It’s officially summer here in Suburbia. The kids departed for camp over two weeks ago, and in just one more week, we’ll be off to pick them up. People often marvel that we have 25 days each June entirely to ourselves, but each year I’m amazed at how quickly the time passes–especially now that all three kids are veteran campers, causing much less parental worry about homesickness and the like.
While not all June’s in my life have involved packing trunks and obsessively checking the online postings for shots of my children reveling in boating, parties, and sports events, one thing that this June has in common with all the rest is my devotion to summer reading. I’m off to a strong start, knowing that I may have a bit of a downturn to my pace once I start my next doctoral course in July.
Rachel Simon’s Building A Home With My Husband made the cut as the first book of the summer here in Suburbia. Maybe I was looking for inspiration when I accepted a review copy of this memoir. After all, though Adventure Guy and I undertook a fairly major revamp of our kitchen and family room last summer, we still has several finishing touches to go.
Knowing just how much time, effort, and energy went into our relatively minor redecorating and updating, I can only imagine what it was like for Simon and her husband to completely update their classic row house, complete with several unexpected complications along the way. Simon shares how the renovations served as a backdrop for a number of self-revelations regarding her childhood and her ongoing relationships with her husband, parents, and siblings. I couldn’t wait to find out not only how the house turned out, but how Simon and her husband turned out as well. Isn’t building or renovating a house one of the most significant stresses on a marriage?
Fortunately, Adventure Guy and I seemed to weather the remodeling around here fairly well. We have similar taste and agreed on our choices for paint, carpet, and granite. Adventure Guy even let me handle the window treatments all by myself–a marked demonstration of trust considering that, truth be told, he has the better decorating eye.
The unfortunate side? Almost a year after we first started with our efforts, we continued to live with some bright gold hardware and a marked “stripe” of unstained cabinetry below the new granite where the old counter tops had covered. I pride myself on not hounding Adventure Guy too much about this. It wasn’t easy, and it was an intentional decision. One that evidently paid off if the piles of kitchen drawers in the middle of my kitchen floor are any indication. The handyman we hired to finish the job started today.
I’m sure Rachel Simon was more excited when she returned to her home after almost a year’s absence, but I’m also pretty sure I’d come in as a close second!