Friday 8 March 2013

Yank’s House – Seven years and a few hard weeks

I tried to write this post last week – failed – so I am trying again today. 

Did you ever feel you were holding onto your dreams by your fingertips? That is how I am feeling about the Yank’s house. It has been seven years since we first found the house and I never imagined then that it would take soon long, eat up so much of my life, my energy, my money, nor did I believe that these resources would run out or be so stretched that I would have nothing left for the Yank’s House. But that is how I have been feeling recently. The last day I spent there was so bright and lovely that I tried to encourage myself with a happy bright posting to the blog to match the day. But since then I have been feeling less than enthusiastic about the whole project.   So - where to from here?

I remember what I wrote in the very first blog entry…..

It was magic! Romantic and blind, I hear you say. But I could visualise it all finished and I standing on the steps, lady of the manor in my summer frock and straw hat. My garden a wonderful wild flower meadow full of butterflies and bees, in the warm summer sunshine. I loved it.
I posted that to the blog last summer. But I wrote it seven years ago. I really want to feel like this again – but I am struggling. Back then I was still young and energetic – now I am a tired middle aged menopausal woman.  Seven years ago was just before the economy crashed. We were all dreamers. Who couldn't have imagined things could get so bad. Seven years ago was before all the pay cuts, extra taxes and before owning property became such an undesirable asset. Seven years ago Pat and I were in better health, stronger, sillier and very impulsive. A pair of dreamers!

I know it doesn’t help if I don’t get to visit the Yank’s house for a few weeks. 

The longer I am away from the house and dimmer my dreams get. I need to go there to freshen up the colours in my head, to let the light and the warmth into my dreams and memories. But other commitments kept me busy much of the time now and the Yank’s house gets pushed into the background.

I used to see the place every night when I close my eyes, spend hours dreaming about it, envisioning what it would turn out like, imagine living there - but these dreams have become very dim. I struggle to resurrect them. I struggle in the dark of dreary weather, short days and worries.  

Last week I would have sold the Yank’s house as it stands. But Pat says we cannot give up - think long term he says. In five years things will have picked up. We might be ready to retire. The things we worry about today will be a distant memory. We might have more time on our hands; we might have more money in the bank. Who knows – but we will still have the Yank’s house.  

This is love - having someone to carry you when the going gets tough.
Thank you Pat x


  1. Hang in there! Spring is coming. Soon the sunshine and smell of fresh cut grass will help when the doldrums hit.

    Times are definitely tough and many of us are stretched to the breaking point. But one thing I have come to count on in the many up-down cycles we've been through is that there comes a point where people decide they are not going to stay downtrodden anymore. They get creative, find ways around the obstacles, and push forward. Those folks inspire others to do the same. Things begin to turn around inspite of all indicators to the contrary.

    I love reading your tweets and I look forward to many more to come.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Just having a bit of a moan but not giving up.

  3. Hang in there Catherine. Pat is so right as is Rorey above. Better times are ahead and you have worked miracles on the house already. Don't give up on it. I can see you and Pat living there in years to come and enjoying the fruits of your labour. I am looking forward to picnicing there with you this summer :) (how cheeky is that). And what would we do without your blog posts - they are really interesting and inspirational. Whenever I read them they always give me the urge to take on a project on my own unfinished place - not on the scale of your projects (which simply would be outside of my capabilities) but smaller projects that leave me daunted.


    1. Thanks Ger - looking forward to that picnic....

  4. I've loved reading your blogs! We are currently renovating an old cottage at the moment and I have days when I look at the cement covering the old stone walls (that we will have to hack off) and the cement floors (that we will have to hack up) and ask myself 'why?' Living in it isn't that great either and I'm sure our lungs are clogged to within an inch of their lives!
    I shall keep an eye on how you and Pat are doing :-)

  5. It can be hard keeping the faith and it must be hard living in it while doing the work. Digging out the floors will be well worth it. Ours are so dry now and have made such a difference. Good luck with your project. We have been moving a bit slowly but will be pushing ahead again this summer

    Catherine #yankshouse

  6. Thanks Catherine. Also, thanks for posting the info about asbestos. I checked out the site mentioned and as a result, have sent a sample of vermiculite off, to be tested today. We pulled down a brick wall where a stove used to be and around the flue, was a material that we also pulled away (some of which remains). It was this that raised concerns after visiting the asbestos site! I get the results back either tomorrow or Friday!
    Aaaagggghhh! Old houses ah!

    1. I am glad the posting helped. Good luck with test results. Let us know how you get on.