Building My Nest

I was sitting around doing nothing (well, I was reading, so that’s not really nothing) when it suddenly dawned on me that although the alterations on the house have again come to a standstill, my nest building didn’t also have to be on hold.

The foundation on the porch is finished, and the subfloor in place. The top floor won’t be laid until both the garage and the basement are done to keep from ruining the contractor’s hard work (and that won’t be done for a few more weeks, won’t even be started for another week), so I figured I could put all the stuff to be eventually stored in the basement and garage out on the porch instead of in my office (where it now is).

So I’ve been working — hard! And I have the stiffness and soreness to prove it.

It took a few days to clear most things out of the room. There is still a whole row of boxes along one wall, but a lot of that is in file boxes that will eventually be hidden under the bed.

So now it’s a matter of putting the daybed together.

If that’s not enough pieces to scare anyone, there are two boxes not in this photo, that contain perhaps a hundred tiny little pieces, not just screws and such, but pieces to lock the slats in place and a few other finishing touches.

Oh, my. Maybe I’ll go back to reading . . .

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

 

Next Week is Here!

Every time I talked to the contractor who’d agreed to fix the foundation of my enclosed porch, he told me he’d be able to do it “next week.” Well, yesterday he showed up! He and his worker got right to work, and ripped up the old floor of the porch. If the basement isn’t enough of a setting for a horror story (or at least a rather trite novel about a new houseowner who finds a buried body), this boardless porch certainly would add to the creepiness of the story.

We found an old cistern under the floor and decided not to open it. Not that there would be anything in there, though the contractor did admit he has found bodies buried at some of the sites where he worked. (That’s not as sinister as it sounds. In Colorado, some counties have no laws — or at least they didn’t — about not burying your deceased on your property, so many country-folk buried their own dead instead of forking out for the undertaker.)

Still, burial site or not, I took a photo of the hole under the porch in case I ever need inspiration.

By the time this particular job is finished, the porch truly will be enclosed. The new concrete foundation will go all around the porch, keeping out critters, moisture, and any nefarious types who might want to dig for whatever might be buried in the cistern, but the hole will still be there.

Out of sight, out of mind? Let’s hope so!

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Unsettled

I’ve been feeling a bit down the past couple of days. My nest building has come to a standstill because I can’t do any more unpacking until the foundation of the enclosed back porch (soon-to-be exercise and storage room) is fixed, and the guy who promised to fix it has so far been too busy to do the work. It’s always “next week” and apparently, next week never comes.

That’s not really a major issue, though, just a bit of frustration that adds to my overall feeling of being unsettled.

My meeting people has also come to a standstill. Although people I encounter have been nice to me, I spend most of my time alone, which isn’t a new development, of course, but that aloneness, too, adds to my feeling of being unsettled.

What isn’t coming to a standstill are all the small things that demand attention, such as a breaker box that was stuck (it took a guy from the electric company two hours to dismantle it and put it back together), smoke alarms that need to be replaced, scammers sorted out from the official folks I need to deal with. All these things make me wonder if I’m in over my head, which contribute to my feeling unsettled.

Mostly, though, it’s the date. I’d forgotten tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of Jeff’s death, but a tightness in my chest and stinging eyes have reminded me of why I am here in this place, this house.

Because he is gone.

My sadness this anniversary is more nostalgic than painful. My missing him doesn’t feel as personal as it used to. For most of my years of grief I lamented that I never felt any different. Lamented that I hadn’t changed. But being here in this house, trying to create a new life for myself, tells me the truth. I am not at all the same person who struggled to live while her soul mate struggled to die. Not at all the same person who witnessed the death of the one person who anchored her to life. Not at all the same person who screamed her angst to the uncaring desert skies. That woman, I am sure, is still feeling the agony of his absence, but she is not me. She could never do the things I am doing.

Despite all the changes, I still worry about stagnating — becoming the crazy cat lady sans cats — and so far, there is nothing in my new life that precludes this from happening.

I tell myself to be patient, that my new life will be revealed (will unfold?) in the years ahead, but for now, I’m feeling . . . unsettled.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.