Hats off to real carpenters who know how to get things straight, square, and smooth. We don’t. We do try our darndest to make things (the house and life in general) as perfect as possible, and pull out the most painfully bent nails and atrociously crooked planks, but we are okay with “good enough.” Throughout the building process, we sing the same old song: “We’ll have trim there.” “There is always spackle and paint.” “It’s good enough.” When things are looking particularly grim, we offer each other the ultimate permission slip: “It will look charming…homemade.” That’s when you know that it is really crooked.
Building the loft was no exception, especially since I was stubborn enough to start putting up the ceiling on my own while Sebastienne installed the solar vent and worked on the short walls. The bead board planks for the ceiling are 8 feet long (I had to cut them to fit the rafters, and make sure to vary the lengths so as not make all the transitions at the same place), very wobbly, and have delicate tongues, which made them quite tricky to install. I had to lay on my back, and use knees, feet, elbows, and whatever I had available to keep the planks in place while I nailed them in. I did think that there must be an easier way…and it was! Once Sebstienne was ready with her project and came to help me, it didn’t only go twice as fast, but ten times. To have a pair of hands in each end made all the difference, and suddenly the planks were much more willing to cooperate. To think that I had spent a day’s worth of work doing something that could have taken a couple of hours with help was a little laughable, but at least the end result looks “good enough.” Actually, it looks beautiful.
Leonard Cohen most certainly wasn’t thinking of house building, or meaning it literally in any way, but we still takes comfort from his words: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” ;-)
Ada loves her new room, and is already plotting her decorating scheme to be “simple, mostly white, with a little bit of blue.” Yeah, we have indoctrinated her well.