I am pretty good at the function variable in the equation. I know how I like to use things, I know what I want accessible and what can be buried in the remotest part of the basement. I can work on the puzzle of where each room should be. Design, however, is not my thing. At first it seems like a contradiction, since I spend my professional life peering down a microscope evaluating patterns in the cells and tissues I see stained a brilliant purple and pink
But evaluating and recognizing various patterns is far different from being able to stand on our new space and visualize where to dig, where to pour a foundation, where the exterior walls will be. That is something I have a hard time wrapping my concrete brain around.
Barb, on the other hand, is enthralled by the challenge. She possess the ability to look at hundreds of images, mentally process them, and from that create a vision of what our new home should be. The vision changes as new information comes her way, and she will not be satisfied until she has gathered as much of that new information, the magazine pictures, the online bits and bytes, the HGTV shows, as she can. She has concentration abilities and patience I can never match. To paraphrase Malcolm Gladwell and other researchers, Barb is a “think”, while I am a “blink”.
We have spent the last few weekends driving through a couple of suburbs, widely separated geographically and economically, but both with lots of newish construction. I see a house and say “I like that one”; Barb sees a house and imagines how the stone and the brick and the roofing can be altered, the color tones brightened or muted, the front door redesigned. And I know she is seeing our future, and the relentless pursuit of something far beyond what I could imagine. I guess that is why for 36 years our formula has been