Tuesday, September 24, 2013

LITTLE (AND BIG) BUSYNESS

Great peace is found in little busy-ness.        
                                           --Chaucer

When I found this quote (again in Healing after Loss), my first thought was that since I took over the finances and particularly since the flood, I have had no lack of busy-ness.  My reconstruction agent told me that there was a lot to do, and each day I am discovering more of what she meant.  She is very organized, and as I watch the way she works, I have been learning more about becoming organized, even though it will never be part of me the way it is with her.  But as we have worked in the different areas affected by the flood, moved furniture, and decided on paint, tile, and yesterday, some of the laminated lumber, I have watched in admiration as she paints a wall, then goes to work on tile while the paint dries, looks up something we need on the computer while the tile sets,  so that the work is always going forward.  She has been here almost every day, organizing the work and looking forward to what we need to do next, and not only am I enjoying seeing the work proceed, but I have enjoyed getting to know her even better since we have time to talk as well.  She has good advice for the greeting card business I will have in my new office as well as for how to organize the storage room so the grandchildren will have a nice play area.  She told me that when she was four, her father gave her her first saw, and she has been working with tools ever since.

So far, she cut and laid the tile for the laundry room and half bath, installed a mural (which she cut to fit the walls) and painted the ocean up the wall, and is now extending that to the nearby cabinets which were in bad shape.  We found a porthole mirror to replace the old one my parents had put up which was gradually browning out, and re-installed the washer, dryer and toilet, with my son's help.  In what will be my office, the walls are now a light, tranquil lilac, with one large wall a deep purple.  We've ordered new triple glazed windows that will lower our energy bills, and she's installed tile in the entry to the office, which I think she will grout today.  And we've recycled three bins full of old papers, sent batches of old furniture to St. Vincent de Paul (except for two chairs, which they refused, but were picked up by someone after a few days on the sidewalk in front of our house). Yesterday we picked up the laminated lumber for the storage room (which only had a plywood floor) at a great discount, and found the lumber we want for the office, at a price half what we had seen at another store.  And last week, she and my son spent about six hours installing the lighting for the office--a beautiful sixteen foot track that is bent in curves, with halogen lights that swivel in any direction and light up the entire office area.  One of my favorite things that she has done is to give me a supply closet.  Before, it had a file cabinet in it, filled with old files, which we either recycled or gave to the appropriate parties, and now it is painted in varying shades of purple (as she used up the paint on her roller), with white shelves that are almost full of office supplies which I have discovered in various other parts of the house.  She even stenciled little birds flying or sitting on the walls of the closet, and I leave the door of the closet open just to enjoy the view!

And although I am much busier with all of this than I ever expected I would be when I became a widow, it has been very therapeutic most of the time.  While I don't know that I could say that I have "great peace," I have found that small islands of peace emerge from great busy-ness.

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