Thursday, August 9, 2012

whatever it takes

i don't really have anything insightful to say this morning, but did feel the need to tell you all we're okay.  i mean the last couple of posts have sounded a tad desperate around the edges, right?  teenage girls weeping in airports, truck fires and traveling husbands  - oh my!  i reread a couple of my recent entries last night and started to have a brand new pity party for myself all over again.  except this.  except that we really are going to be okay.  we really are passing through it, moving past it.  we really are finding silver linings and glimmers of hope (and more importantly the closest grocery store)!  we really are.

we really are waking up today in a house mostly rid of boxes and mostly in place for these next many months.  we really are hosting a friend today for sarah and expecting tyler's replacement kayak to arrive this afternoon.  emily has plans to eat lunch with a group of girls and connor and i have plans to kayak together around the shoreline.  it doesn't make all the leaving better -- but it helps.  it helps that emily has hung out with a new friend from her volleyball team twice this week and it helps that the kids want to swim nonstop in the lake. it helps that bella lives all day long in her bathing suit and connor has caught a few fish.  it helps that the dishes are put away in the cupboards and i know where to look for the potato peeler and the windex.  it helps that the overweight golden retriever has been shaved and is no longer covered in burs or smelling like stinky lake water.  it helps.

last night rick came home from work and found me floating on a raft in the water.  he said it was the high point of his week...maybe even his month. he was tickled to find me relaxing with the kids instead of grimy and sweaty from a day of unpacking, painting and weeding.  keep in mind, the day before he came home to discover me pressure washing the eaves of the house.  doesn't everyone want to have clean eaves to their home?

we are all ready to be done with this transition -- at least physically done.  we know the mental and emotional transitioning takes more time though.  it is a different animal altogether.  it is nothing for me to organize the pantry or paint the boys' bathroom...but i have no control over the sadness deep inside my teenage daughter's eyes.  i have no control over my own longing for my best group of girlfriends to sit with me at water's edge with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. no doubt, i am busy with all of my domestic and motherly duties, carting kids to soccer practices and purchasing light bulbs and hampers and paper towels,  but i am sad too.  yesterday the littlest ones were playing "neighbors"... bella was pretending to be our old neighbor "miss paige" and connor was (told to pretend) to be "ryan", miss paige's son.  we dearly loved our neighbors on buttercup trace.  clearly, even the littlest girl misses them.  the idea of the children playing "neighbors" of course made me a little teary-eyed, but i have to tell you, i was really impressed with bella's coping strategy.  sometimes playing pretend helps. it just does.

this house feels a little like playing pretend for me.  we don't really belong here.  we are only renting this place.  i am reminded when i look out at the magnificent view -- it is priceless.  my husband reminds me often as he watches me paint or weed.  but i am a strange woman.  i cannot live in this rental without desiring to make it more like home, to make it beautiful.  the cheetah print wallpaper and cheetah print shower curtain in the boys bathroom just had to go! it wasn't negotiable.  the people who own this home, told us to "feel free to do whatever we wanted..."  i'm pretty sure they weren't talking about taking down walls or renovating bathrooms... i realize there are limits.  but still.

the other thing which is making me just about crazy is that the property is unbelievable.  there's a rose garden and flower gardens and gorgeous stuff everywhere -- but it has been a bit neglected. the owners live out of state and just cannot possibly keep up with it all.  as beautiful as the home and grounds are the weeds are a mile high. we have gone through 2 extra large containers of round up and we've only been here 9 days. the window boxes were filled with fake flowers -- perhaps perfect for a rental, but not really my cup of tea.  the first night we were here, emily and i had a hilarious time removing the fake flowers from indoors and outdoors.  by the time we had finished we had filled 3 large black garbage bags! (now stored in the basement).  seriously, we ripped out the flowers before we had even gone to the market for groceries. but it was worth it.  it was the first time we had belly laughed since leaving atlanta. 

tyler has taken ownership of the dock and shore area. he barely comes up for food.  seriously, the boy is smitten.  he goes to soccer each morning and then afterwards races down to the water and i don't see him again until dinner time.  he has "realigned" the jet ski lift (we don't have a jet ski) and he has "adjusted" the boat lift (we don't have a boat either).  he has sprayed weeds and cleaned out the lake and even sanded rough patches on the dock.   it is his way of coping. i know this, he is my son. 

i've been nonstop in the house and yard -- like i mentioned earlier, pressure washing the eaves and the patio and the gazebo.  i've planted flowers and pulled weeds.  it is all part of my strategy too.  some would call it putting down roots or nesting or whatever...i am not sure what it is exactly, but it helps.   maybe you don't understand.  maybe you wouldn't rent a home and pull its weeds.  i must seem a strange kind of bird to you if that's the case. maybe it's my way of playing pretend -- just like bella.  you might appreciate rick's comment last week when he found me underneath some hydrangea bushes, "whatever helps you honey, whatever it takes."  
the storm coming across lake minnetonka

and i guess that's it.  whatever it takes.  i know it takes more than making things pretty, it takes trusting in Jesus.  i am working on that too --  trusting His hand when i cannot see His plan.  that's what we are doing, little by little, each day.  there are lots and lots of nice things about minnesota and this new life here, but i sure wish we could have gone through it without so much heartbreak.  as i sit here and type this morning, there is sudden rain on the water.  it came out of nowhere.  in fact, just minutes before, a water skier flew by.  that skier must be out there on lake minnetonka, caught in the rain right now.  that happens sometimes.  we get caught in the rain.  caught in the sudden storm.  we need it.  we even want it. but nonetheless, we have to figure out how to deal with it. and we do whatever it takes.  we do the little things which help. and we trust God for the big things. and we pray and follow the boat.  we hold on tight through storm and we get through it.  little by little. bit by bit. 

"and let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all..." ~ galatians 6:9-10

hydrangeas hillside -- being choked out by weeds

proud of my pressure washed patio

midway point -- first had to pull a zillion weeds! 
much better!
cooper might actually get in shape running this hill between house and lake


Simply LKJ said...

Whether renting or not, it is YOUR home for the next year. I too would want to make it more "mine". I am glad to hear the kids are making friends so quickly. I remember moving from NY to Atlanta at 10 years of age, it was so hard. But, once friends were made and I settled in at school things were so much better.

carolyn bradford said...

There really are no words to express to you just how much your blog means to me every time I read it. This is just beautiful and breathtaking and so, so emotional. you always hit the nail on the head and describe the intimate emotions so well that I feel like I'm there. I moved every year of my life until 7 th grade. Finally, I stayed at one school, Briarwood, and it meant everything in the world to me to be grounded. Now, a million years later…my 3 children have graduated from Briarwood and my last leaves for Auburn this Sunday. I cannot begin to tell you how much I will miss him. My daughter, who is 7years older is moving to New Orleans with her husband in a month because they got their first Chick Fil A store….this child who has never left home…even went to Samford University for college…is leaving and my heart is breaking and yet I know it is where God wants them. I'm excited for all of my children…sad for me in a selfish way…at least I have my oldest son and his wife and my granddaughter here! She will start K5 at Briarwood next week and the cycle of life will begin all over again! I will be following your incredible journey and hanging on to every word! You are always a blessing and an encouragement to me.

Aus said...

Good morning Jody and all - Simply brilliant! Make it yours - make it home - and trust - you really DO have it figured out...and Rick....well said sir - "what ever it takes" is where it is!

hugs - aus and co.

Valerie said...

Jody, if you're ever in birmingham, you have to go by carolyn's shop. It is beautiful and you will love every inch. she also has a blog, which i keep losing the address to. maybe she will share it with us.