The End.

We received our Building Permits on December 6, 2010 and got our Occupancy Permit from the city on December 8, 2011. 367 days. It was quite a year – thank you all for following our journey, sharing your support, and helping us with our dream. It is time to sign off from ‘Home is Where the Warehouse is’. And so….A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Peace, Love and Thanks,                                                                                                               Jeremy, Angie, Poncho, Phoenix & Mr. Bird

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In-house showers are overrated…

The Dirtiest Man In The World

Oh, I’m Dirty Dan, the world’s dirtiest man,
I never have taken a shower.
I can’t see my shirt–it’s so covered with dirt,
And my ears have enough to grow flowers.

But the water is either a little too hot,
Or else it’s a little too cold.
I’m musty and dusty and patchy and scratchy
And mangy and covered with mold.
But the water is always a little too hot,
Or else it’s a little too cold.

I live in a pen with five hogs and a hen
And three squizzly lizards who creep in
My bed, and they itch as I squirm, and I twitch
In the cruddy old sheets that I sleep in.

In you looked down my throat with a flashlight, you’d note
That my insides are coated with rust.
I creak when I walk and I squeak when I talk,
And each time I sneeze I blow dust.

The thought of a towel and soap makes me howl,
And when people have something to tell me
They don’t come and tell it–they stand back and yell it.
I think they’re afraid they might smell me.

The bedbugs that leap on me sing me to sleep,
And the garbage flies buzz me awake.
They’re the best friends I’ve found and I fear they might drown
So I never go too near a lake.

Each evening at nine I sit down to dine
With the termites who live in my chair,
And I joke with the bats and have intimate chats
With the cooties who crawl in my hair.

I’d brighten my life if I just found a wife,
But I fear that will never be
Until I can find a girl, gentle and kind,
With a beautiful face and a sensitive mind,
Who sparkles and twinkles and glistens and shines–
And who’s almost as dirty as me.
-Shel Silverstein

Maybe it’s not that bad. But I suppose we are lucky we found each other and are “okay” living without a shower/bath now for two and a half months. As you can see it is in process and like they say – good things take time! The inaugural wash which we’re hoping will be in October still will be donated to our current shower providers Mom and David.

Love – A & J

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I remember…

Jeremy and I were walking home from the dog park this morning talking about the disconnect with time that shakes ones own sense of reality. The amorphous nature of memories that seem so long ago but just happened yesterday. Or vice versa. They enchant. Taunt. Tug at your nostalgia. Tease your understanding of your own authenticity. Your own past. We are plain and intricate all in one thought. All in one year. All in one breathe. The simple notion of remembering turns out to be quite complex. And so I remember.

I remember when we discovered the cat carcass covered in maggots in our now living room. I remember the smell. I remember cleaning it up.

I remember Jeremy being frustrated. I remember knowing he had to be to make this project work.

I remember when every night we blew our noses and our snot was black.

I remember when every weekend for months we filled buckets with rubble and hauled them across town.

I remember crying. Not feeling like I was doing enough. Wishing I could do more. I remember Jeremy hugging me.

I remember being able to hear everything through the walls. I remember not being able to see out the windows.

I remember wearing the same clothes everyday for a week.

I remember seeing the gears illuminated for the first time by the skylight.

I remember never being bothered by a tour. I remember everyone else’s interest gave us boosts of energy.

I remember knocking the shed down. Seeing it fall in slow motion. I remember it made me feel powerful. I remember looking at the pile and not looking forward to cleaning it up.

I remember sleeping really well.

I remember wishing Grandma and Poppop were around to see what we were doing. I remember thinking they would’ve been proud.

I remember laying under the building in the crawl space. Frozen. I remember Jeremy talking me through my fear of the tiny space. I remember conquering it.

I remember Jeremy hitting his knee. I remember him screaming and jumping. I remember thinking something was actually wrong.

I remember eating a lot of cold cuts.

I remember how our hands felt. Hard. Calloused. I remember us both realizing our finger and toe nails were growing faster.

I remember laughing because Jeremy’s tool belt couldn’t get any smaller.

I remember laying on a tarp on the roof. Keeping it from blowing away while Jeremy hauled cinder blocks up the ladder. I remember the sky was blue and it was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

I remember how slow time felt.

I remember hating everyone in the past who applied paint to the doors I was stripping. I remember inventing who they were.

I remember being cold. I remember wearing 3 pairs of gloves and how my fingertips still hurt, how they burned.

