Thursday, January 22, 2009

Miss Independent

Mama Kats Writers Workshop
Other than the birth of a child or your wedding, write about a joyous moment.

This is our old house. Isn't it adorable. It is 100 years old. I loved that house. It was charming, it had character, and the turret going up the side just screamed "Buy me, I'm cute You need me". It also laughed in my face and heckled "You now have to cut about 10 more corners in order to paint the rooms I am part of. BA-HA-HA-HA!!!"
Jim and I walked into this house and just knew it was ours. Being that it was 100 years old, it came with some "quirks", but that was ok. We took care of our baby and enjoyed the time we had with it. When it was time sell her, we were embarking on a new adventure and we were ok leaving the house behind. It was during this time I had an amazingly joyous moment.

Jim and I have a fairly traditional marriage in my opinion. We both work full time, so household duties are pretty much a 50/50 split. The split is traditional in the sense that he thinks little elves put away his laundry and I have no clue when the oil in my car needs changed unless he tells me.
When the time came to sell our house, we both struggled with our "roles". Jim began spending the majority of his time in Florida in Jan 2007, and made the permanent move in March. I didn't move til May. Things needed to get done to sell our house during that time and he couldn't be in Ohio to take care of it all. We had plenty of people that would help, but once the ball started rolling we were under a huge time crunch. I had to step up. Jim felt bad, I was less than thrilled, but it didn't matter, things had to get done. Our normally traditional roles had to shift.
Nothing major needed done, but little things add up quick. One of the first things our realtor told us when he came in March (um still snowing in Ohio), was that we needed to paint the porch. Curb appeal is big he said, and even though its winter, you can still make a statement. We kind of panicked. The porch need painted, closets needed emptied, the worlds tiniest, weirdest shaped, impossible to get a ladder in bathroom need painted, etc. etc. It was winter so we had weather among other things stacked against us. The only weekend Jim could have done it before we listed it rained/sleeted/snowed. Finding a painter was ridiculous, and we were both freaking out over getting it all done.
One day after work I did what I do best. I made lists. Lots of lists. Then, I yelled at myself and reminded myself that I could do this. "You are a strong, smart woman. You are independent. Jim is always there for you and now it is time for you to step up and take care of things. He is living alone in a condo in Florida, starting a new position, and has a lot going on. Get it together, make a plan and make it happen." And I did.
I watched the weather for a nice day, took a vacation day, enlisted our friend Joe and painted the porch (and didn't tell Jim - I wanted to surprise him). Joe arrived at about 1 and I had been painting for hours. He stayed til dark and we finished up what would have been a two day project with the porch light on to help us that same day. I felt awesome, I felt strong, and it was truly a joyous moment.

I should note that the joyous event left me on high. Joe left, and I proceeded upstairs to paint the bathroom. I still curse that teeny tiny awkward bathroom. I was on a roll and stayed up all night cleaning closets, scrubbing floors and making chandeliers sparkle. So as joyous as it was, I didn't sleep at all that night and when I arrived at work at 7 the next morning one of just two guys in our pretty girly department, Nick said "Hey Carrie, how is everything going". I then proceeded to start crying because I still needed to paint the trim in one of the crazy turret rooms and I just wanted it all to be done with. I think I may have scared him. Poor Nick.

It was worth it though. Jim looked so happy when he came home you would have thought the Browns won the Super Bowl, The Indians won the World Series, and the Cavs won the NBA Finals all on the same day. We sold our house in less than one month and when I arrived in Florida in May, we didn't have the house to worry about and could concentrate the adventure ahead.

ps - did birth of A child, mean any child, or one of your own children? Cuz I was there when my niece Kara was born and it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. She is eight and I still tear up thinking about it. I am also still mad at her for saying Jim first. I witnessed your entrance into the world kara! That ought to count for something.


Heather said...

This house looks beautiful. You are a very strong woman to get all that done all without your hubby.

Ashley @ Frexy Mama said...

Your house was beautiful. I feel like I had to step up to the plate when it came to our house as well. Although our goal was to get it rented out prior to being relocated in two months. After slaving away while Hubbers was at work, we had a renter in a week! It always feels good to look around and see what you've accomplished.

ManicMandee said...

That was one very cool story you wrote! I liked it very much. I'm making a mental note to be likewise. You are a great example.

blueviolet said...

What a beautiful home full of character!

Michelle said...

What a gorgeous house you had. Great job stepping up to the plate. :)

Tabi said... had my dream absolute dream house!! I love it!!!

Debbie said...

That house is gorgeous. I am in awe of all that you accomplished.

Sharlene said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to check out Tuesday's fundraiser! It means so much to me and her family!

Jennifer said...

Carrie - I got linked to you from megan's blog. I wanted to just drop you a note and thank you for the wonderful words you posted on her blog about your mother and what you took from her. It is my stepson (meg's neighbor) that passed away on friday. It was very helpful to read your words. I know that we will take away so many wonderful things from Konley's life and it (cancer)will not beat us - we haven't let it. Thank you

Jennifer said...

How could I forget to tell you - I love your old house! Gorgeous - we also live in a 100 yr old house.

Mama Kat said...

That house is amazing!! To think what history must be there! I love it.

And anyone who cleans and paints that much in a 24 hour period is clearly on drugs. I don't care what you say.

Jennifer P. said...

I commented on this once before---guess it got ate!

I commend you for getting through such a complicated fix up project! What stress that must have caused, but YOU! You DID IT :)!

I love the house,btw!

Namine said...

The house is beautiful!!!
Great story!