Clint and I bought a used pontoon boat this week, a bit of a fixer-upper. She floats, and she runs, but she needs a little elbow grease and rewiring at the least. Clint is a stickler for detail and years of half-ass maintenance from the previous owners will not do. Combined with my homemaking tendencies we have bitten off a bit of a project.
We set out today to begin spiffing. After a quick soap & water wash, Clint began to deal with wiring issues and counting nuts and bolts that need to be replaced, while I began polishing stainless steel.While we worked, we stewed over a re-upholstering project that we're both confident we can do on our own.
After 4 hours, my wrists and shoulders had had enough, and Clint had pulled things apart and had a shopping list a mile long of items that must be purchased before the show can go on.
Phase II of the day consisted of 4 more hours of shopping. Marine batteries and headlights and taillights and wiring and pins and buoys and anchors, and Oh. My. God: The shopping was more brutal than the elbow grease.
I recently referred to how much my life has changed in the last couple of years. A year ago a Sunday consisted of my rising early, driving to Mom's house to wake her, dispense meds, give her a shower, fix her breakfast, and start laundry or dishes.
I would have snuggled her down with some TV Land, promised to come back at lunch, and driven back home for a Sunday breakfast with Clint. After starting my own laundry and chores I would have gone back to her house to pick her up for the afternoon, and bring her home for lunch. She would stay on my heels while I tried to tend my own obligations
At 4 or 5 in the evening, I'd take her back home, where I'd fix her dinner and hand out p.m. meds. I'd brush her teeth, put her into her pajamas, make sure she could find her baby doll and her bible, set out a cup of hot tea and a snack in case she awoke. Lights were left on, the sheets pulled down, and I'd lock the doors and trust her to find her way from her chair to her bed before I'd return again the next morning.
After I left her house, I'd shop, pick up prescriptions and groceries, and swing by the post office to drop off bills, or whatever else needed doing before Monday morning came again.
That was Sunday—my LEISURE day. A day I could tend to all of that without a pesky 8-hour block of my own livelihood stuck in the middle.
And even that damned livelihood was questionable, having lost my job of 24 years, and picked up one after another to make ends meet. I was fortunate that I remained employed, but at $1K less a month when I was far from rich in the first place. Ramen noodles were my friend in 2011. $1.20 for a week's worth of lunches in the office = Godsend.
I haven't touched on the fact that I began a fantastic new job in January. That I'm working in a field I know and love once again would have been enough for me. I have lost my sense of entitlement in a workplace after chugging along with a struggling company for years, then hopping from one mundane job to another. But, BONUS!! Not only am I doing work I love, it's for a company that has what is referred to as benefits, benefits so lovely that I almost burst into tears when they were ticked off to me in my initial interview. Oh please, I ached, don't even tell me about them if you don't intend to hire me.
A poor little waif, I have been, yes?!!
Kind of, yes.
I've met a lot of wonderful people in the last year, and for those of you new to this blog, (and to me), in the last 5 years I sent my son to Iraq twice, lost my sister to ovarian cancer, and cared for my mother, with Alzheimer's, as best I could until 1 year ago, when at the same time I lost my job of 24 years.
I hereby declare that this is the last time I will summarize all of these events in a manner that assumes that these situations consumed my entire identity.
Because the truth is, none of these factors are present in my life now.
... I have nothing to worry about.
While that does make my head spin a bit, by God, if I can live through all that stress, I think I'll manage to learn to also live without it.
Back to today, then...4 hours of shopping today almost did me in. We didn't find half of what we need to fix up the pontoon to our liking, but while we were out, I had Clint pull over to Office Depot so I could buy printer ink, and then to Michael's, where I was looking for ribbon, but instead ended up buying a canvas for a painting I'm going to do for our bedroom wall. It was 60% off $44, so I only paid $18.
By 6 p.m., I was so tired I announced that I was NOT cutting up pepper and onion and that 1 lone steak I pulled out of the freezer to make Dinner-Surprise, so we had better pull over somewhere and pick up a frozen pizza.
We did, and upon stepping inside the house, Clint turned on the oven and announced that he was fixing dinner tonight. I poured myself a glass of pinot grigio and announced that I'd be in charge of wine on the deck.
And this, my friends, is where I am in 2012.
Can I say it too many times?
I have nothing to worry about.
Weeks or months or years, I know it's only temporary.
Still, I am thankful.