The dreams kept marching through my sleep. The dream started with an old clay tile coming loose on the roof of our Spanish dream home. If I walked on the tiles, they would break like eggshells. If I left them alone, the house would spring leaks. Somewhere in the middle of the dream our house morphed into one of the nightmares we considered buying. A caved in roof hung over two squash blossom filled garden beds. Our friend Tona’s kids helpfully skittered across the roof bringing me the wrong tiles. Welcome to our dream home!
The truth is we could be daunted. Simple cosmetic fixes have already turned into more complicated projects. The front room’s exterior wall is what locals call “blown-out”. Somewhere in the continuous cycle of soaking up water and drying out the paint and plaster chose not to stick to the wall. Years of temporary fixes finally cried, “Uncle!” Malcolm the Builder recommends chipping it all off and doing it the way it should have been done in the first place.
In our first twelve years together Donna and I lived in eight houses. We’ve remodeled six houses together. Remodeling is basically undoing the dreams of everyone who owned the house before you. The pink granny’s house became a Southwest inspired tract home. The historic Craftsman was an exercise in lovingly bringing back period details. To do this we wound up gutting half of the main floor. The Seattle house had us shrinking our Herron Island remodel and building a backyard cottage. We are nuts!
Our house in Spain didn’t start its life as a human habitation. It was at one time in the distant past a horse stable. This means it is authentically rustic. There isn’t a smooth wall in the place. The walls swoop and dip showing past blowouts and genuine rocks embedded in the below structural grade concrete. By this I mean the concrete is a combination of 90% beach sand and 10% cement. At some point I expect to find a horseshoe buried behind the plaster. We aren’t undoing dreams here. We are tweaking things while addressing deferred maintenance.
Donna is in her own special version of heaven. I’ve been painting. Painting…and having elaborate dreams reminding me that somewhere down the line squash blossoms will glow in the sun. Well that…and thank God we didn’t buy one of those gloriously marvelous wrecks!