Between Seasons: A Reflection on Growth and Inclusivity in Residential Remodeling

By Allison Iantosca, President | CEO | Partner, FH Perry Builder

For some reason the geraniums are still flowering in October. They felt fragile when I planted them at the end of June. Now I feel silly for having been so careful with their necks and branches. It’s funny to me. For some reason they seem brave, but I am probably projecting. 

And I should probably plant some mums. But they are equally fragile — deceptively so, first in name “Hardy Mum” and then in the abundance of their branching and flowering. They look as tight as a curly haired wig. Unfortunately, they snap and break easily. And besides, the first frost is inevitably days away which will turn the deep reds and blaze oranges into muted, more grey-like versions of themselves. Fifty bucks sucked into winter never to return. Just to look right for a few days. 

I did get pumpkins this year. And gourds. They are in a random but decoratively satisfying clump on the granite front steps. That’s how I got thinking about the geraniums. After I set up the pumpkins, I thought they’d make more sense with mums. I contemplated pulling and tossing the geraniums into the woods at the edge of the lawn but never did.

So now my front door is caught somewhere between seasons. The Fourth of July and Halloween. Robust mixed use. Potentially juxtaposed at first glance but, actually, abundant and optimistic. Augmented rather than diminished. Whole. And sturdy.

This is a bit like what my expedition as a woman in residential construction has been like. Looking a bit fragile at the outset but flowering on late into my career. Never quite fitting the general picture but also not succumbing to an ill-suited, short-lived identity that would have been a waste anyway. Asking for a spot. And slowly realizing that, though it’s a bit unique when I’m included things are, well, better. 

And this is what we talk about on our monthly Women in Residential Remodeling Zoom calls— the PRONE platform for our conversations— where we discover and uncover the sometimes fragile, sometimes zealous requirements of the career we have chosen. Where we teach ourselves about the responsibility of being a human inside any community. By talking it through. Pushing against our resistances and frustrations. Understanding limitations— self-imposed and otherwise. 

And now we welcome you. However you identify. Woman or man. To come as you are. Join us at the Women in Residential Remodeling Event to be held this November 14th, 2023. A PRONE annual event. A summit of sorts. A gathering. A culminating celebration of our monthly Zoom calls. The opportunity to turn it all back to our broader membership. A gift to you. An invitation into the somewhat magical and, perhaps, unexpected experience of dialogue, learning, experimenting, challenging, and, frankly, deeply loving. 

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