Remuddle, v. (portmanteau from "remodel" and "muddle"), to remodel a building or room in a way that obscures or destroys key aspects of the original design.
A person can approach the world and the experience of life in innumerable ways. Approaching experience from an essentially aesthetic standpoint—and having to share the planet with so many people who don't see or understand the world that way at all—isn't the worst affliction to have. But it's not always easy, either.
If you're basically an aesthete as well, I have to warn you, this might be painful.
Dave Reichert, who is also a photographer, bought this charming, tidy little house in New York State in 1986. It had originally been built by hand—a one-of-a-kind—in 1926.
Dave, a professional restoration contractor, turned the house into a labor of love. He began a gut renovation that involved replacing all the mechanical and electrical systems. All the interior surfaces were replaced or restored. The original clay tile roof was restored, and the half-story attic was converted to a master bedroom and bath. The restoration took seven years. For most of those years, the Reicherts camped out in a dusty, dirty construction site.
Dave says he should have known better—he overbuilt. He couldn't help himself. He did it out of his deep respect for the old building and his pride of workmanship.
In 1996 he sold the house for a substantial loss when he moved to New Mexico, but he had given the original builder's creation new life. He had turned it into a wonderful little house that he hoped would make some family happy for at least a generation to come.
After the break is what Dave found when he returned to his old neighborhood in 2007. Take a second before you click the link, and prepare yourself...
This came up, of course, because of the "Ouch" post, but this is worse than ouch. This is painful to me, even without having seven years of hard work in it!
Dave says, "I can't begin to describe how it felt."
A little worse than someone shooting your dog? That was my guess. Tongue only partly in cheek. (Ya laugh to keep from crying.)
Dave says he's over it now. He's moved on. "I've learned my lesson," he says.
(Thanks to Dave)
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Featured Comment by Michel: "That's what is meant by 'you can never go home again.'"