Even before Bethany and Derek started their renovation journey, they knew the construction would bring their home to a point of inhabitability—at least for a while. After all, the plans called for removing the entire back wall of the house. Although the makeshift quarters Bethany and Derek created pre-renovation had a camping feel, living without a back wall would be a little too reminiscent of actual camping. Except with excavators, saws, and hammers. And then there was the minor detail of removing the entire back section of the roof to consider…
Moving out while the renovations unfolded seemed like the best course of action. And even though renovation shows depict complete renovations in 47 minutes, in reality they take can take six months or more. Bethany and Derek were fortunate; many folks who undertake renovations have to juggle both their mortgage payment and rent while the work is completed on their homes. But they had someone who offered them shelter (with an actual roof) while the renovations were underway: Derek’s dad.
While for some folks, moving in with one of their parents, even for a short amount of time, would be anxiety producing, Derek and his dad are rather close. He’s the reason Derek knows so much about gardening. And Derek credits his dad with raising him to be friendly, to be a good listener, and to enjoy interacting with people—some of the key qualities that make Derek a good realtor. Instead of seeing the renovation period as simply a time to be waited out, Derek and Bethany embraced it as a time for Derek’s dad to get to spend more time with their daughter, Evelyn.
But moving a family of three, including a toddler, in with another full-grown, autonomous adult is not without its quirks. Derek, Bethany, and Evelyn operate on a different schedule than Derek’s dad, who bartends and doesn’t come home until late at night. 5:45 a.m. finds Derek, Bethany, and Evelyn up for the day, tiptoeing around, trying to maintain some level of quiet for Derek’s dad. But that effort is made more problematic by their bedroom door that sticks shut every night. The only way to open it is to slam into it with a shoulder to knock it open. Not super quiet. And Evelyn has recently discovered her ability to control her own destiny using the word “NO.” Often at top volume. Sometimes for no reason. And toddlers have a notorious disregard for talking in morning voice (which simply means a tone that is not so loud that it peels paint from walls). So screaming is not unheard of at 5:45 a.m.
And then there was the time that Derek’s dad thought it would be okay for Calvin, one of Derek & Bethany’s big black Labrador Retrievers, to be out of the crate without anyone being at home. Just for a little while. Because Derek would be home in 20 minutes. In that 20 minutes, Calvin managed to find one of Evelyn’s diapers and shred the diaper and its contents onto Derek & Bethany’s white duvet cover. Calvin will be staying in his crate when his people are out from now on.
But any amount of tiptoeing or dog/diaper escapades can’t detract from the best thing that will come out of the time that Derek, Bethany, and Evelyn live with Derek’s dad:
This is priceless.
Oh, and the rent free place to stay is pretty nice, too.