Friday, November 04, 2016

Passing The Hat

This is an AFTER picture. I KNOW.
I almost posted last night, but I'm glad I didn't, because in retrospect I was borderline insane. Auntie Kate (she of crafting fame) is arriving Saturday, which means we had to excavate our guest room in the basement (where Anna had been staying all summer and where she left ALL HER STUFF because she is studying abroad this semester and could take only two suitcases with her). But first I had to GET TO the guest room, which meant Larry had to clear the hallway down there of all the stuff he pulled from the laundry room during the Great Foundation Leak of 2016.

That's right, he put it back into the now extremely disorganized laundry room (remember? the one I paid our handyman good money to organize for us?) so that I could deal with the rest of the basement.

Look, I never claimed that we were normal.

It's okay, right? Tell me it's okay.
Anyway, by yesterday evening, I was practically weeping. There was SO MUCH STUFF, plus Larry had never put the camping gear away in the guest room closet, back in August, so we had that to deal with also. Then there were the canoe paddles in the basement family room, along with 3 ironing boards, 2 older vacuums, a toy kitchen (our youngest is 11, for heaven's sake), and assorted flotsam and jetsam to deal with. You know, it's enough to make a gal pine for a 1-bedroom condo (with den - all that yarn has to go somewhere) to live in, all by herself.

But against all odds, we're ready for the visit now. I do seem to have developed a slight tic where I walk around muttering, "Too much crap, too much crap" over and over; but otherwise things are fine. FINE. The basement looks livable (well, what we call livable, anyway), we replaced the moldy toilet seat on our 45-year-old basement toilet (only $5! I should have done this years ago), and I even remembered to buy flowers for the guest room.

But hey, back there, where I mentioned our handyman? Remember, he's the one who has been with Larry from the very beginning, framing and drywalling and installing baseboards and helping us choose paint colors and decide on kitchen cabinet hardware. I honestly believe this man, with his preternatural ability to moderate heated discussions about home decorating decisions, has saved my marriage. Not once, but several times.

Not only that, but he has given my kids a thorough grounding in the music from the 70's and 80's. Every morning he'd arrive at 8 AM and (first thing) plug in his heavy-duty contractor's radio and let those tunes blare. I have an 11-year-old who can walk into a store and immediately identify the Credence Clearwater Revival song that is playing on the Muzak. All thanks to him. Granted, she was singing the lyrics to "Jack and Diane" at the rather tender age of 8; but I convinced myself she didn't really know what she was saying.

He built this pantry for me.
My point is, this man has done a lot for us. Anywhere I look in my house, there is evidence of his skill and craftsmanship. And now, he's sick. Cancer. It looks as though he might be okay (he just had surgery and there were no surprises there), but medical bills are mounting up to numbers that are a little dizzying. Worse, he won't be able to work for the next 2 months. (And, yes, he had better stick to that timetable - Larry is planning to rip out the basement walls in January.)

So, for the first time in 9 years, I'm asking you to think about contributing a little money. Not to me, of course - but if I have ever made you laugh or if you look forward to reading this drivel of mine on a somewhat regular basis, please consider making a donation (however small - I think just the feeling of people rooting for him would be helpful) to his GoFundMe page.

What's it worth to you, knowing that my life is way more chaotic than yours? 5 bucks? 10, maybe? Whatever it is, send it his way, so that hopefully his convalescence can be a little less stressful. Let's face it - we need him in good shape for what Larry has planned for next year.


  1. I gave a little for your friend Andy. I will also be praying for him.

  2. Done.
    Incredible to think of what special people do for us sometimes. we can get so caught up in our own clutter, to pause and recognize how others help us, well, your post was a good reminder of that.

  3. Thank you to both of you, and to the others who donated (but didn't comment here)!