Monday, November 1, 2010

Through the Chaos, Dust and Dirt

Well, here's a biggie.  I cleaned the tool room on Saturday.  That's how I showed my good man that I love him.

When we bought our house, I am sure I mentioned this before, it had to have some work before we could move in.  We had only a matter of days to do it all, pack up our rental and relocate before the end of the year deadline.  At which time the house we were living in was to be sold.  I happened to be two weeks from delivering our 4th baby and homeschooling the three girls, to boot.  Allen had just started a new job that summer and had no leave available.

We asked God how we were to do such a thing.  He sent his answer in the way of volunteers.  Most of our church family turned out at one time or another in those days, some working for a week straight and others working the whole night long.  There was a steady stream of people coming and going day and night until our furniture was unpacked, curtains hung and the children tucked into bed the night of moving day.  I have never felt so overwhelmingly humbled by the love and kindness of God's people... until... about a thousand times over they reached out to us in different times of need for prayer, help or a hand. God's family is truly amazing.  I often wonder how Christians today can get by in this world without a church to call home.  I know we could  not.

But I am getting off topic here.  (Hmmm... those who have never been to our family blog may not realize this is a normal thing for me... so grab some coffee.  I am in a hotel room alone, all day with just me and my lap top.  There's nothing to stop me... except maybe lunch. ☺)

Anyway, at settlement our basement had been finished with tile floors, paneling and a bathroom.  Unfortunately, neglected water issues had left it crawling with mildew and the place had to be gutted back to the studs in order to treat the growth behind the walls and under the tile.  The male volunteers handled this heavier and dirtier work, while the ladies stripped wallpaper upstairs in preparation for a fire restoration company to come and do their job of removing the built up cigarette smoke of thirty years.  

Now, in the basement, there was a small boxed in area.  It was too big to be a closet and too small to be a room.  It had no windows but a door frame, minus the door.  I have never figured out what it was intended to be.  It would have been a beautiful little sewing corner.  Even a great canning  closet.  But I was too slow.  The men, seeing the gem it was, quickly claimed it as the "tool room."  With so many people coming and going and different crews at different times throughout the days, they needed a place where anyone could locate the tools they needed at anytime.  Everything got tossed in there.  All neat and orderly like some tool convention.  NOT!  It was a disaster.  And, being Allen's territory, has remained so for the last eight years.

Until Saturday.  One of the jobs on the long list of projects that need to be done to finish our basement refinish job (if you are really interested in this story you can read about it here on my family blog.) was to clean out this room/closet in order to make room for Allen's huge rolling tool chest and the top that converts the pool table into a ping pong table.  They have always just sat in the foyer, near the wood stove, waiting for a home.  With construction of the built-ins and wardrobe well underway, they needed to get out of the way to paint the wall to be ready when the carpenter calls.

With Allen traveling constantly since the beginning of October and no end in sight, he hasn't had time to even look at it.  Not to mention with so many home improvement projects going on right now, the contents have spilled out over the rest of the basement, making it hard to locate anything.  Add to that, my hubby's long to do list relating to said home improvement projects and it seems the whole thing could quickly become stressful for a man who already has too much on his plate.

Saturday, as he worked to hang wainscot and trim in the basement, I was left with a list of projects of my own.  Bake a cake.  Write a few blog posts.  Laundry.  Ironing.  Sewing.  Book keeping.  Yard work.  Email replies.  The list goes on and on.

And really, after a week apart, all I really wanted to do was play.  Grab the kids.  Grab the hubby and take off for parts unknown where home improvements don't exist.

However, as I looked at my man working so diligently to make our little corner of the world nicer.  I wanted to do something to make his load a little lighter.  I put aside all I wanted to do and all I needed to do, and started cleaning the tool room.

First tossing the paint that was no longer any good.  Then the paint that was never good to begin with.  (Can we say Pumpkin pie?)  On and on cleaning shelves.  Digging through boxes.  Clearing hooks.  Until six hours later when the floor was in sight.  I was sneezing and covered in dust.  Very tired and quite frankly, getting grumpy.  I still had piles of stuff all over the basement that needed to be tossed, organized and sorted through, but for the first time since we bought the house, the floor was visible and that was an amazing accomplishment.

Not to mention all the stuff I found!  Items that were bought for projects which had disappeared years ago and had to be repurchased.  Duplicates and triplicates of tools that went missing.  The under-layment for the floor we laid in September.  Long forgotten and unfinished projects, like a picture frame that was started at our old house and  a shelf intended to go in the girls bedroom!  The same bedroom that is slighted for the next remodel and makeover.

It was, indeed, a trove of treasures just waiting to be discovered.  But the best treasure of all, was being able to sacrifice my Saturday to tell some one special how much I love him, even through the chaos, dust and dirt.