Monday, December 31, 2012

Plans for the New Year

I've begun thinking about 2013 and my plans for the new years. I don't make resolutions, but I am a planner and list-maker.

I've been pondering about working harder this coming year, also. I've struggled over the past three years, since Don died. It's been hard to go forward with what needs to be done around my house and property. He was the maintenance/remodel person on our team of two. If something needed fixed, he was the fixer. I was the sustainer. While he was working on a project, I would bring him lemonade or hot coffee--depending on the season. I would fix a nice lunch with a favorite sandwich or soup. I would keep him going and he would get the job done. We had fun and the job got done!

I've been making more of an effort the last six months to work harder and try to fit myself into the mold of maintainer of my home. I've been stretching my mind to test the possibilities of what I might be able to accomplish on my own. I try to ask myself, "With God's help, what is within the range of my abilities?" The internet is such a huge resource, that I've found I can do much more that I would have been able to do a few years ago.

God always provides the help and support that I need. I'm leaning more and more upon Him. It's not easy, though, and I sometimes fall back into my "do nothing" mode.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I can't seem to get past it! So many days, I feel completely overwhelmed. I do so well--for a day or two--maybe even three! Then, it hits me again. I'm engulfed in a mudslide. At first, I just slip a little. Then, I really start to slide, and I feel as if I'm losing control. I can't gain any footing. I look around desperately. I say to myself, "It isn't really bad at all! It just seems that way for the moment. Get a grip!"

Whew! OK, I take a deep breath and let it out. Not exactly slowly. My breath sort of chugs out, and I shudder. I try to gain control. I can do this life. I know I can. I must. Concentrate on something you do have control over. Oh, yeah, I will go put a load of clothes from the washer into the dryer. I can do that...Things return to normal.

The holidays are hard for me, still, but not in the way I might expect. Yes, I do miss Don as much as ever, but that is a constant. The most difficult part is doing all that must be done by myself and without him. I am fortunate to have people who help me. For example, my son-in-law got down my artificial tree at Thanksgiving. It is impossible for me to get it down from the loft over the garage, so his thoughtfulness was much appreciated.

Putting the tree together had always been a joint effort for Don and me. I would fluff and he would attach. He put on the lights. I put on the ornaments. Alone, it took me a few days. I did enjoy it, but it was very time-consuming. Today, I am thinking ahead to the task of taking it all down. That will take another few days. It can be almost overwhelming, but not quite.

I think the problem for me is--all the "not quite" tasks put together. That's where it gets almost too much! Then, I must rely on the One, who is always with me, as I say to myself, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."(Philippians 4:13)


Friday, August 31, 2012

Decision on Paving

Today, I met with Mark, a congenial representative from the paving company. He gave me an estimate on the paving that I hope to get done before winter. I have been lamenting through the 3 winters, since I've been a widow, the decision not to have done the paving before my husband died.

My driveways are a continual point of stress for me. The gravel causes problems for people, who pull onto my down-sloping drive--not when they pull in, but when they attempt to back out. Then, there are the weeds that come up through the gravel--a constant battle in the 3 seasons of growth. In the winter, when we have ice or snow, there are times the drives are totally impassable without 4-wheel drive, due to the hilly terrain. The biggest "stressor" comes from a drainage problem next to the front of the house, adjacent to the driveway. I was fearful that if I didn't go with a pricier, more commercial company that this problem wouldn't be solved. Although, a couple of friends recommended smaller, less expensive outfits, I was afraid to give them a try. I'm praying that I chose the right company to do business with.

It will take a chunk of money.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Going Forward

Life has been moving right along, and I'm now a widow of almost 3 years--specifically: 2 years and 22 months. Mine was a traditional marriage. I was in charge of the household and my husband was in charge of the outdoor space and everything mechanical and technological. He was the fixer.

Today, I met with Mike, the propane man. He installed new regulators for me, as now required by law to be replaced every 15 years. He showed me where the emergency cut-off was located and how to turn it off. I didn't know there was an emergency shut-off, so I feel more in control now. These are things I need to know in my new normal.

My biggest accomplishment, however, was in asking him for information about installing an additional, hot water heater--gas. I recently went to Lowe's and was told that they would not install a new one, unless it replaced an old one--something about liability. Mike looked things over and told me that he could install the new, gas hot water heater. He wrote down information, as he examined the area, where I plan to add the gas hot water heater. I will get a call, soon, to give me a bid on the cost.

I am so relieved that I was able to do this task without making myself sick with worry. I guess I've finally adjusted to the new normal of being a widow who is confident and able to go forward into new territory.