I remember coming home from school to see the progress. I remember the excitement I felt. I remember Jeremy’s energy as he showed me new changes.

I remember the splinter that wouldn’t come out for months. I remember thinking I need that finger.

I remember thinking I wanted it to be over. I remember wanting to run.

I remember not wanting to finish. I remember never wanting to leave.

I remember.

But I also forget.

xo – A

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It’s obvious that Poncho is the looker in this family…

We have a little write up in the new ‘Fig’ magazine.

Go to ….we  are on page 72!

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Foyer Before

Foyer After

North Living Room Area Before

North Living Room Area After

Stairs Before

Stairs After

Aerial Photo of Living Room Before

Aerial View of Living Room After

Living/Dining Room & Lift Before

Living/Dining Room & Lift After

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Downstairs Before

Downstairs After

Upstairs Hallway Before

Upstairs Hall After

Studio/Lounge Before

Studio/Lounge After

Upstairs Before

Upstairs After

Bedroom/Closet Area Before

Bedroom After

Closet/Laundry After

These pictures are more like before & 90% done shots. But soon we’ll be there. Cheers – A

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Lessons learned

I asked Jeremy this morning what he learned over the past 2 years of searching, purchasing, planning, and building. His response? “You can only see so far ahead.” All encompassing really. Then he said, “I can’t think in the morning, come back later.” We are opposites in that respect. My brain works in the morning, his works the rest of the time. So. What did I (and we) learn? I’ll give you 10, although there are so many more.

Lets start small.

1. I learned that using a broom with earplugs is a much more enjoyable experience. You can feel the sweeping, but you can’t hear it. It seems minor but when you did as much extreme sweeping as I did it really makes a difference.

2.  I learned to ask for help. I’ve never been good at this so it was kind of a big deal. My whole life I have typically been that headstrong individual that plugs away at a bazillion projects with a frayed string of sanity before asking in a meek whisper for a little help. But this project had us asking on the internet, texting, emailing,  and asking friends on the street. We weren’t shy by the end and thankfully we got plenty of help.

3. We learned that winter is not evil as we feared it would be when starting. Cold, dark, icy, chilly, snowy and bitter? Not too shabby when you’re tearing down walls for 12 hours. You need gloves, hats, coats and boots in the winter anyway, right? What we learned is that you also need those things for most of the work we did early on so when it got hot it also got uncomfortable and sweaty. Injuries were also more prevalent without all the added layers of protection. Early project + winter = win win.

4. We both learned (some) patience. With ourselves, each other, and our contractors. It was hard. Honestly, it was really hard. I think we came out with a stronger understanding of the important role that patience has in both of us, how it can make us stronger individually and as a couple. Now to weave this lesson into our daily lives. That may take some patience.

5. We learned what our bodies are capable of. As most of you know Jeremy and I aren’t a rugged, burly, weight lifting duo. We are both kind of tiny in the scale of adult humans. So the shear amount of carrying, hauling, balancing, scrubbing, hammering, digging, drilling, lifting, building, and dismantling that we did seems sort of insane looking back. We both trusted our bodies and minds completely. Fluid and seemingly choreographed in their dance together as we both averted any major injuries. Jeremy and I pushed our bodies to their limits. From the start straight through to the end. Its not to say that we weren’t both in pain for most of it, because we were. But that has ceased and we are stronger now. Literally.

6. We learned how to be a better couple, better friends and a better team. Our shared vision kept these roles honest and true throughout all the fights, laughter, tears, lessons and smiles.

7. We learned that showers are better when you can see a color change on your skin after. When the dirt practically turns to mud as it spirals down the drain. When peroxide is applied to cuts after getting out. When your clothes are removed in the basement to avoid warehouse dirt infiltration in the then living space. Clean became something new. So did dirty.

8. I learned that the idea of ‘recycling’ and ‘going green’ is way too narrow in it’s public uses. Recycling doesn’t simply stop at bottles and cans. We as a society should be responsible for a lot more. I could get political about this, but I won’t. Let’s just say that the ability to make a project like this happen on such a small scale shouldn’t have had so many hoops. It should be encouraged, supported, and sought out as a way to not only preserve but also use what is already here rather than constantly destroy, throw out and build new.

