We believe that what’s crucial to our creativity is actually creating things. Working hard is valiant, but creating is more than that. Fixing or building something with your hands requires problem solving and accumulates experience and practice.
Emily: As a writer, my favorite tools are pens and computer keyboards. I also like to do crafty things, too, which now includes auto maintenance (thanks to Jack’s help!). I do all of the basics on my own: from changing my own air filters and bulbs to changing my own oil. And even when I don’t want to learn or do something because it’s too hard, he encourages me through it – even though I throw him a lot of sass! Jack has always said that my hands looked graceful. I have long fingers and ever since I stopped biting my nails 🤭 and started manicuring them, they look pretty cute most of the time.
Jack: I found it difficult to keep up with the maintenance on a car I rarely drove, and I couldn’t watch dudes at some shop offer her deals on changing her windshield wipers. Also, she has her own growing tool collection, which is great for me because now I can go back to being the only person mad at me for losing or breaking my own tools.
Our Yellow Rose is going to require a lot of manual labor. We’ve done a ton in the yard, which is an easy favorite, but with the upcoming renovation we are going to do some roofing, some framing, and even digging out a basement! Ourselves!
Little of it will be new. Emily has participated in many mission trips that consisted of new construction or gutting and re-building storm-damaged homes. Jack has done a lot of the same in his years working in residential and commercial construction. From rough carpentry and roofing to finishing work and painting, we each have enough experience to welcome the light renovations we have planned.
Refinishing the first floor, top floor, and roof will be the easy part, but digging out the basement will be a learning experience from start to finish! But we’ve been here before: at the start of an incomprehensible project. Neither of us had run a marathon when we decided to train for one. All we knew is that it was an unreasonable amount of running that we couldn’t imagine ever accomplishing, so why not give it a shot?
Emily: Though I am still building my confidence, I am thankful for Jack’s skill set and his great patience in teaching me, so we can do the work ourselves.
Jack: I just want to stress that this is absolutely a relationship thing about spending time together and not me being lazy and Tom Sawyering my way out of chores.
Emily: (Why are you like this?)
So far the house has started us off with some light plumbing and handiwork, like fixing small leaks and tightening doorknobs. We have both found it endlessly frustrating to have to wait to start the major work, and we have both found it super luxurious to be able to take our time with routine maintenance that we don’t yet have a routine for: cleaning gutters, patching up chipping paint, and finding endless loose screws or nail pop-outs! We have both spent more than a little time whining about the amount of work that always needs to be done, and we have both really appreciated the opportunity to immediately enjoy the results of our efforts. We just hope that 12 months from now we still have the same enthusiasm for working with our hands!