Monday, July 28, 2008

Out with the old...

For some months now I have been busy with a number of home improvement projects. This is always a good thing. Nothing pleases me more than puttering around the house and putting things in order. The focus of this year's efforts has been the backyard, an area that has been slowly decaying from plain old age. The fence, which had actually rotted away in one corner, has been replaced through the efforts of my husband and son. Due to uncooperative weather, a two day project stretched out for four weeks but that's beside the point. I couldn't do any gardening until the fence was fixed so once that project was completed, I raked, weeded, uprooted and prepared to plant. In the process of clearing out the garden, I thought of my grandparents. I remembered my grandmother's death anniversary was approaching and decided to dedicate a corner of the garden as a memorial to her and other family members who have passed. I headed over to my local home center for some bedding plants and an arbor and created the beginnings of my memorial garden.

In the middle of all this, the backyard has been hosting the contents of our old steel shed. The shed had to be moved from its corner in order to replace the fence so everything inside had to be removed. Since the shed needed to be replaced, there was no sense in putting everything back again only to repeat the whole process once the new shed arrived. The replacement shed was installed last week but can not be populated until it is painted and moved into its final position. In the meantime my backyard is sporting old garden hoses, a camping porta-potty, rusty tool boxes, garden tools, snow shovels and all manner of detritus. In spite of the rag tag look of it all, I love the mess because it is a sign of change. Change is messy. Change is uncomfortable and change can be very inconvenient but it is a necessary part of renewal. Although my eyes see the mess every day, I focus on the image of the end result contained inside my head and look forward to the day my family and I can enjoy a meal in our beautifully finished backyard.

Yet another project will take place indoors. The wooden floor in my daughter's room, which has been hidden under vinyl flooring for the past 18 years, is going to be refinished for the first time since my husband and I bought the house. We delivered her to summer camp yesterday so she is out of the house during this project. As a bonus, I've been given a wonderful Moroccan rug with braided fringe by my sister and brother-in-law that I'm going to place on the newly refinished floor. She's been in this room since before kindergarten and this is the first major change being made in all these years. Of course, refinishing a floor means taking out all the furniture, then replacing it after the job is complete. Although the room is small, this is no small task. It's just one more thing on my list of Things To Do.

Eventually one of two things will happen. Either all the work will get done and I'll be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor or time will run out, the new school year will begin and the weather will become too cold for outdoor projects. Until then I will toil, a little each day, nibbling away at the massive amount of work that is yet to be done. An old joke asks, "How do you eat an elephant?". The answer..."One bite at a time".

Ballo ergo sum,
Always and all ways,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

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