A friend asked me one morning: is homemaking archaic, or does it have value? I answered yes and yes–that we’ve made it archaic by losing both the home and the making, but it does have value. This is part two; you can read part one here.
A friend sent me a text one morning, before the children were up, after my eggs and toast and coffee had been made and eaten but not cleaned up after, with this question: is homemaking archaic, or does it have value?
I answered yes and yes. It’s archaic because we’ve both intentionally and unintentionally made it obsolete (by destroying the two things that make up the term–the home and making–rendering them both disconnected and useless); but it is valuable, whether we as a society will recognize it or not.
Is the home valuable? What is the message of the home? Why does it exist? Why make one? Why make one? Why must it be made? Can’t it make itself?
I want to work through my thoughts on this topic. It will probably take more than one post–and I will try this time (I really will) to finish the posts and thus present a complete and coherent thought. I want to apologize in advance for referencing works while assuming you, my reader, are familiar with them; it would take too much space to explain everything thoroughly.
We have always wanted to tear down the wall between our two awkward front rooms. Then we decided to go ahead and vault the ceiling, too. We called the new space The Colloquium (a place for conversation).
But names and dreams are easy. Bringing those hopes to fruition is the difficult part.
We have been beyond blessed to have a friend whose guidance and effort allow the dreams to transform into the work and logistics. We have also had the good fortune of the use of my parents’ house (which, if you remember, is right behind ours) while ours is being worked on. We do sleep in our house, but we cook, eat, work, nap, and do school over at The Ham House.
Here’s a brief visual of the process of vaulting the ceiling and busting at that troublesome wall.
making a support for the 24′ beam
Since the wall we were tearing out was a loadbearing wall, we would need a beam. You can see the place for the beam to sit own at the end of the attic.
The blurry part in the foreground is for the other end of the beam.
A hole in the ceiling–a preview of things to come.
putting in the beam
tearing out walls and ceiling
A tarp was put up to keep the dust out of the rest of the house.
Then the skeletal remains of the wall were taken out.
What was easily the most intense and daunting phase of the process was actually probably the quickest. I believe it took three weeks for the wall to come down and the ceiling to be vaulted. After that comes windows and door replacement, insulation, drywall, flooring, ceiling, and of course floorplans and the like, and gathering the cabinetry and appliances for the kitchen.
I had made a list of must-haves for our new kitchen to help me with the planning phase.
My list, really, was not exhaustive. I maybe should have edited it for these posts. But it was my gut-reaction, first-impulse list; the things that came to my mind first and immediately. So, in the interest of honesty, I’ve left it as-is.
What I neglected to add to the must-haves was for the workspace to be navigable by more than one or even two people simultaneously. We have five children (and counting) and the older ones do like to help in the kitchen. Plus I will never turn down the offer of help cooking or cleaning up from whomever happens to be visiting (it is my personal belief that accepting help is an essential part of being in a community, but that is another post for another day) and it is very difficult to manage help in a space where you can’t quite even pass another person without bumping into them into the stove where they’re cooking. (This is especially precarious if the stove is gas and you’re bumping them into an open flame.)
I could talk about all the steps and processes and incarnations of the layout, but to be honest, I don’t recall all of them and it was a frustrating process, so I will skip all of that and go straight to the end result, hm?
Because we plan to turn the current kitchen into a second bathroom, the new, blended space we call The Colloquium would have to be part kitchen in addition to a living, dining, and music room.
I’ve saved this process for its own post to make sure I have ample space to ramble about all of my neuroses surrounding this new kitchen. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Most of the day, really. Three meals to make, three meals to clean up after, plus whatever extra time I may spend for baking or whatnot. Because I’m in there a lot, I think about kitchen stuff a lot.