This morning I resisted the urge to drop a load of laundry into the washer, because to do so would mean I would have to go back up the stairs, get dressed, and go down the hallway to the communal washer and dryer in our apartment building. God forbid that my neighbors see me in some of the outlandish sleep attire I sport at times! I also resisted the urge to unload and reload the dishwasher and thus clear the sink of dishes stacked there from over the weekend. Instead, I listened to my inner self who said "Just sit and be." I am not always good at this, but I try to listen to my inner voice most times. The only voice that is stronger than the inner voice that tells me to sit and be still is the inner voice that tells me to express my thoughts on paper! So here I am at the computer, spilling the many words that accumulate in my head during the night.
This past weekend included spending a day with our favorite four-year-old, in which we made her princess for the day. We had a morning Barbie marathon, lunch out, a movie with the biggest bucket of popcorn offered, and play at the park before returning a very-tired, beginning-to-get-grumpy little girl to her parents for bath, dinner, and bedtime. Gosh, I LOVE being a grandparent! We also looked at a new potential renovation in a nearby town which panned out to be a wash, but that's how this work goes. You win some; you lose some. We look at many, many houses before finding "the next one." We also tied up some purchases for the tiny half bath and its cuteness, which is quite possibly gonna be the most adorable half bath of the century. Tiny wall-hung sink and rustic porthole mirror, anyone? Yes, please!
This week marks an important week in the renovation process. Finally (!) the roofing is going on and the back room should be finished and completely dried in (fingers crossed!). Then the rest of the finishing process will kick into high gear, and hopefully we will be able to see some real progress that cannot only be seen by us but by anyone. Until now, the work has been behind the scenes making sure the inner bones of this structure are secure and ready to house all the amazing lighting, fixtures, appliances, and such. Uh, I think I've said this very same thing every blogpost recently and it's getting a bit old! Waiting for this stage of a renovation to me is like a bride waiting for her wedding day. She's prepared, she's made all the necessary purchases and bookings to make the day the most memorable of her life and she is beginning to get anxious as the day draws nearer but is not quite here. I did not have a blow-out, fantasy kind of wedding, just a small tiered cake with nuts and mints and punch. Yes, that's what a 1980's wedding was...simple and sweet. Of course, big fantasy weddings existed but for some reason I never had that desire to go big when it came to getting married (I went big on the husband, just not the wedding!). Ditto for the honeymoon...we spent ours at Disney World! So this is the perfect time to share a small discovery (that I mentioned awhile back) about this house: It was owned by a local judge who married couples there! Legend has it that many wedding vows were spoken in this very house so long ago. This makes me smile, thinking of my history and the affinity I have for all things related to weddings (apparently other's weddings, that is!). I have photographed multiple weddings, decorated for weddings, and coordinated and directed weddings. I am a wedding lover at best! I will never forget the days I spent with my sweet daughter leading up to her wedding, planning the ceremony and reception and meticulously choosing each and every little detail with her, bringing into reality the "rustic garden" theme she was creating for her special day. It truly was magical. And this spring I will get to do it again with my youngest. Uh, we're starting now, however, because she is very particular about what she wants! Plus, she's marrying a designer so I will take the third seat in the plans for this springtime affair. Sometimes I do have slight regret that I don't have more amazing wedding pictures to show my girls. But how fitting now for us to be renovating the former justice of the peace's house?! My mind is literally reeling with what I can do with that inspiration!
As I thrust my body from the sitting position to the standing position, I look forward to the accomplishments of the week, as I hope you do. But not before I put on some appropriate clothing, wash my face, and put on a little inspiration in the form of makeup and a flatiron. I really need to at least look like I'm up for the day! Mondays have a bad reputation and Tuesdays only a bit better, and understandably so, as they follow the laid-back vibes of our much-anticipated weekends -- no schedules, nowhere you have to be -- and never, ever long enough. But I am thankful to have the energy to get off the sofa and shift myself into high-gear on another Monday, as I wrangle the hubs and his right-hand man to don their safety harnesses, climb up there on the house and, piece by piece, get me a new roof installed!
And my safety-enforcing/fluid-pushing/lunch-fetching duties I do from my lawn chair, strategically located as close as I can get it to the huge jobsite fan...somewhere not too very far away.
Now that's work I can totally get behind!
"To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone."
- Reba McEntire
(Reba could totally be my best friend...well, after J, that is. You know who you are, J!)
