At least for me. The very first Sunday of Lent we first took a look at the 16th century house over our Church. (The Church bought the house to get the cellar so we could convert it into a place to drink coffee after services, so we could convert our current coffeeroom into an extension to the “nave” of the church.) We liked what we saw, so we decided to try to buy it.
Problem was, we had only until the very last day of Lent, that is, six weeks, to buy it because of some tax-related issue that would have bumped up the price with about 17.000 euros. Speed was, accordingly, of the essence. And house buying is already quite nerve-wracking. It became impossible to fast properly, so I’ve missed the Big Red Spiritual Reset Button time this year, which makes it hard to have a proper Easter, John Chrysostom’s Easter Homily notwithstanding. A pity, because various circumstances outside my control made a good, thorough Lent a bit of a necessity for me, this year. And we’re not muslims: once it’s Easter, you cannot decide to somehow do the skipped fasting anyway at a later date. Easter is Easter, for everyone. Again, see John Chrysostomom.
We succeeded, despite complications like Irina losing her job in a very stressful way right after the mortgage application was signed, the seller’s representative going on holiday in the middle of it all and more. Friday 30 March we signed the papers — one hour before the absolute deadline, and we became the proud owners of a big, sixteenth century house. At least, parts of it are C16, and there are parts of all the following centuries.
During Holy Week we started renovating, ripping out the ca. 1930 partitions in the attic, the C18 maid’s room in the attic and more. We discovered rotten beams in the roof, a sewer gas outlet right inside the house, the kitchen ventilator ends in what used to be the previous owner’s study. All the fun things. Builders, painters, gas & electricity people all offered to the do work for us for ridiculously inflated prices. Except the painters, who wanted more money than we have, but were quite reasonable in their estimate. There’s a lot of wood in that house, all of it bare. Apparently the previous owner, who was a shaman of sorts, believed that bare wood was spiritually important.
But most of the scaffolding for the new walls for the kids’ rooms in the attic are up, friends of ours are helping with building, my dad is over to help with the work. Progress is being made!
Oh, and: Christus is opgestaan! Christ is risen! Christos voskrese! Christos anesti! (Father Theodore also added Rumanian and Finnish to this years string of translations, but I can’t spell those languages.)