From the walls up.

By , Eugene, OR

As I push open the creaky wooden door at the front of the run down shack, the weight of my decision finally dawns on me. I have officially started the renovation of my future house. I look around, assessing the situation in front of me, taking in the cobwebs, broken ceiling, and most of all the dust. The dust is everywhere, covering every flat surface I can see, and floating around in the light that splashes in from the hole in the ceiling. The more I looked around, the more I begin to plan what I want to do with the place. Table here, chairs there, renovate the fireplace, etc.
About 30 or so years ago, my uncle left his job as an interior decorator, and decided to become a priest. Over the 30 years since then, he’d sold most of his belongings, but had kept his house, as he couldn’t bear to sell it, even though he had moved out and it was beginning to break down. Up until a few weeks ago it had sat abandoned, but after the passing of my uncle in a freak priest accident, I had inherited this house and the land it sat on. For a little while I considered selling it to help pay my way through college, but is then occurred to me that it was the perfect opportunity to have something to work on during the summer, and when I finished working on it, I would have a home.
So today, on the first day of my summer break, my work begins in earnest. Looking around at all of the dust and cobwebs around me it makes me miss the clean white stone of the home I grew up in, but the more I look at the dilapidated building around me the more I want to turn this rundown house into a home of my own. I turn around and step back out of the house into the pounding sun, and with the heat weighing me down I begin the monumental task of renovating my own home.
I start by grabbing a long branch to clear the cobwebs. I enter the house fearlessly, but as soon as I see the number of spiderwebs mixed into the cobwebs, I end up flailing my arms around as I run in and out of the house, only stopping to catch my breath outside. Once all the webs are dealt with I fill a bucket with water from the pump and grab a mop. I go inside and throw open the windows and shutters letting the sun stream in, and examine the house without all of the cobwebs in the ceiling. The ceiling is intact except for one hole near the from of the living room, and all the beams are still intact, so I luckily won’t need to replace those. Quite a few tiles in the kitchen and the patio are cracked or broken, but I can go get more tiles this evening when I finish the basic cleaning. Around the cliffside of the house, a few of the windows in the bedroom are broken as well but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. I walk back to the front of the house, looking into the bathroom and office, which seem to be in fairly good shape considering the amount of time that they have been sitting here.I get my favorite broom and sweep away all the dust and leaves from the floor, then I grab a mop and start washing away all of the dirt and grime that has collected over the years, and finally get to see the house that is underneath it all. As I go back and forth, slowly removing the layer of dirt from the floor I begin to see the beautiful hardwood underneath, though it looks like it needs a new finish.
My job done for the day, I walk down the path from the house to the road where I am parked nearby, in the shade of the olive trees. I now have more of a sense of the task ahead of me, and I know mostly what I need to get to finish the house. At this point in my life I won’t be able to afford the most expensive stains and tiles, but I think that I can make do if I plan carefully enough. I know I need stain for the floor, tiles for the kitchen, pavers for the patio, and I definitely need to have someone come a fix the hole in the roof, though I think that I can convince a friend of mine to come fix it.
What lies ahead of me may seem difficult right now, but I know I can convince my friends to come over one of these weekends so that we can work on it all together, though I think it may take some work to get some of them to come help. I expect that it should take a while, but after I get Antonio to fix the hole in the roof, the whole job will be a lot easier, and I might even be able to move in in a few months time.






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