finished and this community of tradesmen was gone, and I was thankful.  I was beginning to feel trapped; I was beginning to hate the place; I was tired.  I was ready to go home. So I left the just completed “home away from home” and came home.  To a roof leak; and a plumbing leak; and I began making phone calls to contractors. 

“Blog and post pictures!” my family and friends have said.  “All this waiting to see your new CoachHouse, and you haven’t blogged to post the finished pictures!”  It reminded me of a story from my Dad.   

Dad was a young man during the “Great Depression”, finding work where he could, including washing dishes at a restaurant in Houston (he later became a math teacher).  He loved whipped cream—I don’t mean the plastic tubs of artificial whipping cream at the grocer—I mean REAL whipped cream.  

So there he was, the new late-night dishwasher, and there it was, a mixing bowl almost full of restaurant “home-made” whipping cream.  He looked at this discarded leftover from the day’s dollops on pies and puddings; an atypical extravagance of the depression era—whipping cream does not keep.  After confirming it was to be thrown out and bowl washed, he sat down and ate the entire mixing bowl of whipping cream—based on REAL heavy cream.  It was wonderful! He got sick, really sick, all night long.  He said it was years before he could eat whipped cream.

The CoachHouse became my whipped cream.  And only now, after a few weeks away, am I ready to say how WONDERFULLY it turned out, and how exciting it will be to have it as our next winter’s “home away from home”. Only these few weeks later am I ready to think about what a wonderful base “camp” it will be, complete with washer/dryer, tub and kitchenette for winter camping throughout central and west Texas.   

Next winter I’ll enjoy sitting at my CoachHouse desk and blogging about winter birding and hiking and all things RGV.  Next winter I’ll share more about the extraordinary neighbors, experts in full-time RVing, in birding, in photography, and in passionately pursuing their various interests in the great outdoors.  A neighborhood of strong people with gentle souls, that in true western style, can be counted on to “be there” for each other (that is for five or six months out of the year).

  For now, it feels good to be home.  Roof repaired, plumbing leak fixed, washer running, and planning our next trip—summertime in the great northwest.

But I think you’ll like the CoachHouse pictures:

Thee 5'6" kitchen counter, sans fridge and microwave, now installed (note the access door behind fridge space--access to a "shorty" hot water heater).

The bathroom and washer/dryer closet to the right of the sink:

The "living room" space that awaits futon and his/hers laptop desks:

The view from the front gate, and biking trail to Bentsen State Park and the World Birding Center:

The entrance to Bentsen:

To new beginnings, near and far, and blogs about the days to come.

1 comment:

  1. I love it!! It's perfect for you and Rick and your adventures--
    You did a terrific job--simple, functional and beautiful (love the bathroom mirror). Once you've had some time away, my guess is that you'll feel all the "love" part of the "labor of love" when you see it again. Well done!!


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