Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Renovating a Pig's Ear is American?

There’s something very American about wrapping yourself around a challenge others say is impossible.  Christopher Columbus ignored naysayers and set off to find a better route to Asia in the east by traveling west.  And consider the American Revolutionaries who came up with the notion to break away from the British Empire.  There were certainly more than a few who didn’t think that was such a good idea.  And what about landing on the Moon?  Who did we really think we were setting our sights on that goal?  But that’s what we’ve grown up to believe in; putting things on the line and persevering to achieve what others say can’t and/or shouldn’t be done.  

It’s A Wonderful Life is a classic American movie made back in the 1940’s.  In one memorable scene of that film George and Mary are standing outside the abandoned Granville house.  Mary says she wants to live in it someday just before George makes a ‘hatful of wishes’ and then breaks some glass by throwing a rock.  They ultimately get married, honeymoon in the old home, fix it up, and raise a family there.  This house was definitely in the Pig’s Ear category.

At the start of the process of renovating a Pig’s Ear, I’m anxious and willing to roll up my sleeves and get to work and for me, buying and resurrecting these wrecks have exemplified American capitalism.  I invest money, make improvements, and then (if all goes well) I sell for a higher amount which creates a profit that compensates me for my time and the risk I’ve taken.  

I believe that buying and rehabbing an old, run-down home exemplifies who we are as Americans, especially if the house is considered a hopeless cause and beyond the point of repair.  It’s not easy, but in most cases that’s why other people have not fixed up these properties.  Sometimes it’s hard to explain why renovating a Pig’s Ear is such an amazing experience.  There are so many reasons, large and small, but this tie-in to our American Spirit is at least to some degree an element that draws me in to take these projects on and see them through to completion.     

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