Saturday, November 25, 2017

Squees and Thanks

Thanksgiving didn't turn out as planned, but oh I do love the quiet holidays that are just me, mom, and my stepfather. He has been ailing for seven years now, but the point has come where doctors are starting to recommend stopping recurring procedures, and the slowdown he is in now feels somewhat different from previous periods when he has felt low. So, though I'd invited them to my house, at about 1:30 on Thanksgiving day, when I was pulling the turkey breast out to tent it for its final phase, grabbed the broccoli and sweet potato dishes, and went to their house.

When your mom is in tears, the dishes you've twice-washed and spot-inspected lose all significance.

But our day, which is possibly the last quiet-holiday time the three of us will share, was lovely. He was up most of the time I was there, and dressed even. We had a few little laughs; his grace is at times the greatest blessing for others, in the face of his pain. I deeply love my stepfather. Another blessing, and one I did not see coming eleven or twelve years ago.

As much as those I love must endure, my own life is richly blessed and comfortable right now. I still miss Mr. X. But there is someone that remarkable in this world, for me to miss. That is inestimable.

At four years in, my "new" job is now entirely mine. I love the work I do, and I like and respect the people I get to work with. It was scary to leave public service, but I have learned that a form of service that is much more direct has great rewards, and what we do is honorable, sometimes fun, and gives to our community in ways that are new to me and mean so much. All this, and at four years there's a bump in vacation accrual, so woo!

Gossamer and Penelope are still the finest little monsters anyone could ask to live with. Goss is soft and gentle - and preternaturally forgiving of his great lummox of a human. Pum is soulful and warm, both magnificent and insouciant. They make me laugh every day, and then they warm my heart.

Writing ... I'm doing that. Not enough - but is it ever enough, in any writer's mind? What is happening with it is good. That counts.

Christmas: we are looking forward to my brother and BOTH nieces coming for a visit.

And homeownership ... ahhh, homeownership! Here may be the most immediate squee for today. In three days from now, I will have a new run of five kitchen cabinets. One wall has always been the home of every bit of storage in this 67-year-old house - and it's not too bad, actually; lowers, as well as uppers all the way to the ceiling, and I have eleven-foot ceilings, so storage is significant.

So 'long about my birthday (suffice it to say, this was over half a year ago), I went to the Habitat for Humanity Restore a couple or three times, and found a pair of midcentury cabinets which will coordinate nicely with the originals. Since, then, I have poked now and then at all of them - removing the old black hammered hinges from mine, spackling and repainting the uppers (white), throwing around a bad paint job (black) on the lowers, re-hinging all of the uppers including the "new" ones.

Today is the day to remove the lower doors and old hardware, give them a spackle and sanding, and tomorrow paint 'em black.

MONDAY ... comes the handyman. He will cut the crown molding and patch the circa-1950 hole in the wall that was all we had in the kitchen for a vent back then. Install the cabinets, AND the ventless range hood. And all the drawer and cabinet handles. He's even going to tidy up a spot of water damage (long since resolved) that predates my 16 year ownership. The tile I ordered isn't here yet, but we'll call this guy back. Or cross fingers it'll arrive today! :)

Oh my gosh. In three days, I will have new kitchen cabinets. I'll be able to put away my crock pot, cookie jar, lots of things. So exciting!

And on the first day of The Big Holiday Family Visit, I also will have a brand new chair. Mom and I recently went chair (s)hopping at a couple of stores, and on my own time I tried at least one more place, on a quest to find The Chair. The chair you come home to, that will welcome you and take care of you all evening after work. The chair that is kind of foxy, but also comfortable. And one we saw on the day she and I sallied forth was all that, but also had remarkably good BACK SUPPORT. It was the chair that stuck in my head through a few more chairs and another shopping trip. And it will be mine.

This is the kind of chair that makes a big difference in a home. It's the kind of chair that makes a big difference in most days, too. So, with this, and the major changes in the kitchen, some really big improvements for the holidays. After The Great Bookcase Project of the summer of 2017 (three. seven-foot. bookcases, y'all. Don't even tell me you're not jealous), and the final completion of the it-seemed-neverending basement job, this is going to make for one HECK of an organized domicile. And just in time to clutter it all up with Christmas decorations!

Still life with much clutter

Hoping everyone had a splendid, blessed, and joyous Thanksgiving, and that the best is yet to come.

Are you ready ... ???

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