A Long Four Years

This is 50. Stronger than ever, and learning so many new things.

It has been a long four years.

When I started Hat Trick Renovation, I wanted to use my skills to help rebuild the architectural and social fabric of the neighborhoods I love. I was so excited to be creating homes out of abandoned decay. I loved my brand, named for my trio of children, and my branding, a shadow print of the peaks of our home that made me fall in love with historic preservation. I picked up my brand new business cards, drove three blocks towards picking up my daughter from preschool, and everything changed in an instant.

I was rear ended in a car accident that caused a concussion that developed into Post Concussive Syndrome. Within a few weeks, my symptoms had gotten so bad I could barely tolerate light, sound, or movement. I couldn’t balance on solid ground, let alone on the top of a ladder while swinging a hammer.

Fortunately, I had a good friend recognize my symptoms and she connected me to someone who brought me to On With Life Brain Injury Rehabilitation. I spend months in Outpatient rehab, using neuroplasticity to rewire my brain back to the function that once allowed me two work on multiple houses at the same time. It took over a year before I felt like I could start working again, and then another before I felt comfortable doing my work.

The road back took some terrible turns. Ironically, the City of Des Moines mixed up my address (1161) with another house (1611) which resulted in them taking thousands of dollars of architectural salvage without notice and throwing it in the landfill. As if my own confusion with details was not enough! Then there was the pandemic…adding Kindergarten teaching aide to my responsibilities. More challenges with the City of Des Moines, the Derecho causing materials shortages. It has been a wild ride.

But here’s what I have learned: I am unstoppable and resilient. I have gotten my life back. I am so excited for what is next. I have done so many interesting things in the past four years, and I hope to start sharing what I have learned with you over the next months and years. For now, I’ll share this: we are stronger than we think. We have more potential than we know. And there are big things ahead for our corner of the world.