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On The Bright Side

I am sitting in Allen's mom's dining area waiting out the ice storm that prevents us from going to our home two very long hills and about a mile away. My goal today was to paint the kitchen a pale green (something called paradise isle), but it may have to wait until it's safe for us to drive on the icy hills. Looking on the bright side, we are safe and warm and well fed in Jackie's apartment during this cold spell.



Why are we still here when the movers picked up our stuff in Maryland almost a month ago? Well, they still have not delivered our household goods. It seems the driver and moving van are stuck in a snowstorm in Montana--so we have been told. At this point in time, we do not trust anything they say. No one in Colonial Van Lines contacts us to tell us anything--not our account manager who contacted us only once a month ago or the driver or anyone else. Looking on the bright side, they are providing us time to fix up our home after 10 years of being rented out.


Fixing up the House


To say the least, our 1926 brick home needs a lot of work. An exterminator told us the only bugs we had were spiders--nothing else. Pictured here is Norma washing baseboards in the dining room with Ariel, our beloved bird, supervising and looking out for anything or anyone in another room.


While Norma paints, wallpapers, dusts, washes and makes lunches, Allen and Hernando (from JJ Jefferson Company) are doing the really hard work. Pictured below, Hernando repaired the lathe and plaster in two rooms from leaking windows in two bedrooms.



Our home was built in 1926 with lathe and plaster, and while this looks like a big job, the really big job is happening in the basement which Allen single handedly is turning into an apartment for our son Adam who is also helping him and me repair, paint, and redesign the house.


Allen, Adam and I are spending lots of time (and money) making these changes. In addition to his do-it-yourself attitude, Allen is multi-talented and does his research. Slowly, I am reconciling to his independent approach when I see him ripping apart the sound-proof lathe and plaster of our basement ceiling pictured below. Needless to say, this is a great deal of work, and we are trying to take our time. However, Adam's lease on his Queen Anne apartment runs out January 16th, and a lot has to be done to all three floors of the home.


Looking on the bright side, each room will have a new coat of paint, now with color! The only exceptions are the living and dining room areas with a very special Camelia color that we are struggling to find to match the original color. The basement, however, will have a new ceiling, a new floor, and Adam plans for tapestries after we use waterproof paint on the walls.


The stress of waiting for the van with our stuff is overshadowed by the enormous amount of work needed to get the house ready for us to move Adam in downstairs and to leave for Annapolis in March to get ready to go sailing. Allen's stress from working at NIST has mostly abated, but he has taken on other huge equally difficult challenges--building an apartment and upgrading our permanent home. To tell the truth, he is actually still working on IEEE standards on his down time at his mom's apartment.


The drive across the country was easy compared to what needs to be done here! It was great to see Tammy, Ann and Bob, Emmy, Rick and Jen on our way. (Pictured below are Rick and Jen just after Rick biked home several miles from his work as an accountant.)


By the way, when I called, Colonial indicated that the moving van might be here December 27-28; they really don't know. Having such a huge van crawl safely up Magnolia's icy hills will be another blog. Talk to you later, Norma 12/22/22



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