Sunday, August 14, 2011

Two Months Later...

This week marked two months since the house fire. The rebuilding began and the block walls are up...


...despite having to dig out one wall because the crack was growing, a major undertaking. However the wall you see here is the new one.

The Amish block layers are very fast and efficient. Next week the framing crew begins.

In our current abode the restoration and replacement duties are ongoing.

I remember the first night we were here I made sure all the counters were uncluttered and clean before going to bed. Not anymore. There are items to be cleaned on one side of the sink. I try to carry down a load from the ozone room every day, or bring in an armful from the garage every time I go out there. On the other counter are piles of letters, photos, and files that I am sorting and organizing. Then there's one end of the dining room table where more such activities take place. I am very grateful for all these spaces to work on not only the things we salvaged from the house, but also all that my brother brought from my parent's home when they moved Mother into Grace Village. My goal is to have all these resources ready, organized and filed by the time we move into our rebuilt home and I have my new and fully equipped writing center!

My grandfather, and my father also, saved every piece of correspondence with each of the children over the years. These many files have been passed down and now I have become the family archivist.
I visited my mother this week and took along one of the unopened packets from the archives--the letters she wrote home when she was in college! We read them together. It was so much fun, we laughed a lot. For me it was interesting to get to know Mother in new ways.

She did not remember much and could not recognize herself, the Kathryn of 70 years ago. We kept reading about her driving someone's car and running errands. She couldn't believe it and kept saying things like, "She's driving...There she goes again!" To which I responded, "Mother, that was you!"
In many ways she was like college students nowadays, very busy, many activities, work and studies. Also in love, became engaged, not happy with her grades compared to those of her friends. One thing that was very different--quiet hours began at 8:30 pm!

I chose to go up Tuesday in order to coincide with the visit of an old OM friend from 40+ years ago who was visiting her uncle in the same Health Center where Dad is. She is a talented musician, carries her own keyboard and sings in nursing homes. Most of our visit was spent singing together. We enjoyed that so much and the residents begged for more.

A few other activities of the week:

We celebrated Karen's 36th birthday at Monday Dinner, in our own crazy creative Koch way...

...with unique and practical gifts.

While there I peeked into Kayla's new room.

Mike had no students show up at the Red Barn on Tuesday, but they made up for it on Wednesday.

Tomorrow classes begin in our area schools, so the Pottery studio will go back to a regular schedule (MWF).

Thursday morning we went on a tandem date to McDonald's for breakfast, 18 miles the long way.

Saturday we went our separate ways for an extra effort exercise adventure: Mike rode 70 miles with his cycling club; and I ran another 5K at the Popcorn Festival.


sara said...

it's got to be exciting to see the walls go up!!!

I always love your shadow pictures on your bike!!!

your mom has such a sweet smile. I think that is one thing this next generation will miss out on....old letters and writings and seeing yourself when you were young...sad.


What a busy week you had. I remember when my mom did the same things your mom is doing. I made a calendar of pictures for her for Christmas...and in July used a picture she gave my dad on their first anniversary....she did not know it was her and got a little hostile with me when I tried to convince her it was her. My heart and prayers are with you as you deal with the aging parent role.

Lori: Teacher Turned Mommy said...

love the shadow picture. hope things continue to progress on the house while the weather is still nice. Enjoy your week

Kim said...

What a busy week! So happy to see work on the house begin, and to hear of your progress with restoration and organization. What fun to connect with your old OM friend! We have been amazed and blessed with the many opportunities God is giving to connect with old friends during this time in the U.S. so I know what a blessing it was for you.

skoots1mom said...

so much fun going thru it!
great to see the rebuilding...
i LOVE to hear your singing...soooo pretty!

The Bug said...

I was just thinking about your tandem bike the other day - I'm so glad to see a picture of it today :)

I enjoyed the duet - I'll bet the folks there really enjoyed it as well. My dad leads the singing for a Sunday School class at a local nursing home. It's mostly just him singing, but the folks who attend the class love it.

I loved the picture of your practical gifts - but please don't try to give me cabbage. Yuck! :)

Oldfangled said...

Never mind, you didn't skip G. I just got confused because you did F both before and after G!