Back in California,
on Saturday nights
at closing time
this song would play at my favorite bar with my favorite people.
Like Sunday Morning.
If you haven’t heard it, please provide yourself the satisfaction of this simple song (preferably on a Saturday) to lull you into Sunday, or at least into a Sunday kind of mood on any given day.
Lull me it did, right into my bed and right on into Sunday. I’d awake to a quiet house and fill up the first hours reading in bed while sipping tea until eventually I’d shower and head out to do something fun and then I’d return home and settle in for another week.
Easy Like Sunday Morning.
But it wasn’t always like this for me.
Growing up, Sundays had always been a source of stress since, as an unpaid but professional procrastinator, my life had been chock full of last-minute school projects and panic. My parents, on the other hand, were always working outdoors on their own projects. Projects I desperately wanted to be a part of, but because I’d spent the weekend in soccer tournaments or at friend’s houses, suddenly there was no time for me to participate. Both of my parents would spend hours in the garden or building, better-ing their properties while I would have somehow again forced myself inside. They’d come inside at the end of the day with dirty faces and dirty hands, exhausted but satisfied from a day’s hard work out in the wild blue yonder. And there I’d be churning in my own panic, exhausted only from my mind’s tricks.
And so, as I grew up and found that this panic was no longer (and never was) serving me I started to rearrange my week to make Sundays fun-days instead of coiled serpents of stress. I’d work a little harder in the week to finish early so that I could awake to a calm instead of a panic come that Sunday morning. And before I knew it, Sundays took on a sort of holiness to me, they became my church and I started to guard them. A few months before I left California I made a promise to myself to protect this newfound calm and I swore off working on that holy (for me) day.
3,000 miles to Alaska later and that promise still stands true.
Sundays are free.
Free to fill or free to fade away into a sleepy pancake haze.
But something’s been added.
Dirty faces, dirty hands.
As an adult, I’ve never lived in a place that was truly mine. In the crazed real-estate market that is Sonoma County (my home in California), my only option was to rent and even that wasn’t really all that sustainable. But now I’ve landed.
And I feel beyond lucky.
Dirty faces, dirty hands.
Because now, Sundays are for pancakes and PJs and…projects.
Welcome, to the full-circle experience.
I finally get to be the dirty face sitting down to dinner with an equally dirty face staring back at me, working on our home.
We don’t have to ask if we can cut down a tree or build a structure or paint a wall and it feels free in a way I’ve never known.
Now, don’t get me wrong, when things start a-breakin’ it’s awfully nice to be able to hand it over to someone else (and give them the bill) but everything has its trade-offs and the hurdles here are worth it to me.
I think it took moving to a place that I could truly call Our Own to make me, force me, pull me into Home. It took finding myself in the middle of a bachelor pad, with a kind-eyed love who said “I’m open. Let’s make it ours” to make me feel like I truly could settle in.
And so, this Sunday we finished one project of many and many more to come:
The Woodshed Addition.
The Chief had begun the addition last weekend (after making me a hearty breakfast of killer ‘cakes) while I was writing and by the time I had finished, the sides were up and the structure was coming about beautifully.
This weekend we powered ourselves with steak and eggs (The Chief’s equivalent to my pancakes) and went outside to finish. It wouldn’t take long.
All we had to do was put up some walls and “slap” on the roof.
I think we even believed it.
The thing is, all of the materials we needed for the shed weren’t simply in some woodshed package waiting for us at the store. They were, however, all around us, in the trees we’d have to cut down, in the old pieces of wood that had been waiting for projects and in roofing metal given to The Chief that we had been saving since early last Winter. All we had to do was collect the supplies, bring them over to the site, “slap them up” and ta-da! Donesky!
It turns out that finding and hauling lumber three times my height isn’t exactly the most lightweight of scavenger hunts.
Certainly, my dear.
And so it went, hauling sets of four 15’ logs together, walking the uneven drive to the new shed location, lifting the slabs into place and securing them (I only drove the screw gun into my fingernail once!) into place. A few hours later and all the wood had been harvested, the necessary trees had been felled to add the last layers of support and the first wall had gone up.
One more to go, plus roofing.
Now that we had all the materials, it would be super quick, maybe 30 minutes.
Very cute. Again.
A few hours after that, darkness threatening to descend upon us (she’s so sneaky these days) and there we were:
The Chief was donning some serious wood glitter and I had more shavings down my train-driver overalls than I was comfortable with, but there we were, 1.5 days and one more project crossed off our list for our spot.
I’m so glad I started my Sunday tradition now years ago, to protect and reinvent this special day and to open myself up to the easy that is a Sunday morning but most of all, I’m so grateful to have found someone to share it with. Someone to have goals to accomplish with. Someone to open my eyes to the possibilities of my abilities. Someone who even though he spends the rest of the week at a job on a roof still wants to come home to work on ours. Because even in the space I made for an easy Sunday, there was something missing.
Or rather, someone.
Thank you, Alaska for helping me find him.