Renovations, Friends, Family and Life

Nov 30, 2009 by    Posted under: Post

I arrived in home in Berkeley on April 7th and had about two weeks to explore my new surroundings before I started working on the renovations in my parent’s house. We did a totally makeover that included de-pinking the house. The previous owners had pink wall to wall carpeting in every room but two (one had blue carpeting and the other is parquet), wall paper on EVERY wall except the upstairs hallway and the laundry room (both were painted pink). Most of the wall paper was pink or pinkish except one bedroom which had ape like football players drawn on it. It was an interesting choice of décor.

We had two contractors on the job and several of their people as well as my friend Jesse and myself. I won’t bore you with all the details but we pretty much redid the entire inside of the house – stripped the walls of paper, resurfaced them, took the popcorn off the ceiling and resurfaced those as well, painted the walls and ceilings, put a wall up to make one bedroom into two, put up crown molding and baseboards (tricky angle work), layed hard wood floors, re tiled the entryway, installed French doors in the living room, painted the staircase (that took me a full week), removed cabinets from the kitchen, installed 5 new windows where there were none, and everything in between. It was quite an adventure for me as I had never been very handy around the house. The bulk of the work took about 3 months and there are still small projects going on but it’s trickling to an end.

I ended up staying in the house for the first two months of renovations, which wasn’t one of my brightest ideas. It was literally a construction site and I would move my sleeping bag and mat every night to the least dirty room. I even slept in the laundry room one night because the rest of the hose was so dusty. The bright idea about staying at the house was my friend Jesse who was in from Washington to work on the renovations stayed with me. We would stay up late talking about life, love and everything in between.(which brought me back to my college years of living in the dorms). We made late night runs to In and Out burger, Saturday mornings we explored the farmer’s markets and made the most colorful meals we possibly could. It was such a blessing to have her there, truly the best part about those first few unsettled months.

The last month of the renovations my super star cousin Sally took me in and I lived with her in her very clean house where it was possible to take a shower everyday. Plus she has two cats and a Chihuahua. The very best part about staying with Sally is that it gave us a chance to really get to know one another. Up until six years ago we were long lost cousins and we had only gotten together a few times before I moved out. We became immediate friends and confidents and have had many adventures together in the short time that I’ve been out here. Also, Stevie, Santana and Ella made me feel very welcome as long as the appropriate amount of attention and treats were given (which, of course, I lavished upon them).

My work on the renovations tapered down at the end of June when my parents moved out from Massachusetts and we were finally able to move our things into the house. The first night I slept in my own bed again after almost four months was a spiritual experience (and almost 5 months later I am still relishing every night I spend in my own bed). It took a couple of weeks to unpack and get settled in. My younger brother, his wife and their daughter moved into the house the middle of July and my older brother came out the end of August. It’s been wonderful having everybody together again and the good and fun times of living with family again outweigh the difficult ones 100:1. We make it work because we are family and we have been separated by oceans and continents for 15 years. We have a lot of catching up to do and a lot of new memories to make together.

I lived out of the trunk of my car and off the kindness of friends and family for four months, drove almost 7000 miles in two trips across the country, said goodbye to all my loved ones in Tampa and grieved over the death of my beloved cat Sam, moved forward to a great unknown, became a pretty handy chick, reconnected with my family, did my best to follow my path as I felt I was meant to every step of the way and fell head over heels in love with life. It’s been a beautiful seven months.

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1 Comment + Add Comment

  • I love you Basha…you were such an awsome roommate! I’m so happy you’re turning me on to this “blog” thing!

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