A tingling warm sensation tenderly caresses my skin as I drift in and out, my eyes refusing to give in to the rising sun. The soft dancing rays arouse my thoughts as if to say, “Good morning! Get up. We have so much to do today.” My body aches from tip to toe as the to-do list has been growing two-fold for every chore completed since moving into our new home. Tasks so large that it’s best for me to jump from one to another, taking breaks from the monotony and to give these muscles a rest. This new but old house has been demanding our love and attention, its beauty hidden by years of neglect and lack of attention. As if it were an onion, we peel back a layer and another layer is exposed, and we could almost cry. We continue because there is something so very special about this place we want to call home, sweet home.
Onward to my next task, my eyes drift upward over each step of our new ladder as it leans slightly against the eighteen-foot-tall bookcase. When we purchased this house, we thought of all the creative things we could do with the empty shelves since we didn’t own enough books to fill such an enormous library. Standing at the base of the ladder amid twenty plus boxes marked BOOKS/LIBRARY in red marker, I regretted not thinking to note what genre was in each box while packing. With little to go on, I opened each box and sorted books out how I could imagine them on the shelves.
An idea came to mind: I wanted all the original Harry Potter books on the top shelf! I grabbed as many as my right arm could hold and took one step at a time, advancing up, one hand on the ladder and one wrapped around the books. I wished I wasn’t such a muggle! I was halfway up the ladder, beads of perspiration streaming down my face, when my nerves got the best of me. I didn’t dare drop these books ten feet, so I continued onward and upward. My feet reached the third from top step as my whole thought process of this adventure faltered. I hadn’t taken into consideration that I’d have to let go with my left hand to grab one book at a time and place it on the shelf, and the books were too heavy to place them on the shelf with my right arm. Frozen at fourteen feet up, I balanced on that ladder and thought about my next move, only to realize my right arm was growing so tired. I was in fear it would just give out and the books would crash to the hardwood floor below.
“Hermione, help me!” I called out in despair, my voice echoing in the still barely furnished room.
Sometimes it takes just asking for help and POOF, the books were on the top shelf. It took me days to finish and to our surprise, we had filled the bookshelf with our books plus left all the Disney books for the “theme park” room and all of the aquatic type books for the “sailboat” themed room. The most accomplished task thus far has been filling that eighteen-foot-tall bookcase. Another triumph has been watching the recycle truck come and take away the dozens of boxes I’ve cut down and piled next to the road, thinking of how long it took to open, empty, and find new places for the content of each and every one. Another accomplishment was refinishing a teak table left behind by the previous owners and bringing its beautiful wood back to life. It took me four days of sanding, three days to get the mold and mildew off, and a couple hours to oil it. Yard work, painting, and cleaning are a process that will all take time.
I’ve never felt overwhelmed by the simple task of changing lightbulbs until now because they are eighteen to twenty feet high and sprinkled around the center of the ceiling. But life is full of obstacles and if we don’t learn to adjust, adapt, and accept the challenges, we might miss the sweet feeling of accomplishment. Our success will come at the end of this long process when we can truly call this our home, sweet home.