Monday, October 12, 2009

Rambling in a Snowstorm

oven under the big blue tarp

What's under the big blue tarp? I'd show you if it would stop raining...or snowing...for half a minute.

I continue to be thwarted by the icky weather we've had lately. Just when I finally get a free weekend and a couple of days to put some serious effort into finishing the wood fired oven enclosure, it rains nonstop and is like 40. Or like 35 and snowing. Totally boo.

So, in lieu of a fun progress report on that project, I bring you my very own installment of "Keeping it Real" as Pioneer Woman would say.

Check this out:
picture of old house picture
I found this photo the other day when I was digging through one of my file boxes. It's of our previous house, shortly after the lovely gold masonite siding was replaced with the even lovlier environmental tradgedy of grey vinyl siding, and a couple of years before that SO fabulous custom painted garage door was replaced with one that couldn't be read from the window seat of a passing 747. Yep, that door was so awesome we just HAD to let it hang around for a few extra years. Cool, huh?

Yep. I lived there. That was our old house. A plain Jane, crackerbox 70's rambler in a neighborhood of plain Jane 70's ramblers and 80's split levels. About as ordinary as it gets.

Except for that garage door, that is.

It taught me a lot, that house. It's where I really cut my chops in the art of not being afraid to TRY, and I'm hoping by showing it to you you'll see that I'm no different than anyone else who has a dream of doing something.
I wasn't then and I'm not now some fancy, entitled person of substance for whom things like designing and building a cool house just happen. And I'm telling you this because sometimes I get afraid that maybe you guys think I'm something that I'm not. That Modern in MN came to be because I am special...that I can do crazy projects like make stuff out of concrete and build things and paint graffiti on the walls because I have something you don't. Maybe you think I'm somehow not like you? Different....or exceptional in some way? And maybe you read my blog and think that you'd love to do that, but then you tell yourself that you are TOTALLY not the kind of person for whom anything like any of that would ever be possible.

So the deal is, I need you to know that you're wrong. And honestly, I used to think that same thing. But then I decided I was sick of not doing things or finding answers to things because they seemed scary or because I was afraid. And so I jumped off the cliff. And that particular cliff, the design and build your own house cliff, was SO big and SO scary, really. But not a single day has passed since then that I haven't been glad that I did it, and not just because it all turned out ok and now I get to live someplace cooler than the plain Jane 747 garage door house.
The awesome thing about those big scary leaps, even the ones that were major screw-ups, is that it's made all of the other scary leaps of life that have followed a lot less than all that, and it's made it easier see how much that silly little thing called fear worms its way into so many parts of our lives where it really has no business being. It was and continues to be about much more than just building a house.

So what's your dream? More importantly, what's getting in the way of it? What are you not doing in your life because it seems scary? Are you really living, or just mitigating fear?


Blogger Granny Stance said...

Good post... I'll admit, I read your blog as a vicarious-living type of experience, if I ever stop renting in Brooklyn, this is what I'll try to do. You're right about so much...When we stop thinking that cool things are what other people do, when we go ahead and try something that is a little terrifying but extremely fun, when we set out to either succeed fail in such a grand way that there's a story at the end of the day ... that's living.

Sorry I'm rambling. I met a delicious wine after work today. Anyway, keep up the good work.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Jeanie said...

Thank-you for this wonderful and encouraging post. I just LOVE what you do and I wish you posted way more. You are creating something so interesting and beautiful.

Maybe they have already featured you there, as I am rather new to the site, but I just nominated you as a blogger I'd like to see on

Great blog. Beautiful design. Unique perspective!

7:27 AM  
Blogger zara said...

late, but nevertheless, this is a wonderful post. you pretty much summed up what I feel like about being creative - the fear is intimidating and often preventing all the ideas from being born into this world. but hey, just like you said, shake it off people and don't be afraid! :)
p.s. love your work and, of course, your house ;)

3:22 PM  
Blogger Cricket said...

Holy crap - thank you.

8:13 PM  
Blogger freezengirl said...

Well said! Well done! Bravo, clap, clap, clap! I am sending a link to this post to some very special people in my life.

1:39 PM  

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