I don’t know how it happened, but somehow the anniversary of when we moved into our house passed right by without us noticing! We started the process of designing and building our house in summer of 2006 and finally moved in the weekend before Thanksgiving in 2007. I just went to look up the date so I would know when it was a year, and the Saturday before Thanksgiving last year was the 17th! In honor of this anniversary, I’m going to write the story of our home.
Ed and I got married in 2004 and enjoyed being able to save money by living in an apartment over my parents’ garage. We wanted our own home but knew we couldn’t afford it and didn’t want to wait to get married until we could. I had always wanted to build a house since I was a little girl, since my dad is a builder and I would enjoy going to see the homes he built. But as a working adult, I realized that I probably wouldn’t be able to afford to build a home. It was so frustrating to think about the fact that Ed and I were both working hard, had good jobs and couldn’t afford to live in the towns we were raised in. I imagine that’s why a lot of young people leave Connecticut. After years of disappointment going to look at houses, hoping for the best and then seeing houses we could barely afford needing lots of work to be livable, we had almost given up hope. Then, my grandmother offered to sell us a building lot. Of course we thought we wouldn’t be able to afford it. Ed and I dreamed about it, talked to our families about it, and then finally decided to go for it! We thought we understood what we were getting into, but we had no idea. Our lives became building our house after work and on weekends.
I have never felt more loved than when we were building our house. Ed and I could not have done it without the constant help of our families. Our dads and brothers gave so much of their time to build our house that I’m sure we’ll never be able to repay them. Our moms made sure we were taken care of with coffee breaks, lunches, and other help. Because we did all of the work ourselves, we were able to buy the building lot and build our dream house for the same amount of money that we could get a teeny tiny run down house in our area. I am so thankful that we have family and friends that are so giving, and I truly hope that someday we’ll be able to show them how much we appreciate them.
Ed and I both agree that the last year has been the happiest year of our lives. Having our own home and living this next chapter of our lives, independently from our families, is an amazing experience. We feel like real adults, as opposed to a couple of kids dependent on our families. The truth is, although we’re now financially independent, we never could have gotten here without the generosity of our families and how they taught us strong work ethics and the sense of responsibility to be able to make it on our own.
While we still have lots of work to do on our house, we’ve slowed down substantially and are enjoying taking our time to make what we really want. There are rooms that still need a second coat of paint, there are many empty rooms, and the whole house still echoes. The house is a work in progress, and I can’t believe all of the things we’ve gotten done in the last year. Putting in the garden, finishing the master bedroom, bathroom and closet, completing one set of stairs and almost completing the second, Ed’s workshop in the garage, the backsplash in the kitchen, and all the other things that I’m not remembering right now. We enjoy the work that we do here and don’t mind that it’s going to be a long project, since we hope to live here for the rest of our lives.