May the sound of my voice be your guide, bring you closer to me…

Day 40. Forty. Forty days, plus weekends. Eight full weeks of living in a home littered with sawdust, hammers, drop cloths, and nails (among other things). Forty days of having crews of people in and out, toiling, sweating, laughing, bleeding, aching, exhilarating, working on our home. It’s really become their home, in a way. I mean, it’s their job, their workplace, their 9-5 (really more like 8-6, but you know what I mean). And it’s our home, too. What a conflict, what a dance. Soon, though, and slowly, the identity and the ownership of the space will return to us, and we will return to it with open arms.

Today I felt like a worker myself, spending a few hours removing staples, labels and as much tape as I could from all the boxes we either (a) lovingly and carefully put down to protect the floors, or (b) excitedly received with merchandise, like toilets and sinks. I also shook out the drop cloths, and swept up as much debris as I could, completely dousing myself with sawdust and dirt in the process. Basically, I was a gopher today. Or a Production Assistant. Whichever, it was fun.

Caleb and J.J. also said good-bye for a few weeks. We’ll miss them. Like Brian, and Brad before them, spending a few weeks getting to know someone through their work, and through the sheer volume of time they spend here – especially when they are as likable as everyone here has been – makes saying good-bye that much more bittersweet. While on the one hand we feel “hooray, the tile is done!”, on the other hand, we will miss their smiling, cheerful faces, and their careful, meticulous nature. I suppose Dave and Eric’s meticulous sides will have to do.

And by “have to do,” I mean are in full effect. Dave worked with Frank all day long sanding the floors within an inch of their lives (striving for perfection with every grit), while Eric worked on the trim work in the powder room, hallway, and doorways to the basement and the dining room. (Eric later jumped on the hand scraping bandwagon, helping to finish out the staircase.) The kind of detail work they’re doing now is painstaking, slow going, and therefore equally frustrating and satisfying. As soon as one task is accomplished, another crops up of equal fussiness requiring a sharp eye (and steady hand) for hours and hours and hours. I am continually impressed by these dudes. Today did not disappoint.

And, on the eve of our vacation (and the eve of the tightest scheduling week these guys will probably have on this project), I am looking forward to trying to actually relax for a few days. Of course I’ll miss seeing what’s going on (I’ll have no pictures of the house for a week!), and I’ll miss being home (there’s nothing like your own bed, am I right?), but I will see the ocean, eat food from new places (especially a few favorites from vacations past), and enjoy a kitchen sink! (I wonder if I’ll feel like I’m cheating on my own kitchen?)

Until then, enjoy some last looks at the house in progress. It’s about to get crazy up in this piece. Photos!

Today’s title inspired by Janelle Monae‘s “Neon Valley Street” from her album Archandroid. It’s awesome.