December 27, 2010

The Day After Christmas and other Ghost Stories

The process of restoring an old building is endless; it's like - oh - what can go wrong next? We were eating our traditional Christmas Eve fondues when suddenly the electricity went off. The music stopped, the heater died and the refrigerator stopped humming. Thankfully we had candles and Sterno and could continue with dinner. We've been without electricity before on holidays so I have to take such emergencies in stride (more or less), because of prior experiences. We have had stoves stop working, sewer backing up, ice stoppage on roof tops, and plaster ceilings caving in.

Last year, my husband fell of the roof and so we spent the day after Christmas in the emergency room, which turned out to be a blessing. As we were we leaving, his Doctor stopped us and said – “No, you are not alright.” It turned out the C-scan showed a mass in his sinuses and he had to have an operation that saved his life. 

I blame the troubles on our ghosts, but I am also thankful for them because they have revealed information that we ‘needed to know and heed.’ Like at 2:30 AM this morning. I woke up suddenly with the urge to check on the puppies. I turned on the light in the room and looked down into their digs and counted - only four puppy heads. I looked under blankets and everywhere but no fifth puppy. Then I heard a cry - she was under the able and had evidently climbed out of the pen. We had left a side lower so that Zoie can climb in and out with ease. It's time to raise the sides again.

One cannot live in an old home without the energy of the past still viable. I tend to call the home my family and I live in, a building because my antique shop is below, and our family residence above. Where I once had apartments, I now have one huge space with flowing rooms, though there is a separate entrance for a potential second apartment should I want to “let” the space. But the entire space we call our home keeps evolving the longer we live here. My Christmas present this year was my new kitchen – all custom because of the space and designed by myself and my husband with a great deal of frustration on both our parts.

The process all started before Thanksgiving (the building of the kitchen, not the planning) and ended on Christmas Eve. The building of the kitchen and you could say the Yorkie Puppies (rather birthing), all five of which arrived on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving are the reason why I am falling in love with our home, and in finding comfort in all its unique spaces.

My brother Bill came up often during the upstairs construction phase and helped my husband. I will be forever grateful for Bill’s help and time. I don’t think Bud could have done the work himself. All in all, the upstairs is 2400 sq ft, as is the downstairs. The last of the renovation left on the building is a huge back room which I hope to turn into a writers’ workshop and studio, but we must wait to rebuild our finances. I'm hoping before the end of the summer.  

There are, however, many other reasons why I love this place I call home. My family is spread out everywhere – My daughter Dana and her beautiful family; my step-daughter Rae and her beautiful Family; my older brother Ken and his family, my little brother Hank and his awesome family, and all my friends spread from one end of the world to the other. However, I can connect to you through Facebook and computers and the technology that the Internet provides.  

But yesterday, I received a phone call from my uncle Roy (who I have not seen or spoken to in years), who I have always adored, and I also spoke to my father, my stepmother, and much of my family.

This all leads me to a headline in my local newspaper – the Winston-Salem Journal; "The World is Changing; The First Baby Boomers Turn 65 this Year," and right below a smaller headline and story, "The Ten Signs of Alzheimers."

There is no cure for Alzheimers and we can' t turn the clock back on aging. Maybe this is why computers came into being. We who can, who have computers, can use our computer’s memory in a way which we may store our past and re-live life, over and over again - both the good and the bad and keep our brains functioning and alive (baring any power outage that is).

1 comment:

  1. Claire NicholsDecember 27, 2010

    So interesting, you make me want to visit! Antiquing is my favorite hobby.
    Hope to come to that area sometime. You dogs are darling!!!!!