Theresa’s reflections on the project

I learned so much from this experience. From figuring out how to juggle my schedule to learning about different types of building materials and tools (even how to use a nail gun!) — every day felt new. It was a lot of fun. It gave me a chance to make sure my life didn’t become a boring loop of my summer job, because there was always something I could work on. It also was a good distraction that made me feel better about not being able to see my friends during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although building it with my dad and twin, Catherine, led to some arguments, it definitely brought us all closer.

Our Shelby Shack is a place where we can work on schoolwork, do hobbies, enjoy each other’s company, or just jam out or dance to music. As a family we decided it is not a place to waste time (for example, to aimlessly check social media) because you can do that anywhere else.

Recently, while we were planning décor, Catherine and I were taking turns in the cabin each week. The first week we had a desk, I did all my remote school classes in it (thankfully the Wi-fi reaches), and the week after, she did. Because we set up a schedule, we don’t fight about who gets to be in there. My two younger sisters also take time in the cabin after school to work on their homework. It has been great so far. My only complaint – we will need a space heater soon because it is starting to get cold!

Despite the challenges throughout the process, it made us work together better and often gave light to better solutions. I’m sure it will continue to bring us closer together as we use it and I can’t wait.

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