That's what I would have mumbled, under my breath of course, as I walked away from you, shaking my head and rolling my eyes. That's the box I would have put you in after you told twenty-year-old me that I would spend the first years of my thirties buying, remodeling and building a house. I'd have called you certifiably insane.
I'd shake my head at you because twenty-year-old me didn't know how to do anything. She was afraid of every power tool with the exception of a drill. She spent her weekends at brewpubs and nightclubs and slept in late because she was out late with her girlfriends. She didn't have time for "home projects" and honestly, she didn't want to. She didn't care.
Today, I care. The evolution of the place we've named "Lancaster Land" has been breathtaking, both because of the sheer amount of dollars, time and hands-on work we've invested still surprises me, and also because the end result is something we wanted and we designed. It went from being something I couldn't even picture, to something I can't imagine not calling home.
When you think of the tools required to complete such a project, it's easy to compile a list of supplies. Lumber, nails, re-bar, insulation, drywall, and so much more. You can even tally up the number of YouTube videos on how to accomplish each portion of the project. You think about big purchases, like the yards and yards of electrical wire and the small purchases, like the trusty work gloves that will protect your hands. What doesn't make most lists though, is your footwear. And in my opinion, that's a miss.
We love our Danner boots because they're strong. We know they can handle whatever we put them through, literally, but we also know that they will (and have) last the life of our multiple year project. Plus, I put them on and I'm sure that I'm about to do something pretty bad ass. Let's be real - ballet flats are good for picking up the little girl, but if I'm going to pick up a hammer or step behind a chop saw, I reach for my Danners.
These boots have become part of our story.
- The mud tells us that we've made it through all weather and survived (holy metaphor, batman).
- The scrapes tell us it's okay to get a little banged up along the way.
- The wrinkles and the wear tell us that this project, this place, our home is earned. It's lived-in and worked-for.
- The fading tells us that together, we've worked all seasons, through heat, through rain, through snow. We have worked.
People say that we've build our house with our own two hands. That's a compliment, but this house was built by all of us. Our hands, sure. Our arms to swing, our legs to move, and our feet. Our feet so we keep standing strong. And with these boots, our feet are safe (and stylish). But most importantly, our home - Lancaster Land - was built with our hearts. And in so many different ways, we're still building.