9. I learned that Jeremy can pretty much do anything. Seriously. He is incredible.

10. Going back to Jeremy’s response – we learned that you can only see so far ahead. There were no givens. Ever. We had plans, sure. But when it came down to it – we just never knew when the fog would get thicker or thinner. When our visibility would change causing us to slow down or speed ahead. The path always had a rope we were holding onto, winding and twisting as we took our steps into new phases of the project. Learning knew things. Planning. Preparing. Demolishing. Building. Cleaning. We held onto this rope that only ever revealed so much at a time. And with each turn the rope took we just had to trust that it would end at our vision. I suppose seeing far ahead wasn’t the goal, it was just trusting we would end up where we wanted to be. And we did.

Love – A&J

p.s. The upstairs bathroom/shower is in full swing. 

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I have a show at MU42 (Millersville’s downtown building) this September! They are small drawings depicting snippets of memories from all the warehousing we have done these past 9 months. It is hard to let go of something that has been so integral to our lives so the obvious solution was to keep it going in this series of work. Hope you can make it!!! xo – A

Opening Reception – Friday September 2 – MU42 – 42 N Prince St. Lanc, Pa

"Wood" - 11"x11" - Ink & Gouache on Paper

'Tree' - 11"x11" - Ink & Gouache on Paper

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We went away. To the deserts of Nevada and the mountains of Vermont. Short stints in both but absolutely glorious, relaxing, invigorating and unrestrained fun. The weekends couldn’t have been more different.

We summoned the spirits of the 70’s in the desert with 30 or so Californians to celebrate the life of lovely Maya. A welcome adventure with exciting amounts of costume changes and celebrity status amongst hotel employees. Then we went to the Green Mountains. Serene. Towering trees. Rolling hills and a perfect wedding of Emily & Chip. Simply beautiful. With a party that the mountains will surely talk about in the years to follow.

Both returns home were quite special as the warehouse always seems as happy to see us as we are to see it. Summer is nearing an end. But we still have plenty to do. Let’s just say a shower might be nice before the start of the school year….stay tuned. xo -A

Las Vegas, Nevada - circa 1974

Manchester, Vermont - Naptime after marble quarry swimming.

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A letter

Dear Harlan and Vicki,

This letter is long overdue.

After you left on Saturday July 30th we slipped, thankfully, into first gear. We napped. Did some slow motion unpacking. We did a lot of staring and smiling. We cooked for the first time in weeks. Went to market. Hiked with Poncho. Swam and ate steaks in the sun with my Aunt and Uncle. Danced to disco music in the desert. Hung lights. Sat. Slept. Our new home is perfect. It couldn’t have happened without you.

Everyone has heard of a vacation. And recently the ever trendy “Staycation” that has been created in the shadow of the recession. But a “Laborcation”?

This is truly a Waak invention.

Throughout the past 8 months Jeremy regularly talked about wishing you were closer. He spoke highly about what you could add to our routine of working on the warehouse. Everything you knew. Your expertise. Your experiences. Your knowledge of building a home. Simply the ability to have you both by our side physically, supporting and seeing all we were accomplishing is something that had been missing. He loves you both so much and I could tell there was always a longing, a void that could only be filled by his parents. I love this about him.

Your contribution in the week that you were here is unmeasurable. It was perfect. It was exactly what we needed, when we needed it. We didn’t see the challenges that the last push to get approval to move in would bring, you did. Your understanding of what we needed, patience with getting it done, incredible work ethic and unwavering support warm my heart. I can’t thank you enough for everything that you have done for us. This just simply wouldn’t have happened without both of you. We are truly, truly, truly thankful that you took the first ever “Laborcation” to little ol’ Lancaster for us. Nebraska is lucky to have you. We miss you already and are up for any house projects you have on your list over Christmas!!! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Much love – A

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Moving Day

Exactly 4 years to the weekend of moving into Charlotte Street we moved out. I cried. We loved that house. Still do. It is a special little space with layers of memories, crumbliness and charm. Most of who Jeremy and I are as a couple grew in that space. We bought it together just a year after first meeting. And so to leave is a tad bitter sweet. I remember that first moment we opened the door with the new key and looked at each other with big eyes. We were on top of the world. Our projects began immediately. They only ceased when we found a tad rottier container for our memories just around the corner…

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And so. Moving day was Thursday and Friday this past week. We didn’t do it alone and unlike the slideshow it wasn’t all with wheelbarrows. It went as well as it could with the exception of a not-so-happy purple toe! Thanks for all the help Jay, Heidi, Henry, Vicki, Harlan, Gene, Marcy, Graisyn, Dad, Mom, David, Karl, manual lift and loading dock.

It was the easiest and hardest move of our lives. xo – A & J

Happy healing David!!!

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