As another busy season is approaching, I am reviewing all the blog posts, I didn’t post yet. This one is from last spring – ironic as I awoke to a snow covered ground this morning.
COVID Spring Break – Round 2. With determination to take advantage of this time, we started looking at options early. By options, lets be honest – options were only to go to family. I knew that my husband wanted to go to Wyoming and see our oldest. This quickly became a boys trip. I would need to stay home with my mom.
As the days passed, our youngest had an option to spend 5 days in West Virginia with friends on a boys trip. Ok. Plans sealed. Tickets purchased. Two to Wyoming and One to West Virginia.
Just an update, kitchen not finished yet. (6 months) Plans now say we should be finished no later than early the week of spring break. OK…lets just keep moving forward. I scheduled ductwork to be cleaned. Sofas and Carpets to be cleaned. Yes, I also scheduled a few girl’s nights.
As the week approached, my mom appeared to be going downhill. Not health wise but definitely emotionally. Despondent is the word that best described her for two days. Her husband had suggested the week prior that maybe a visit to my sister’s family for her would be in order. I had mentioned it to my sister and we looked at plans. A trip as an immediate solution was quickly moving months out. The morning after I had seen her at an all time low, my step father came out to tell me she was going back to bed with a headache and possibly getting sick. I went directly into my moms room and plopped on her bed, After a quick assessment, I just told her she can’t be sick, today is the day she is going to my sisters! She sat straight up and said, “Well I better get cleaned!” My mom was back. (Yes, I still gave her a Tylenol and made her drink extra fluids.) Within 3 hours, mom with a smile on her face and tension removed, was packed and in the car heading to my sister’s family! (A HUGE thank you to my sister who acknowledged that this HAD to happen and rearranged her world so it could. Love you!!)
Holy cow – process that…one more person not under my roof for a week or more! I started putting together lists of tasks that could be quickly completed without having to drive anyone anywhere , or stop to solve “what’s for dinner?” problem, or make sure everyone has taken their medications. Not a minute should be wasted. Well, maybe a few minutes – seriously.
Fast forward… the rest of the travelers are packed and on their way. All last minute tasks completed. One saddened golden retriever and myself are remaining in the main house. Off to the races I go.
A quick exchange at the storage shed, last of the Christmas items in and spring linens out. Stop judging – yes there were still Christmas items floating around the house! Real world here. Starting in the master, fresh linens on the bed and the spring comforter. Curtains swapped. Lighter already. The cleaning people will do a deep clean in two days in this room. I can’t change the oriental rug with the summer one on my own, guess that will wait for the guys! Laundry caught up. Winter wardrobe swapped for spring (usually a sign that it will snow again!). Drawers cleaned and the Goodwill pile to the car.
Laid projects out for the next day. A good start. Followed by a Michelob Ultra and chips and chunky guac for dinner! Spoiler alert- night two – bloody mary and popcorn- shhh don’t tell!
This pattern continued. I did chores. The contractors did chores. By Friday, I felt like I might be able to pull off this undertaking. Outside, beds were weeded, sprayed and mulch laid. Fertilizer applied. Grass cut. (Don’t be crazy – I hired all that out!!) New flag hanging. (Yes, I hung the flag myself!) Inside, ceilings painted, great room painted, carpets professionally cleaned. Sofas cleaned. Kitchen lighting installed. Checklist moving toward completion.
Never under estimate the stress that uncompleted projects can have on your household. I am feeling as if a weight has been lifted off of me. After checking in with my husband, he sounds relaxed. My mom is relaxing in another state without chores looming over her.
Needless to say, at the end of the week everyone returned home. Not every last item was completed. But – that long list of to-dos for each family member was greatly minimized. Instead of almost an acre of land to prepare for spring, pots just needed to be planted. The kitchen was still under construction but the ancillary projects of painting and deep cleaning adjoining rooms had been completed. Spring linens on beds and windows, winter ones stored.
This week gave every person a chance to rest. Yes, I was busy, but on my own schedule and only responsible for me and the dog! That IS rest!! I realize not everyone has the means to send most of their family on vacation in order to reset their households. I do encourage each person that is caring for others, to take advantage of friends and community resources that can and will come sit with your loved one, while you take care of you! Make your bed or just take an extra long shower – just do something that lightens your environment. This isn’t about solving world peace.
Family dinner and chatter filled my nights and my heart for several days as I welcomed my husband and son, then the next son and finally my mom home. FYI – those girls’ nights out never happened that week.
Thank you for for caring for all those that need and love you.
Thanks for being here with me,
“Wherever you are, be all there.”Jim Elliot