Living on an Island

The Half-Finished House

Living on an Island

When we were living with my mother-in-law, we could leave our unfinished house at the end of the day, decompress, and mostly forget about our ever-growing to-do list. Now that we’ve moved in? Every time I pass the stairs covered in painter’s tape, I’m reminded of how much more work there is to be done.

Despite living among our many projects, progress isn’t happening as quickly as we’d like. The lobstering season is still in full swing and when my husband comes home from a long day on the water, his first priority is sitting in our living room with our infant son. And I don’t blame him.

So, we chip away. We started a little black book of outstanding tasks — everything from hanging towel hooks in the master bathroom (done!) to finishing the upstairs floors (not done). I try to complete one thing every day and if I don’t, I try to at least vacuum.

As someone who writes and runs a business from home, my biggest challenge has been working in our bedroom. Upstairs, a giant office, where I plan to install a stand-up desk and shelves for all of my Island Apothecary products, sits unpainted and waiting. I wish I could be up there, filling orders while my son naps in the next room. But his nursery is also not quite ready and its contents, including a beautiful crib still in its box and piles of clothes and children’s books, are in the basement. And, well, we’re working on the napping part.

Finishing the second-floor guest bathroom is another priority that feels more urgent this month, when we have visitors coming almost every weekend. We’re also hosting Christmas this year and there will be eight adults under one roof. If the thought of all those people lining up to shower in our bathroom isn’t motivation to get the upstairs space done, I don’t know what is.

First though, the race is on to finish shingling the house before winter comes. The Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a very snowy season. Stay tuned to see which comes first: flakes or shakes.

Cover Photo: A view of Laura’s house from Ames Knob, the highest point on North Haven

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