I’M BACK!

It has been a LONG time since we have talked. I’m guessing that the few of you who read this are no longer checking but just in case…

I left Hanna City the end of February…trying to keep ahead of what turned out to be an ice storm that I know hit St. Louis and points south. Instead of a leisurely 10 hour drive that day, I drove 12 hours to be sure I wouldn’t wake up to icy roads in Arkansas. (Unlike my husband, I did NOT grow up in the Wisconsin and am only now able to not panic when driving in snow. Ice still freaks me out.) I arrived in Little Rock late that night and woke up to 34 degree weather the next morning…and rain. The good news was that I only had about 5 more hours to go before arriving in Tyler…and I had just missed the ice.

I spent the first couple of weeks at the home of a friend who offered me an island of peace and true christian hospitality as I discovered the condition of our house, started working on it, looked for a job and at times became overwhelmed by the enormity of what had to be done. I thought life would be easier once I got into the house and the painting was under control but that turned out to be wrong because with each new person who came to do something on the house, I discovered new problems. We decided to do a renovation on the main bathroom that took three weeks instead of the original one that was estimated because I wasn’t able to get everyone coordinated well enough (installers, plumber, electrician, mudders and demolition man!) Damage in the kitchen slowed down our ability to install the new stove until the countertops were replaced. The different stove meant some changes in the cabinets, etc. causing major delays in getting the kitchen settled in and organized. The bedroom carpets all had to be replaced…one of the less complex jobs…as well as replacing the living room carpet with flooring. Each day was full with me wishing I could turn into two people–one to be at the house to “supervise” whoever was working here and the other to be out on the road getting needed supplies for either the workmen or me to. Mornings were early and nights were late…day after day with short breaks for things like wedding showers (2) for Dawn or a long weekend flight to Hanna City to say good-bye and bring Ron and the last of our junk back to TX.

We arrived home April 1. At least I now had another person to help…or so I thought. Some days it worked out well. Others, my pokey, thorough husband was defintely NOT on the same page as I was and I wondered if he had forgotten that a wedding was going to be happening. In some ways, I don’t think it was affecting him in the ways it was affecting me. He was physically and mentally tired too and he was not going to wear himself out more just to have a pretty looking house…in his words “a showplace”. (Believe me, we were not even close to that!)

The final week before the wedding, I realized that we were a LONG way from being ready. (By that I mean having order, cleanliness and a decent look to the place.) I honestly didn’t know how we would be ready but I just kept working to finish what had been started. My original plan was to be ready a week before the company was to come so we could just putter a bit before the wedding and rest up. Now that was a pipe dream plain and simple!

The bathroom was installed on Friday a week before all the festivities. Monday the plumbing was hooked up and Tuesday the electrical part was finished. During those days I was finishing the guest bedrooms (that had been piled up with stuff until then) and getting them in order as well as finishing the wallpapering of one of them. By Wednesday, the guestrooms were ready for company with beds made. On Wednesday morning, the living and family rooms were still piled high with stuff and I had NO idea where I would put all of it. A wall still needed to be painted and the front door and porch door were going to be installed. (The wall could be painted AFTER that!) Early in the afternoon, when the doors were in and I thought I might be able to start the painting, the phone rang and my brother told me they had been able to get the flight to Tyler so were in Tyler and would soon be dropping over. “Great” I said, “Come on over.” When they got here, they realized we needed some help so he hung a closet door to cover my laundry area in the kitchen and his wife started painting the wall…needed two coats of paint to cover! By Thursday morning, my youngest daughter and husband had arrived after driving all night. They saw the quandry I was in as well so they “staged” my living and dining areas for the events happening in my house that night and Brandon moved some things out to the garage and other things in. He and Holly got pictures on the wall and the house looked nice and cozy and arranged in ways I would never have thought of. Walker was very cooperative and just puttered around happily or took naps. As the people in the house were calmly accomplishing jobs that needed to be done, I calmed down and was able to be more effective in accomplishing what I needed to do to get ready for serving food to people that night and hosting a shower afterward. The rest of the evening is a blur but it all seemed to go well thanks to the other people who helped out.

We had a wonderful weekend visiting with family, many friends from the past…that we knew in Miami!…as well as many of Dawn’s friends from Ukraine. We also enjoyed getting to know Steve’s family a little better…or in some cases, meeting them for the first time. It was a very nice weekend. The last of our company left on Monday evening for a Dallas flight on Tuesday.

We took the week after the wedding OFF! We rested a LOT and did a lot of lazy things taking time to do a few settling in chores. This week I have been trying to tie up a few more loose ends around the house so that when I start my new job on Monday, I’ll know where to find things and there will be more order here. Meanwhile, here is a link to a few photos from the wedding taken by a friend who used to work with Dawn there. This is all I have to show for now. I’ll have more later.

Holly, Dawn, Christy, Martha w Caroline in front

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dyan
    May 10, 2008 @ 13:34:22

    Martha,
    Yes, someone is still checking up on your site! I look for all you guys about once or twice a month. The wedding and your home were wonderful–thanks for having us and things turned out great! Love, Dyan

  2. martha10
    Aug 23, 2008 @ 14:32:30

    i just found your comment today sherry. i’m looking forward to catching up with my life internally in a week when we go on a cruise to alaska…an early 40th anniversary gift:) i am SO ready to relax and be waited on for a week.
    work is very HARD. i’m looking for something that is more realistic for my aging body and 3-11 isn’t doing well for our social life AT ALL. m

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