The new addition is dried in. The roof is on, the house is wrapped, and the windows are installed. It’s a huge milestone. Larry told me, “Congratulations. You’re halfway done.”
Most of the really big things are done. Foundation, walls, roof. Now I have lots of medium and small projects left. Electrical, plumbing, HVAC, insulation, drywall, doors, painting, floors, trim, and siding. Maybe I am underestimating the size of these tasks. Probably am. If I knew how much work I actually had left, I might be tempted to despair.
Instead of surrendering to the weight of the project, I went to the beach. I think of it as a kind of halftime show. I took my family to Jekyll Island, GA with 7 other families for a week on the sand. So much fun. We went to a water park, spent oodles of time on the beach, took some walking tours, and spent lots of time with people we love. I even caught some shrimp and fish with a cast net.
A Father’s Project.
During a conversation with a friend about the addition, I had a bit of a revelation. When I’m not on the beach, I work on the addition almost every day. On a weekday it might be an hour or two, but Saturdays, I’ll invest most of the day. If my kids want to see me, they have to come out into the addition. It’s a great joy when one of my boys comes and works with me.
Their job might be as simple as holding nails and giving them to me one by one. They might help by banging in nails I’ve started. Or they might just stand around asking me questions about what I’m doing. No matter what is going on, I enjoy their presence. The fact is, if they weren’t right under foot, I wouldn’t get to see them as much. This project takes that much of my time.
Spending time with the boys and teaching them as I build is a bonus. But it’s not going to change the fact that I’m going to finish this addition no matter what. It’s my project and I’m going to see it through to completion. It’s my responsibility, not theirs.
Our Father’s Project.
This reflection pointed to something essential in the Christian life. Building the Kingdom of God is Our Father’s project. Individual human beings might come along and participate in the building project and make a significant contribution. I’ve found my boys to be very helpful from time to time.
But that doesn’t change the fact that the Kingdom is Our Father’s project. He’s in charge, and He’s going to finish it whether I participate or not. He does a lot of work that I will never see and probably couldn’t understand if I did see it.
But He wants me to participate. He wants to spend time with me working on His project. He’ll use the tasks that He gives me to teach me and mold my character. I’ll be able to point to some of the things that we did together to build the Kingdom and say, “Look what I did with my Father!” Perhaps most importantly, that time working on the project will give us the opportunity to build my relationship with Him. That’s the very substance of eternal life.
I left out a couple of little projects that I finished the week before I left for vacation. I just wanted to mention them because it was all part of getting the house dried in.
In designing the house, Mary and I wanted to add some attic storage space. We had the trusses designed so that we could floor it out. It took me a few evenings, but I installed the 5/8″ plywood that would turn the truss structure into an attic.
I also ordered all of the drywall that I will need for the walls and ceilings. Lowes dropped it off in the front yard. Drywall can’t sit out in the rain, so I had to call in some assistance from the brothers Molitor to help me move it in by hand. If you’ve never moved 60 sheets of 12″ and 40 sheets of 8″ drywall, you’re missing out on a serious cardio opportunity. What some people call exercise, I call skirting the edge of a coronary.
The last thing I did was frame the final opening which we’d been using as the main entrance and install the last window. When I told the boys what I was doing, and that we’d have to take down the plywood covering the hole in their bedroom wall, David Jude laughed maniacally and grabbed a drill gun. By the time I’d installed the window with Larry’s help, the boys were running in and out of the addition through the new hole in their wall.
Game Face for the Second Half.
Now I’m back at home and it’s game on. My daughter will be coming at the end of November (did I mention it’s a girl?)! I have no time to lose. Feeling refreshed, I’m ready to tackle whatever it takes to build this House of Krupa for my family. It’s a great gift to know that I’m not doing it alone. I have a Father who’ll make sure it gets done right.
Everyone’s generosity during this process has blown me away. The following people have helped to make this project a reality. I couldn’t have gotten this far without them: Larry Harris, Mary Krupa, David Jude Krupa, Joseph Krupa, Catherine Krupa, Jonathan Krupa, Jerry Germann, Joe Almeter, Nick Almeter, Lawrence Almeter, Michael Almeter (his son), Michael Almeter (his cousin), Tag Bussey, Leo Suer, Ben Suer, Matthew Suer, Pat Molitor, Tom Molitor, Hannes Molitor, Pat Muller, Nick Wingate, David Johnson, Jordan Goodman, David McGee, Glen and the guys at Maner, David Germann, Tom Krupa, Joseph Krupa, Joseph Muller, Philip Hatfield, Miguel Melendez, Maddox, Jared Miller, Fr. Jacob Almeter, Anthony Almeter, Bob Visintainer, Ross Ott, Noah Ott, Max Molitor, Peter Molitor, Mike Hayes, Gabriel Hays, Kolbe Almeter, Luke Almeter, Charlie Almeter, Eric Sterett, and Gabriel Hayes.
If you don’t have time or tools to donate, but would like to help make the House of Krupa a reality, a financial gift would be a great blessing. This is kind of like a do-it-yourself GoFundMe. DIY is my style.
If you want to read more of my adventures building the House of Krupa, check out the archive!
Jesus snatched me out of the darkness and saved me from complete madness. If you want to hear more of that story, check out Demoniac, now available on Amazon.