We are exhausted. Bone-achingly, depressingly exhausted. It feels impossible to have a full time job and build a house in time for winter, as Tyler is trying to do. It feels impossible to have a full time job building a house, as I am trying to do, when so many things require two sets of hands and more skills than I’m able to learn at one time.
I am weary of the bloodcurdling screams we've been hurling into the woods out of frustration and pure and utter desperation. I am tired of bickering. I am tired of yelling, not at each other but to each other, because "WHO ELSE IS THERE TO VENT TO!?" I am so over of the every-other-day complete and total freak-outs, where one of us totally loses their shit.
Once in awhile, when we feel we can spare a few hours of precious time, we leave our shit-hole of a camper. We go see friends, finding solace in their company. But then we come back. Back to the trailer that is freezing-ass cold (our heater is broken and neither of us can bear to fix it). Back to the 3-gallon water jug that always needs filling, back to the outdoor shower whose pump is currently broken and useless, back to the hand-pumped well that barely works.
There are shit buckets that need emptying into the compost bays, but I cannot bear to do it any longer, so instead I just buy more buckets. The mountain of things that need to be fixed is growing, and neither of us has the wherewithal to tackle their repairs. There is a pile of construction garbage around our house. It needs to be collected into bags and taken to the dump. The contractor bags we have are nowhere to be found.
The skylights we just installed leak when it rains, leaving four puddles on the floor under the windows. The main flashing kits go on in conjunction with the slate. Since we're not installing the slate until next year, there is little we can do but hope this intrusion of water won't rot away our insanely expensive SIP roof by next year.
I picked up our stove pipe, chimney and associated equipment yesterday in preparation for our wood stove installation. The excursion was met without joy. Instead, all I could think was:
Oh great, here's yet another big project we don’t know how to do! Here's more shit that needs to be put somewhere we don’t have space for. Here's more shit that needs to be kept dry. Here's more expensive crap we will probably ruin before we even get it installed.
I hate this. Tyler hates this.
I wish I could say that I am anxious to move in our house, but the reality is this: There are currently thousands of tiny insects the size of grains of sand hatching and escaping from our straw bale walls. They enter our house via the outlet boxes. They cluster in groups to keep warm, and the small masses writhe on the walls. When I poke a finger towards them, they all try to crawl on me for warmth. And then I crush them.
Apparently this is pretty normal. Apparently when the bales dry out after plastering, they will all die and never return. Until then, there are writhing bugs on the wall.
Maybe someday, when this is all over (if there ever is such a time), we will be able to step back and see the beauty in what we’ve built. But right now, all I see, besides mistakes, is loathing. This place is the embodiment of so much frustration. This project has stretched us so thin that it feels as though the people formerly known as Tara and Tyler have ceased to exist.
I want someone who knows what they are doing to show up, take the tools out of my quivering hands, and shoo us off to bed, or to death, or to Hawaii, and to come get us when this project is miraculously over. I want to be on one of those shows where a whole team comes in for a weekend, eliminates all unknowns, and fixes your house.
This is the hardest, most stressful thing I have ever done. I think the hardest part might be realizing that we got ourselves into this mess and we’re in so deep that it feels as though there’s no getting out. I suppose we could sell everything and move to Boston. But really, neither of us wants to do that. We do want to be here. I just wish we could skip the next five years of stress and building in these "early years" of our homestead. There’s nothing to be done but try to maintain perspective, and keep slogging.