So I'm coming up on three weeks since I last posted. Really, has it been that long?!! Life has been a whirlwind! This past weekend we had the pleasure of taking a short (but much-needed) getaway to Greenville, South Carolina where our artist daughter had a showing of her beautiful wares at the Indie Craft Parade. She and her fiancé drove the 800+ miles loaded down and tucked in like those infamous sardines in the can, non-stop for 13 hours. I know I'm getting old when the sheer thought of such an endeavor wears me down! But it was a great weekend and a wonderful excuse to visit one of our favorite southern towns. Hollie and her brood got to go too, so it made it even more fun with the babies there. If you've never been to Greenville, it is the perfect weekend trek from the Atlanta area. Take the ninety minutes north up Interstate 85 to I-185; enter the revitalized downtown area; park your car and never get in it again until you're ready to go home. It is truly a walking city, with entertainment in town (the Peace Center and other event venues), hotels, shopping, restaurants galore, and the Reedy Falls park right in the middle of town. What more could you want? FYI: on our way out Sunday, we visited the Greenville Zoo where we ended our weekend on a high (but very hot!) note. This green space is not walking distance from downtown, but is well worth the effort to pull the car out of the parking garage and leave for home a couple of hours early...well-maintained, family-interactive, and small, but with some very interesting residents (giraffe family, anyone?). You're welcome for this well-informed (but definitely not all-inclusive) travel post!
We are beginning to have some of that wonderful fall-ish weather I so look forward to every year...cool nights and mornings...tolerable midday heat and the brightest blue skies you can imagine. The good (post-Irma) weather has really helped on the jobsite lately, and I am happy to say that things are percolating right along -- not as fast as I would like (of course), but patience, my dear. Our re-framed master bath area stood the test of torrential rain during our Irma invasion and not a drop of water leaked in. We did lose one of our huge hardwoods on the property, but we knew it was in its final days because of a somewhat hollow trunk. Mother Nature did the work for us by taking it down and we are very grateful it wasn't near the house. I see a day of chainsaw work in the future for the hubs.
In the meantime, I have been able to pull out some of the pretties (vanities, etc.), and place them for a small glimpse of what the endgame will be. I met with our very capable tile contractor this week and shared my vision with him. Now, what will really make me a happy camper is if his estimate fits into my budget. Fingers crossed! Siding is going up on the bump-out and preparations are in the works for beginning outdoor painting on the entire house. This effort has been moved up on the timeline to be able to finish before the really cool weather sets in, which around here may not be till January, but who knows? The existing HVAC ducts have been cleaned and a brand new heating and AC system has been installed! Next big chunk of time will be spent on installing the plumbing system. Every last pipe and plumbing fixture had been pulled out of the house, so everything will be fresh and new! But what I'm most excited about is having a working toilet -- no more running to the Home Depot to use the bathroom! Then...we will close up the walls, and begin to rock and roll as they say. Fingers crossed on that one as well!
Every day I am on the jobsite, I can't help but see a correlation between old houses and people. We are like old houses in so many ways...we have imperfections and dirty places. We have things about us that used to be pristine, but that have deteriorated over time (like our skin!). We have areas of neglect. We have dings and knicks and holes and bruises and the evidence on the inside and outside of hardships that have come our way. But just like that old house, no one can touch our soul if we don't let them. Our bodies might be decaying toward the grave daily, but our soul and inner spirit can be as young as the day we were born. And, just like that old house, it is never too late unless, like termites, we allow hurt and anger and bitterness to overtake us. We recently considered a house for renovation but found upon inspection that it was completely eaten up by termites, and there was nothing we could do because it was irreparable. Just like that, if we allow the hurts and trials of life to eat away at our very souls, we just may come to that place where there is no turning back, and that is a very sad place to be.
And just like that old lion at the zoo (oh my gosh, it was so loud!), sometimes life roars and scares us half out of our wits, but then we realize it was just noise and can't hurt us, and our world settles once more. And like that thick plexiglass between us and "the beast," our human resolve is tough and very protective. Everywhere I go, no matter what I'm doing, places and things -- even animals -- remind me of human life...people and their struggles and their triumphs. Thus, this blog that I've been writing for years now, "thoughts about life."
Thank you for reading.
Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of.
- Charles Spurgeon
The days are passing like minutes. And the years like months. I simply cannot believe it's September and we are facing all the many activities (which I love!) of fall and the many, many activities (which I also love!) of the holidays in the very near future! It literally seems like yesterday that I put away my tiny white Christmas tree. I've already gotten out my pumpkins for my table, and my annual trip to Blue Ridge with my gal pals is on the calendar! I think I can say that (at least in my mind) fall is officially here!
Some late-summer/early-fall events are not so lovingly anticipated, like the constant threat of tropical storms and hurricanes that face our coastlines. The past couple of weeks have been filled with such events, that especially of the devastating damage Hurricane Harvey delivered to the Houston area and neighboring communities in Texas and Louisiana. Since my youngest lives in Houston, it's been especially tense for this mother 800 miles away, unable to do very little except pray for my girl, which is a great thing but you know we mothers like to be hands-on. She is safe, and that truly is the only thing that really matters, but her studio took on about 18 inches of water and she is working hard to bring things back to normal there. Right now I cannot say enough about how happy it makes me to know she has so many friends watching her back and there to help in her time of need. I am especially grateful for her fiancé who I know watches out for her and is her strong arm. He is a lifelong resident of Houston and knows the city inside and out, and he is always there for her, in the good and in the bad times. He is, to say the very least, a wonderful man, but he is so much more. He is full of grace like I've not seen many times in my life, and filled with so much wisdom for his young years. I know when they're together, they're safe and so much better than if they were facing life alone. If you want to help Abbie get her studio back on track, follow her on Instagram @boxsparrow with a private message to see how. She has truly traveled through some trying times to build her brand and is one of the hardest-working women I know. She never expects a handout and has worked so very hard for everything she has achieved. (Side note: Abbie has a show in Greenville, SC the weekend of Sept. 15th at the Indie Craft Parade if you want to see her and purchase some of her amazing work and show her some love.) This is usually her only event on the East Coast, so I will definitely be there loving on my youngest and thanking God that she is well! She will probably tell me to hold down the PDA because I am cramping her style!
Or...to donate now, go to www.boxsparrowstudio.com/donate
to offer your support
Just another side note here: Abbie was hesitant to have an online help line, but so many have asked how they could help in this time of need. In the sad reality of so many differing opinions in our country, so much turmoil and violence, so many fears coming at us from every angle, it is good to see people coming together to deliver the most important thing -- and really only thing -- every human being desires...the basics of life like food & water & shelter, and the desires of the heart and soul...acceptance, love, and support. As devastating as these times can be, it is in these times I think that we as members of the human race reset the clock, remembering that we truly are all the same and have the same desires for life, love, and happiness. It is our duty to help each other get there. These are the times we can make a difference in the lives of others.
Together, we can change the world, one little love deed at a time.
Wishing you peace and love and hope today...
And, btw, renovation update coming soon...stay tuned!
Posted by CC
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