". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

An Untidy Thanksgiving

The work on our house continues. Once upon a time I hoped it would be done in time for us to host an election party. Then I imagined an intact home for Thanksgiving. Now I am setting my sights on Christmas.

The electrical upgrade is done. So is the roof. Part of it had to be rebuilt because the overhang was removed when the sunroom was put on. This entire side of the house now has new roofing and venting. No siding yet, but at least we have progressed from plastic to Tyvek!

If you've been following this saga from the beginning, you know that the French doors in the above picture are not exterior doors and will need to be replaced with something weather-worthy. That hasn't happened yet, and it's cold in Chicago right now! Time for Plan B. We decided a blanket over the door on the other side might be just the thing. I rustled up a likely candidate and Mr. Round Unvarnish'd went to work. Only, the first time he hung up the blanket he did so with the pretty side facing out. Men. I pointed out the error of his ways and he dutifully pulled out the nails and made the necessary adjustment.

I think it actually looks kind of Thanksgiving-y, in an Indian blanket sort of way. Good thing, too, since the kitchen is where we will be eating Thanksgiving dinner this year. I present, for your consideration, our dining room:

I am, very simply, running out of places to put things and am piling, stashing and stuffing them wherever I can. Our family room is still in serious disarray, with many of its usual occupants displaced to other parts of the house.

So Thanksgiving in the kitchen it is. At least we have been able to move our kitchen table back to the kitchen table spot instead of having it occupy the work space between sink and stove. Things are so crowded right now that we considered letting Cracker Barrel provide tomorrow's repast. But a mere three days ago I picked up the smoked portions of the pig we bought this fall, which means we are now the proud owners of not one but two hams. One of those will be cooked tomorrow. To that we are adding sweet potatoes, cole slaw, green beans, deviled eggs, fresh bread, Riesling, and French silk pie purchased from the Jewel bakery. It will only be our immediate family gathered around the table, and we decided that what we most desired this year was simplicity.

I am naturally a quite orderly person: I like having "a place for everything and everything in its place." But it's getting harder and harder to hold to that standard. For years now neither life nor my brain has been cooperating, and I have been having to adjust accordingly. Now this. Surprisingly, I have not been overly stressed by the disorderliness of our home. I know this is temporary. There is really nothing I can do but wait it out, clean what I can clean, and ignore the rest. So hey, maybe this whole thing is actually making me grow into a better person, forcing me to keep the value of tidiness and order in proper perspective.

At the same time, there is a limit to how much "growth" one body can sustain. Come Christmas, if I don't have room for a proper Christmas tree, all bets are off and I will not be responsible for the babbling idiot that bears my name.


Elephantschild said...

It really is going quite fast, Cheryl. Doesn't feel like it, I know, but it is.

Melanie T said...

I remember living in similar chaos a little over a year ago. It is difficult, but the end result is so worth the inconvenience while you wait. Really. I promise.

And, like EC said, it does seem to be getting done at a reasonable pace. Hang in there! It will be over soon.