"Blessed are those who endure to the end..." After building this house in Mexico that scripture has new meaning. The stress level from design decision making has subsided since we are so close to being finished, and it has been replaced by a different kind of stress. The term "over budget" doesn't even begin to express the disparity between the allotted funds planned for this project and the actual cost. I pray I will have enough dinero to buy my light fixtures. I now understand why there are so many houses halfway done in Mexico.
The last house we built in Mexico took Stan 8 months to complete. By the time construction was over Stan was so disgusted with being ripped off and paying bribes that he decided he didn't want to live in Mexico anymore. He slapped a "Se Vende" (For Sale) sign in the yard, and we sold it without me even getting to spend a night in it completed. Now we are not to that point yet, but lets just say that I can't wait for this to be over.
Right now I am sitting in a folding chair flanked by bags of cement and stacks of stone tiles in my future living room while I babysit tile setters to make sure they get the pattern right. Actually Julian is working on the tiles today, and I have more confidence in him with tile than anyone. Panso, the stone setter, is working on the 2nd floor garden wall, and Jose, my fantastic finish guy, is working on the poolside garden wall. As I move my chair to the ocean front patio I whisper, "Calgon take me away." The wind on my face and the sound of the surf do the trick, and I begin to imagine what life will be like when all the bags of concrete and workers are gone. Of course, all our money will be gone too, but let's not think about that. I think I will paint a primitive sign on some drift wood that says, "Don't Worry - Be Happy." Anyway, for now I will just sit by these bags of cement and dream of the day that I am eating guacamole by my pool with Sophia begging me to play shark with her. It will be here before I know it.