Okay, it hasn’t really been extreme. What it has been is a 4 1/2 day mad dash to do ALL THE THINGS (i.e., various repairs and improvements, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning) while my dad was here. He left for home just after lunch, and I already miss him. But let me tell you—he was amazing while he was here. Which is, of course, no surprise, but I submit that my dad gets the gold medal in rapid-fire home improvement. Here’s what we’ve done in the past few days.
Dad replaced the light fixture on the living room fan (before and after):
And he replaced a dirty old light fixture in the kitchen with this fan:
And he replaced this light fixture over the kitchen sink, which I thought of as the little flying saucer, with this fixture, which I love because it looks classy and doesn’t obstruct the view out the window.
And he replaced a matching, big flying saucer fixture in the laundry area with this, which is much better and it matches other light fixtures in the house:
He also rewired 6 light switches that had been incorrectly wired, replaced the face plates on ALL of the switches and outlets in the house, replaced the light fixture in one of the bedroom closets, attached a globe to the exposed light bulb in my closet, and fixed a wiring problem in the light fixture on my bedroom fan. But that’s all of the electrical work.
And he installed this extra kitchen cabinet (previous owners had ordered one that couldn’t go into the kitchen because it would have covered the breaker box) in my carport. By the way, it sits over the shelf that I jumped off of the other day:
He trimmed these trees:
And he repositioned this gate latch:
And he installed this programmable thermostat for my ac:
And he set up and tested my new weed eater. He crawled under the house in the crawl space at least 3 times to fix stuff or determine what might need fixing. He lots of trips to Home Depot and Lowes and a few other places with me to buy supplies and fixtures and things. And before he left, he walked around the house with me telling me about the things that still need to be done, and making sure I know how to do them. And now he has two days of driving to look forward to.
Mom and I did a few things, too. Mostly cleaning. I learned a few things about cleaning products, including that Shark makes a heck of a vacuum cleaner and that Simple Green is a far superior cleaner to Clorox Cleanup. I also learned that cabinets can be DISGUSTING when they’re not cleaned regularly, and that it is, in fact, possible to cover the outside AND the inside of your cabinets with spilled liquids and foods. How that happens is beyond me, but it apparently does. We covered the cabinet shelves with shelf paper, and we put stick-down floor tiles on the bottom shelves in the kitchen and the bathrooms, and also in the medicine cabinets because they were GROSS. We dusted all the things. Well, most of them. We went to the grocery store. Mom went more than once. We went to a lot of other stores, especially the previously-mentioned home improvement stores. Mom worked hard to keep a lid on the chaos being created by the the boxes and bags other such debris as we worked. I bought a new mattress set and put together my new bed frame. I upgraded my shower head (before and after)
We all played ball with Spur. Spur spent the first two days in a state of abject self-pity, but then decided that this place was alright. She worked hard making sure we were all taking breaks to play and pet her. She also worked hard to make sure that the suspicious pedestrians she could see from the window knew better than to come into this house. And she attempted to begin the yard rehabilitation by eating grass—something she missed a lot when we lived in Boston (still weird to use the past tense there). And she tried to make the place feel more homey by rolling in poo (I think) and stinking up the house for a while. Well, to each her own, I guess, but Mom gave her a bath.
We laughed a lot and were totally worn out at the end of each day, when we would plop down on our lawn chairs in front of the tv and watch the Olympics. We made do with cheap plastic cutlery and paper plates and bowls, using the one pot and one pan and one knife we brought in the car to heat up frozen food and cut up fruit and cook breakfast. My parents slept on an air matress, and so did I until my new bed was delivered a couple of days ago. We washed clothes and towels and sheets, all of which came in the car in severely limited supply.
And you know something? It was really hard for me to leave Boston, but I can’t imagine a better way to start my adventure here than with this unbelievable feeling of blessing. I’ve never had any doubt about my parents’ love and support, but I feel so loved, so blessed, so lucky to have them. And when I’m starting out in a new city that is far away from the two places that mean home to me, this past week has reminded me in the best way that I’m not doing this alone.