Change is a good thing...

It wasn’t a hard rain but it persisted throughout the night and well into the morning. Our workers are transported in the back of a pickup truck from a neighboring village, so when it is raining they take the day off. That left only the live-in couple, patiently and methodically laying those large Granito tiles in the living room. I loaded up my new camping chair, my camera, water and my Nano and spent the day sitting in the living room enjoying the views and watching the artisans at work. As soothing melodies wafted over me through my earbuds, I found myself thinking back on how we had gotten to this stage in the process.

There have been many changes along the way. The first major change took place only after the prefab concrete slabs were laid on our massive foundation. It was our first chance to walk through the physical space of the house. It was immediately apparent, to both of us, that the combination of the kitchen and living room area made for a remarkable space. It didn’t take long to realize the planned wall between them had to go. We had been thinking security in the design phase and wanted to separate the kitchen, one bedroom and a bathroom from the rest of the house. The idea being that someone could stay in that end of the house when we were out of town. Easy choice, out with the wall.

Some modifications took more thought and planning. The roof span looked a little scary so we put in additional support and then realized the planned ceiling material was still way too heavy. I mean it was 3 times as heave as the standard ceiling material. A little back and forth between the architect and the contractor and us, led to a change in materials. That left us with a pile of wood panelling with no planned use. We arrived at the idea of using it to panel the upper reaches of the living room walls. 

With nearly seven meters of height to work with we were able to create an unexpected but wonderful effect in our main living space. I also came up with the idea of a lighting box that will run the entire length of the room and divide the upper and lower sections. The clear view windows at the top of the wall were changed to glass blocks. Being on the South side they still provide diffused light to the room while being stronger and better insulating. The views out the living room and bedroom windows are good enough that I doubt we would have been looking up at a skylight very much anyway.

Change is often affected by circumstances beyond our control or simple mistakes made in planning or execution. Do you give up, completely redo it or find a way to make what you have work? We have no hard and fast rules but always seem to know what to do when change presents itself. It is all very much like the art of living. You dream, you plan, you prepare, you act. Some things go well somethings don’t. Opportunities present themselves and we make choices. Some good, some bad.

Some people are whiners and others are blamers. Others live and learn, grow and prosper, making the best of their options in life. No, life isn’t fair. People are not afforded equal portions of looks, intelligence, potential, money or opportunity. A good long look in the mirror, might help to establish a base point from which to develop realistic expectations. From what I have seen that is just too  harsh and rational for most people to deal with. We prefer to think that we can be or do anything in life, when in truth, reality is far more limiting.

As for the house, there have been far too many changes to count. Sure I would like to take more credit for how things are turning out. The main credit due, however, is our ability to deal with change. Many of the best aspects of the house were not planned per say. We adapted to the materials available and the circumstances that presented. So from my perspective change in a good thing...