The Cross House
Recently, somebody told me they thought I was getting really overwhelmed with the enormity of restoring the Cross House, and that I was being battered by too many discoveries about structural issues.
I was struck dumb by this. For, it is not accurate.
Later, I thought: If one person thinks this, perhaps others do?
Then I grew a little worried: Is this an impression I am leaving in my blog posts?
FOR THE RECORD
About four months into the project, in May and June of 2014, I did feel overwhelmed. Not panicked, but overwhelmed. There was SO much going on and SO much to do and SO many discoveries (good and bad) that my nervous system was frayed.
The house was new to me and our unfamiliarity left me feeling adrift.
But this passed.
Today, two years into the project, the Cross House feels deeply familiar. I feel deeply grounded in the work.
It helps enormously that I have had a long career in architecture and design, and spent many years in NYC creating lavish multimillion-dollar custom apartments in the city. Compared to that work, the Cross House seems a piece of cake.
I am also the son of a carpenter and have grown up around construction.
The structural issues with the house have proved only mildly alarming, for I expect structural issues in an old house. I am also fascinated by such issues, and enjoy the mind work of how to fix them. It is like 3-dimensional chess to me.
Yes, money is a source of endless concern, and this will, sigh, always be so.
Doing such a huge long-term project is not easy, emotionally, financially, or intellectually, and there will always be times of stress. But stress is quite a different feeling than being overwhelmed. And my business causes me far more stress than the Cross House ever has.
Save those brief few months in 2014, my primary emotional response to the Cross House project is…joy. The project THRILLS and ENERGIZES and DELIGHTS me.
Put another way, no marriage is easy. But a good marriage offers powerful compensation.