How to describe a week that started with a 12 hour drive in one day to Valentine and back for your friend’s mother’s funeral, which just put everything into perspective? Hmmm….
Dale and Alan picked me up at 5:30 a.m. and we headed west. I was in the back of Dale’s truck and so took the opportunity to knit, starting as soon as the sun was up enough to see. We drove to Valentine, arrived at the church with ten minutes to spare – just enough time to give Nora a big hug and slip into the back pew. It was a nice service that ended with a great PowerPoint of Vera’s life that made me cry. We then had lunch in the church’s basement and were back on the road by 1:15. More knitting, some junk food for the road and five hours later I was at my door - a surreal day to say the least.
The rest of the week was normal in comparison. On Tuesday, a bunch of us from water aerobics went to Panera after the pool for salads and knitting. We had such a good time that we scheduled the same again for next week. Despite the late hour when we left, I headed to Menard’s to get the last of the paint for the house – the perfect yellow, arrived at by getting every yellow chip at 3 stores and painting sample squares on every wall in the back room.
Liz had hired someone to help her and had committed to finish by Friday. I was very excited at the prospect of getting my house back. And the white trim was looking fabulous, making every room pop. Every day I came home to progress but Thursday was special. My deck guys were coming to replace the storm door that had blown off last week. Plus Liz had said everything except the yellow would be done so I was excited to see it all. By the time I got home at 7:00, they were done and already gone. The door was shiny and white and heavy enough that it’d close every time and the paint looked great.
But the best thing was that when I went inside, what did I find sitting on the shelf by the door? My missing keys! I had completely given up on ever finding them, figuring if they were going to turn up, Liz would have found them weeks ago. I called her but she hadn’t found them. So I called Tim to see if they’d found them in the garage when they were getting the door. Nope. I was dying to know! So I called Liz and had her call her helper and call me back. I could not believe her answer. They had been on the spool shelf right inside the door the whole time! Now I had checked that shelf repeatedly when I lost the keys because that’s where I put them when I come in the door. I’d also moved the shelf many times when sweeping and hadn’t seen them. The painter said she thought they were on the bottom shelf with the canning jars, where I had looked but had obviously missed them, and had fallen off when she moved the shelf. I went from feeling ecstatic that they were found to feeling like an idiot because they’d been right there the whole time. But they were found and the next day my house would be done so I went to bed a happy camper.
You know what’s coming, don’t you? I was having a nice Friday when the phone rang at 11:00. Liz reported that she was painting with the yellow but when she got to the first test spot, she saw that the paint was nowhere near the color of the spot. It was much brighter – like school bus yellow bright. Having already lived for a month with bad yellow walls, I told her to stop. There was nowhere in Wahoo to color match the right yellow and I was in Lincoln with half a day more to work. After considering options, I had no choice but to send Liz on her way. She’d be back – wait for it – not Monday but a week from Monday. So yes, by the time my house is completely painted, it will have been 6 weeks to the day from the day she started A 10 DAY JOB! What did I do to deserve this? Apparently the clerk at Menard’s mixed the paint incorrectly so I was not going home to a finished house but the limbo would continue. While disappointed, I can’t say I was surprised. It’s just par for the course.
But at least the front half of the house was done so I was determined to reclaim at least that much. I spent the weekend moving furniture, hanging curtains, unpacking boxes and going through crap. I’ve touched every article of clothing I own except maybe the socks, ending with a huge pile for Goodwill and completely reorganized closets and drawers. I’ve begun another round of culling that will continue for awhile and will pave the way for a spate of decorating that’s long overdue. Will I have to wait to reclaim my kitchen and family room? Yes, but I’ll be smiling while I wait and in the long run it’ll all be worth it. I’ve included a picture of my bedroom decked out with Liberty of London bed linens, the first step towards a new and prettier look. Stay tuned for more. Life is good!