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The stairway’s almost done!  After I fix a few spots I missed…

While walking through our to-be home with our realtor, she commented that there was definite potential to the house.  Undoubtedly, we agreed.  Though there was rooms full of smelly carpet, a heart-monitor bathroom, questionable decor and a few doors to nowhere, it was obvious that all the house needed was some hearty updating.

Darling Jack putting in a ceiling fan in our previously “lightless” bedroom.

Six months later, it takes all my resolve some days not to become a raving lunatic when someone callously observes, “It has potential.”  Most people are innocent enough but what they’re really saying is, “Your house is a dump but could be nice.  No offense.”  Ouch.

Our master bath serves more as a resting place for painted doors.  I haven’t gotten around to hanging towel racks since I shower in the girls’ bath so Jack improvises.  At least the door’s painted…

I’ve been drywalling, demolishing , priming, painting, cleaning, building handrails and pasture fencing and ripping out mirrors while Jack’s been installing ceiling fans and garage door openers and removing bees inhabiting our walls and taking out those doors to nowhere.  That’s in between child rearing and work and church and battling everything mother nature’s given us from foxes to poison ivy.  Once in a while too, we even have a little bit of fun camping or riding horses or with visiting family to keep us sane.

The commencement of  a DIY stair railing.

Instead of seeing the walls of fresh paint, people look at the floor and wonder when it’ll be replaced or the missing trim and ask if I’ll get around to it.  My favorite of all is when curious neighbors stop by or friends come for dinner and hesitate to knock on the door, unsure if anyone could live in such a construction zone.  Well, that’s been our life for about as long as we’ve been married: construction.

With no carpet and all the nail holes filled, the great room is a blank slate.  And a great place to play bean bag toss.

Of course, when I’m tempted to spiral into a rant, I think of our dear home we left in Iowa.  No one ever seemed to say they could see the potential.  Instead, we got comments like, “I would have knocked it down and started over,” or “It looks like someone could have been murdered in your house,” or out of the mouth of a babe, “Could I burn your house down for you?

Our beautiful Iowa home when we bought it and when we left.

Then, I’m reminded It Has Potential really isn’t so bad.  I can humbly learn to smile and nod graciously and though not everyone sees it, means Jack and I have the eye and patience for that potential.  Best of all, when someone can see past the rubble and dribbles of plaster and genuinely say they think my house is awesome, it feels like my heart will melt with gratitude.  After all, this place is our home.

Can you see the potential in the hallway?  Yes, new flooring is in order but fresh paint is a big start.
So I guess in a roundabout way, It Has Potential is fine with me.

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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