For reasons I am not even quite sure, I scrubbed the drip pans around my centuries-old stove this morning. It really isn't a century old, more like the 1990's. But for lack of a better description, it is -- well, non-descript. It's a very common black & white design popular during that decade. Much to my surprise they do look better, but much to my disappointment they still look pretty bad. I see a trip to the Home Depot in my future for shiny new drip pans, even though they will not stay shiny for long. The oven is so dark in there (no oven light, ugh) that I can't tell if it's dirty or not, but that's a job for another day. I'm sure it's been used more times than the bread oven at the local Panera. Even though one day I would really like a brand-new range with all the bells and whistles, my old stove does everything that I need for now on a daily basis...cooking a quick meal for the hubs and me, and baking the "very occasional" cake or casserole or cookies. Ditto for a house where I won't have to climb two flights of stairs just to get to my bathroom. Ditto for a place where there are no leaks when it rains. I see a theme here confessing my wish list, don't you...
Today I have greater issues on my mind. I recently returned home from Tampa hoping to find the back room completely finished on the reno but, due to problems that popped up and fighting with rain and sagging tarps that held said rain and rain that still found its way into the space, the room is far from being finished. But there was progress made and now I have at least been able to envision the interior walls as they are studded in, but that too is not without its disappointments. The vanity we purchased for the half-bath will be returned because it is too big for the small space we are calling the half-bath. My son-in-law jokingly called it the "quarter-bath," and I'd say he's pretty right-on. It will be tiny, but tiny is all the rage right now, right? By the time I get finished with it, everyone will enjoy using this tiny wonder! It will be cute; it will be fresh; it will be functional! Have you ever been in a place where there was only one toilet but two people had to go? NOT a good situation. Most people with one bathroom would be happy to have a second toilet somewhere in the house -- anywhere in the house. Our last renovation, the third toilet was in the laundry room and I can't tell you how much we used it!
Yesterday my two oldest grandchildren started school. The beautiful young woman who made me a grandmother started her first day of high school and this alone makes me feel very old and is making me entertain the possibility of going back to bed. But my few days with them last week were great and I am including a couple of pictures to show because, well, they are my grandchildren (you can see the complete shoot on my photography page). If you laughed (like I did) at your mom when she told you the time goes by faster and faster the older you get, I will tell you right now: OUR MOTHERS WERE RIGHT! When I think of the day my son walked down the corridor from the delivery room to the waiting room telling us (between sobs) that he had a baby girl (which we already knew), it truly seems like yesterday. But here we are, 14 years later, sending her off to a big two-story, multiple-building public high school where her values will be tested, her self-worth will be attacked, and where I guarantee you more than a few tears will be shed in the years to come. But she will hopefully come out of it better prepared to face the world...and college -- eeek! God help her, and I know He will.
So this week has been a plethora of emotions for me, ranging from excitement and contentedness to fear, anxiety, and the uncertainty of the future. As a very young woman back in my early twenties, I actually thought that one day I would arrive...arrive at a life that was free of problems and heartache and everyday issues that hang over your head like dark thunderclouds. Boy, was I naive! I find myself even now secretly hoping for that day to come but I know in my heart, because now I'm older and more cynical, that life is full of problems and always will be. There will never be a time when anyone -- and I mean anyone -- will be without one single solitary problem in their life. Even those things that you think will solve your biggest problems -- like money, the perfect soul mate, the American Dream, good health -- will not eradicate the problems in your life. You know why? Because even if you do everything right (which you will not), others will do things that will bring problems into your life. You'll have family members who make bad decisions, people who treat you badly and loved ones who get sick -- even your own demons crying out, trying to send you down Alice's rabbit hole. So we pray for strength, for endurance, for energy and joy in the moment, and we go about every day counting our blessings and tackling those issues one at a time, one day at a time as they arise.
Sometimes in the blink of an eye, our happy can turn to sad, our easy day can become extremely difficult, and our shiny can become dull and worn. Whether it's a rusty old stove, leaks in the ceilings, problems on the jobsite, or family members who are literally stepping on your very last nerve, life is complete with a profusion of problems that constantly chase us, encumber us, and cause us to wish we could take a trip to Tahiti and drink mai tais all day. But as most of us can't do that, and realistically wouldn't want to -- or would we -- we continue to hang in there and count our blessings, looking to the good things in life. And hopefully for most, those good things usually outweigh the bad.
Coming week...let's be lookin' up, okay?
Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining - it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn't solve any problems.
- Zig Ziglar
Posted by CC
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