Wonderful people wander into our lives. Some stay for years and some only for seconds. Each day you experience a multitude of moments that make their imprint on your life. Like a flitting dragonfly, skimming so close to the water, we traverse through our routines each day. We pay no notice to the beauty of chance instants…the instants that make us exhale, make us smile, give us joy for a brief twinkling.

Today I begin to share my moments with you. Today I promise to savor my moments.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Renovation Saga Begins

I’ve been running around in organized madness trying to accomplish as many projects as possible before my classes begin.  So, I haven’t written any journals or stories at all in days.  I feel guilty about that…so weird.  Anyway, my mind keeps running through the to-do and done lists and I’ve decided to cheat a bit and make my lists into blog entries.  Then I can look back on this time and remember the chaos while I appreciate the outcome of the labor.  I am dividing the lists/posts into areas for my mental organization.  Beware of scattered ideas and thoughts during the next several posts.  Also, feel free to offer suggestions & ideas.

First I want to explain that there is so much to do with our house.  We, my mother and me, bought the house from my grandparents as they were looking into going into care facilities at the time.  We knew my mom would stay in this home after she retired.  Also, my son wanted to continue to go to the neighborhood’s high school and stay with his 8th grade friends.  The home is in a small incorporated town outside of Memphis, so it allows for more of a community mindset and a little more peace than the “big city” offers.  All in all, the purchase made sense. 

My husband and I have a home further out in the country that is a lot more rural – no street lights, neighbors are a ways down the road, the area just got its only McDonald’s 10 years ago. It gorgeously sits on a hill and is lushly surrounded by trees that surround the house and acreage like a cloak.  The greenery cloak opens just a bit and if you catch that slight opening you will find a tree-lined gravel path that leads up the hill to an opening of gorgeous green yard, a cute basic white house, a dirt worn basketball pad on the side and beyond there the swimming pool I saved for and love.  We have spent many wonderful weekends there.

The plan was always to move out there permanently after our son finished high school and left for college.  Funny, plans get made and plans don’t always pan out. 

Our son didn’t leave for college.  He received a scholarship here and decided to stay and take it.  He even decided to stay at home!  What 18 year old does that, I wondered?  I was so ready to get away at his age.  And honestly, at my age now, I was ready for him to get away.  Apparently, though, many more kids are staying home and even going to community colleges first to save on expenses these days.  My son is very frugal.  Seriously frugal.  Unreal frugal. It still blows my mind he didn’t run out the door the first chance he got.  He has since told me that his decision also stemmed from concern for his grandmother.  She retired as her mobility was getting more difficult and she has since given up driving.  His frugality and sense of responsibility awes me.  His hero was my grandfather and he has modeled himself after him, for sure.  That’s a story for another post, another day.
Anyway, it turns out that I like country living in the day time, but not so much at night, alone.  It totally creeps me out.  I tried and I tried, but I cannot do it.  Our house in the country is up for sale as I speak and our marriage has a foreclosed sign, as well. Back in May I made the decision to stay put with Mom in town and so I have jumped full force in to renovation. 

I have a ton of ideas and not so much work force and time.  I guess that's how these things usually go.  There is so much to be done with this house because the last 10 years have been difficult for my mother and for me.  I think I need to journal the outline of the past ten years to get it out of my brain and on paper, so to speak.

The new century started with my grandparents in their 90s and slipping into dementia and Alzheimers.  My grandfather was first and developed Alzheimers.  It was hard as he was the father figure in my life.  He was my son's best friend.  He was the one who always had the the answers, fixed everything and added stability to the lives of the 4 crazy women in his life-his 2 daughters, his wife and me, his grandaughter.  Off and on for the 30 years prior we had all lived under the same roof at various times. 

He passed and then my grandmother started having bouts of heart failure.  This lead to her residing in a care facility because she went in as a rehab patient and never left.  My aunt then started having blood pressure problems, mini strokes and cardiac issues.  This past January she had surgery  from which she never regained consciousness and I had to make the decision to let her go to join my grandparents in Heaven.  My mother had handled the day to day management and care of my grandfather and his passing.  We shared the tasks with my grandmother.  Mom was unable to help with Illa except what she could do by phone.  I'm really glad at this point as I don't think she could have handled my aunt's last few days.  Ten or fifteen years ago, my mom could do anything.  She was still Super Woman.  These days I have to put on the Super Woman cape and step up.

So, back to the house...it was my grandparents and while we have lived here for 8 years, my mother has not been willing to change anything.  Now that so many things are falling into disrepair, she is open to changes.  I also really believe it is because she feels some freedom finally.  As long as my aunt was alive I think my mom felt a responsibilty to keep up "my grandparents' house" rather than live in our house. 

I've started with small changes....now I am discussing bigger changes...next I will make big changes.  Bit by bit my mother is coming round, but bit by bit I find myself opening back up to me and what I want, what I like.  I am determined that lifting the depressive fog of the last several years for my mother begins with turning "my grandparents' house"  into our home finally.  I am on a mission of light and cheer and am no longer content to just be a superintendent of the past.

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