Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Scolding Hole

Before we thought of selling this house, we had thought to just build an addition onto it. I didn't think it made much sense to add on, however, without somehow creating more open space in the current floor plan. You see, one of the things about older houses is that they tend to be boxy. The rooms are little openings at the ends of halls, much like a Hamster Habitrail with its tunnels and plastic burrows. I didn't want to just buy the add-on kit to this claustrophobia-inducing hamster house. I wanted open space.

I hatched a brilliant plan. My plan was to create open space by knocking out two sections of two walls in the main house. Essentially, it would have opened the main floor into a complete circular lay out around the stairwell. Brilliant! It would have been wonderful, really. I found a contractor willing to do it. (Perhaps that should have been my first warning.) In any case, he showed up one morning with a crew of workers and I went to my sister's to get out of the way. When I returned home at the agreed upon time, my contractor was standing in the driveway with a worried look on his face. "We got problems." He said as I climbed out from the van. "Big problems."

As it turned out, he discovered that he could not create these lovely open spaces in my house because inside the sections of those walls that I wanted removed, were poorly placed heating ducts. Not one, not two, but three large heating ducts of the old fashioned variety... and they would have cost a small fortune to re-route. He had no idea those ducts were there. It didn't make much sense that they would be there. And he only discovered that they were there after he and his men, working from both sides, had taken down my plaster walls.

Needless to say, it was a disaster for all of us. Though I paid him, the contractor made no money on the job and I had to put up with his workers in my house for two weeks afterward as they rebuilt and refinished my walls. As they were rebuilding, one of the workers told me that a small window could be put between the living room and kitchen. We liked the idea and told him to do it.

This little window gives me a peek at what the boys are doing in the other part of the house while I make dinner in the kitchen. We affectionately named it, "The Scolding Hole" as we once joked that I would use it most often to shout orders to the children as they played out of my reach and direct control. I haven't really used it in that way, though. It is most often a peek-a-boo hole where the boys love to pop up and surprise me.

Tonight, when I captured this photo of Jacob and Zachary bejammied and smiling through the Scolding Hole, I remembered all that I had gone through at that time and how that disaster nailed the lid on the coffin of our addition plans and started the ball rolling toward selling... and now here we are, so many months later, in another stressful situation not really sure how it will all end.

But I am starting to see things falling into place. I don't want to say that this new place we are looking at is a done deal, because it isn't. Not yet, anyway. All I am saying is that I think I'm seeing a window where once there was only a wall.

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Anonymous said...

Sweet picture

God bless you this day
Maria in the UK

Alice said...

"The Scolding Hole" is a hilarious name for it! I sometimes joke that I need an intercom from the den to their room for barking out orders when the kids are slow to fall asleep at night. (With four girls in two rooms, it sounds like a giant slumber party up there much of the time).

Your two angelic looking boys look as if they are in a pre-framed picture! What beautiful children they are.

Cheryl said...

It would be very difficult to scold such precious little men....continued prayers on finding a new home, Suzanne.

Jill said...

I love that final line..."seeing a window where there was once only a wall." Beaufitully said.
You really manage to find such profound meaning in all the little things in life. I love that about your blogs.
And love that adorable picture. Too bad it's not just a little bigger. It would make the cutest photo of all the boys peeking through. :)


cheryl said...

Your boys are so cute. I hope your housing situation is resolved soon.

Sharon said...

Gosh, they are SO adorable!
Wish I had my own scolding hole!

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

Oh, they are just too, too cute!
I love those smiles - they show how happy they are from the tips of their toes to the top of their heads!

What a great pic!

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