Scranton: What are we building? |

Scranton: What are we building?

Lance Scranton

We began, in earnest, the second remodel of our home in November of last year. We decided that as
empty-nesters, we should make a few adjustments to our home to make it more of a place we can enjoy.

The last time we remodeled was over 20 years ago, and it was out of a practical sense of having a place for four boys to sleep and to make what was an old, outdated house a little bit more livable. After many years and more than a few holes in the walls — the old house needs a facelift.

What we talked about as we embarked on this new adventure was just what exactly we expected from a house that we plan to spend the next 20 or 30 years living in, God willing. Money is certainly an issue but not as much of an issue as it was years ago when we had a bunch of little mouths to feed. What makes the most sense for updating our small abode? What do we build that reflects our new arrangement as a couple who have almost achieved the dream of setting their children off to chart their own course in life?

What we build is reflective of who we are, and when we build a family, it reflects a certain pride in the agency of familial values. Not that we expect perfection but when society projects a disdain for family, dysfunction results. Couples find it easier to split up, families are torn apart and the culture struggles to come to grips with how we bind ourselves together when we disagree as people, and more importantly, as a nation.

Building a sense of pride in our way of life used to be passed on from generation to generation. Today it seems “cooler” to be ashamed of our country and who wants to defend a place that you are ashamed of? Our form of government that figured out how to gain independence, free enslaved people, capture the imagination of the rest of the world and help fight off the ideas that were meant to strangle our republic. Nowadays, it’s pretty cool to have progressive ideas about socialism, and other forms of government that are more equitable, fair and diverse.

Building a sense of pride about the things we accomplish was one of the things about Americans that captured my attention when I first moved to the United States. People from my home country generally took pride in not really having any profound sense of accomplished mission. Americans fought for their freedom and it was lived out daily in their attitudes. Americans fought to build more equality among their people and were willing to shed the blood of their brother and sister citizens to make it happen. Nowadays, without trying too hard, you can find someone who is apologizing for their accomplishments and seeking forgiveness for their skin color. What exactly is this building?

Pride in our history built a country that gave opportunity to people from all over the world who flocked to the United States for opportunity. Our American heritage is now under attack as a system of embarrassing events that have led to a culture of canceling people and erasing history. Building on a foundation of human understanding, the country established itself as a place that would do its very best to allow people life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Stomping out the expressions of faith and the views of people might disagree with seems like it builds more walls than bridges.

Our concept of a remodel was to tear out some walls on our main floor so that we could have a sense of openness. It is definitely more transparent and with this change will come an adjustment in how we once perceived the spaces in our home. A more open footprint allows more freedom to see, hear and access the spaces in our home. It’s what we wanted to build into our reimagined home.

Seems like a fitting analogy for America doesn’t it? Maybe we open up a little bit more and talk about things, and take pride in this great country that has afforded so much to so many. We may not all agree on everything, but let’s build instead of tearing everything apart!

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