Sheep Come to the Homestead-Warming Party


| 1/20/2014 10:30:00 AM


Tags: home renovation, sheep, humor, Maryland, Ilene White Freedman,

partyrBack in July, I went blueberry picking right near my friends Shannon and BJ’s new property where they are renovating a dilapidated house on some nice land. It’s the kind of house that people in their right mind would tear down and build something new. It was valued accordingly in the purchase. A new house would take less time and less money than BJ’s plan. But BJ often does the unthinkable, building high quality timber-frame structures that are made to last with beauty, strength and artfulness. And he’s done crazy renovation projects before.  BJ couldn’t resist this one after he found a log cabin with a stone kitchen underneath layers of drywall and plaster.

So it’s July, and I’m dropping off blueberries to Shannon.  I knew she wouldn’t get over to pick blueberries, even though she lives four minutes from the blueberry farm. She ate blueberries and shared with me this week’s homestead-building fiasco. We’re standing in front of the trailer that Shannon and BJ and their two kids have been living in for two years, during the renovation, and Shannon tells me this story. Renovation is always an adventure and fodder for stories.

A Little Toilet Humor

Shannon has a friend over with her two kids and they are playing with Shannon’s two kids. The kids are playing in front of the trailer while Shannon and her friend are in the house, talking about the next step in renovation. They check on the kids at the trailer, to find them happily playing, but Shannon sees water pouring out of the trailer. The kids don’t notice that.

When you live in a trailer, there are quirky little details. In this case, the toilet flush handle gets stuck open if you aren’t careful. The water kept flowing and flowing, out onto the skinny carpet hallway, into the kitchen and out the door. Toilet water, pouring out of the trailer, and Shannon is running to see if the kids are OK. They are fine. They are playing. What? Oh, no, we didn’t see that happening.

And all this, an hour before Shannon needed to head to work at the restaurant for the evening. Shannon called BJ to warn him what he would face when he got home from work. Mad might not quite describe BJ’s emotion. BJ got home, Shannon rushed to work, and BJ shop vac’d the trailer.  Then, if I know BJ, he got a couple hours of house building in before calling it a night.

So this is already a story worth retelling, and never reliving. And now it’s six months later and I am sitting in their beautiful completed kitchen with Shannon and BJ and a few other friends, just after their huge open house. And I’m rehearing this story. A story that has the other friends wide-eyed, as they sit on the reupholstered antique love seat in the stone kitchen, warm from the woodstove. I am crying from laughter, as I relive the story from Shannon’s first telling, now hearing BJ’s input too, and watching my friends’ wide-eyed stares. And they haven’t even gotten to the good part yet.loveseat and shelves




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