Finishing the Cottage – A Time for Details

The devil is in the details, as the saying goes and as a building project comes near its end, you realize just how many details there are yet to do.  We have had multiple setbacks while building our cottage and a global pandemic only added to the chaos.  But now, we are finally getting to those special details that really add character to a home.

Of course, my husband and I often differ on what those details should be.  He’s the contractor and builder, so by the time that we come to this stage, he’s been at a project for a good, long while.  At this point, he’s tired and just wants to get it done.  I, on the other hand, am chomping at the bit and anxious to put some of my own creativity into it all.  And so, we clash.  However, because of this being our 4th house we’ve built together and the fact that we are celebrating our 40th year of marriage this fall, he’s learned that he should probably just let me have my way.  If not, he knows that he will never, ever hear the end of it if he tries to go with his easier, cheaper way.  He also knows that all of his arguments and feeble excuses will just fall upon my deaf ears.

It’s a delicate dance that we do.  I now have him looking at wide, thick mouldings to go around the interior doors and windows.  They’re expensive and yeah, he complained, but I’m willing to compromise by going with the very nice, but considerably less expensive, cabinet pulls, so I think that all is good.  I’m also willing to paint the entire inside and outside of the house myself, along with my son-in-law, so long as we can go at our own pace, (slow,) and we don’t have to paint the very high, outside areas, such as the gables, (scared of heights.)  That saves us about $9 grand.  I think that my bargaining chips are piled high at this point.

My husband found an exceptional person to help me with the gardens.  This guy has been staying after hours to plant trees, shrubs, water the lawn and roses and keep watch over the job site at night.  He’s been amazing!  He doesn’t always know just what to do with the gardening chores at hand, but he’s a good learner and a very hard worker.  This season, he learned all about pruning roses, train espalier apple trees, and how to use different kinds of mulches.  At the moment, he’s working on a couple of circular, vegetable gardens…so unique and pretty!  So, when you walk, or drive by our cottage, please take a moment to admire his handiwork.

So…now we are near the end.  The painting, tile and cabinets will be done next month and after that, the house will be near completion.  However, the gardens will take a few, more years to mature.  It’s a slow, but most enjoyable process that probably will never end.  It just keeps going and gets better and better as time goes on.  I hope that our newest guests will come back again and again, to see how the garden as grown and matured.

It has taken us way too long to do this project, but it has all been with family input and cooperation.  I started this idea as a middle-aged woman and now I am looking forward to the possibility of receiving my first, social security check sometime soon.

:::sigh:::

And now you know why the place is called, “an old woman’s garden.”

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