True Love Forever (House)

Question: What do you do for your Valentine when she is sick in bed and you can’t spend any money because you are sinking all of your money into a renovation?

Answer: romantic graffiti!


The concrete basement walls are going to be covered with 2″ of EPS styrofoam then a 2X4 stud wall and then drywall. That’s just for insulation.

I realized that if we “decorated” them, nobody would see it unless they stripped all of that off. Is anyone going to do that? Probably not.

Probably not ever.

So I took the kids over and let Leanne sleep while we created this little video for her. If you remember how we wrote all over our old bathroom walls, you’ll see a pattern developing here.

Happy Valentine’s Day Leanne!

Soon after we met in 1996 Leanne moved with me to Japan where we taught English in a small town in Gifu Prefecture called Ibigawa. My students in the local High School spoke of our relationship as “rabu-rabu” (love-love) which I suppose means true love as opposed to arranged or obligatory love.

Living in Japan proved to us that our relationship could withstand pretty much anything. Well, here we are testing it once again with an incredibly ambitious renovation and retrofit on a shoe-string budget.

I could not do any of this without you, Leanne.

These days remind me of Alvin Toffler’s book from 1980 called The Third Wave in which he argues that we are in the middle of a great shift in civilization comparable to the agricultural or industrial revolutions. There was something in there about love. Something about how we are transitioning away¬† from the hard and fast roles of men and women that arose from agriculture and industry and what we seek now, he suggests, is Super Love–true partnerships where we share work, home and child-rearing responsibilities.

I’d throw in renovating a house, too. I’d say if a couple can make it through a major renovation like ours, it must be a special relationship.

Yup, that’s what we got. We got us some Super Love.

I love you, Leanne. Not only that, I Super-Love you!

Published by

James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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