You remember that scene in Field of Dreams where Ray meets Moonlight Graham? No. I'll give you a quick synopsis. Spoiler alert. Ray's kidnapped Terrance Mann to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Midway through the game Ray gets a mystical message showing a baseball player named Moonlight Graham's stats along with a quiet whisper that says "Go the distance...". Ray and Terrance drive out to Minnesota to try and track down Moonlight Graham who they learn died some years back. However, one night, perplexed Ray goes for a walk downtown and realizes it's 1972. It's there he meets Moonlight. Moonlight played one inning in the big leagues after years of struggling in the minors. Ray asks him what it was like, to be that close. "It was like being this close to your dreams...and having them brush past you like a stranger in a crowd," Graham responds.
Well, that's the been the story of our home remodel over the last few weeks. More accurately it might reflect the last couple years. My lady and I have been working on this for a long time. We're currently living in a charming 1953 farmhouse. Two bedrooms. One bathroom. Tiny kitchen. No dishwasher. Fireplace. Tin siding. Drafty windows. Like, I said: charming. And honestly, it's a great little home. We've had some great times in it.
A couple years ago we realized just how small it was though. Especially since J.J. was born. In fact, he's sleeping about a free-throw away from me right in the living room. It's why at 8:30 our house shuts down like Mariano Rivera. The lights go out and the TV is lowered to just a decibel above 'mute.' Clearly, our little man needs his own space.
We hired a contractor a couple years ago to turn our little home into a bigger home. How much bigger? We decided to turn our little house into a three bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom, bonus room, bigger kitchen, bigger master bedroom palace.
It took a lot of time to get this right. There were issues with the county. Our little home is flanked by a road, creek and a power-line right-of-way -- making from some interesting surveying and boundary issues. There was problems getting ownership of the property through the county. And finally after a hefty dent in our bank account and two years, we were ready. The plans were filed with the county...and the county was ready. Our papers were in at the bank...and loan was nearly ready. The building permit is even ready. And then...there was a problem with our contractor. And our dreams brushed by us like a stranger in a crowd.
So here we are, just days away from the start of summer. We got a taste of Fenway and then got sent right back down to Pawtucket. And frankly, it's made for quite the weekend. My bride and I have spent the last 72 hours debating what our next step should be. Do we look for a new contractor? When can they start? Do we just take the money we've saved over the past five years and make some moderate and necessary improvements to the existing house? Do we try and keep the dream alive for more space? Do we sacrifice the space and enjoy life without a mortgage: traveling, a new car, hobbies, etc. Are we settling? Is that same voice that told Ray to "Go the distance" trying to tell us something?
Maybe this brutal setback was a lifesaver. Maybe it's just a test of our fortitude. I'm not certain we have all the pieces to this puzzle yet to really answer those questions.
I leave you with this.