Thanks for checking into my blog!

As a "recovering" middle school teacher with a unique outlook on life, I stopped active teaching in 2010 and moved into another career path... writing! Here goes! In addition, I am a travel buff, forever baseball addict, movie fan, music fan, foodie extraordinaire, NCIS devotee, gardener, and more.

Just love writing for kids, travel writing and basic journalism. Pretty unusual, since I taught Home Economics! But there's a story here too - a non-fiction one or more...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Good Bye, Sandy

Rule #42 – When in doubt, do it for the fun of it.

     “Sandy, you hurt me real bad. You know it’s true." ( from Grease)

     Yes, Sandy – Hurricane Sandy. You remember that one, right? “Katrina ‘Light’”? It didn’t get the same horrific public response that Katrina did for those affected. But it got big-time news coverage since a lot of the worst damage was in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut areas. Right where the news services are headquartered…

     But Sandy hurt lots of others, too – others where overall damage wasn’t too bad. She got me good. Because of Sandy, some relatives were not able to see Hub before he passed away. I stayed 3 days at the hospital with Hub while Sandy did her “thing” to Maryland. On top of everything else, she left some damage to the house. On Tuesday evening, I left the hospital to check on the house and get some fresh clothes for myself. I found a small leak in the roof that caused drywall to bubble up on the ceiling in my office.  Nothing broke through, but the bulges were there, looking threatening. I turned two gooseneck lights up toward the ceiling and put the fan on, to get air moving to dry it up. Then said a quick prayer and headed back to the hospital. Hub died the next morning.

     “Sandy, can’t you see I’m in misery?”

     What a few days… and thank God above for the guy next door. My neighbor is in construction. He looked at the damage and gave me a report, so I could call the insurance company. The he put a temporary fix on the roof. The ceiling dried on its own, but he recommended tearing it out and replacing it, to prevent mold growth. He did the roof fixing without saying a word or charging me anything.

     Thank God above for my neighbors across the street. They both kept an eye on the house to make sure the power didn’t go off. We were lucky that way… we still had electricity after the storm passed.

     “I sit and wonder why-i-i-i-i…”

     There has to be a reason for everything. During the days following the storm, I was so busy that I fell each night into an exhausted sleep. We got through the funeral without further problems. Then it was time to start the paperwork that goes with losing a spouse. In the midst of that mess, was calling the insurance company. We didn’t file a claim with the damage we suffered during the deracho. Now was different. I was filing in spite of the fact that our rates would probably go up.

     Now to book the professionals to do the work… The company I chose, we used before. They put our back porch on the house and Hub and I were so pleased with the work. I also decided that, since we had the big stuff to do, we might as well do some cosmetic work too. I looked at the home improvement list Hub and I did for that room and a few others upstairs. I broke it down into damage repair and cosmetic work. The insurance company got the list of damage repair. I paid for the cosmetic work. The contractors were great about writing the bills so I could submit them in that way, too.

     Then the work started… more misery. Well, not entirely. The new roof wasn’t too bad. But when the inside work started, I was faced with a daunting task. I had to clear out 2 bedrooms that had become dumping grounds for “stuff”. My daughter helped a lot. She even took pictures of the more unusual “stuff” she found. We spent the better part of a weekend saying to each other “What the…??? Why was this saved?” There was also a few times where she went “When you go, I want this.” By the end of the pack up weekend, I couldn’t get past the door in my guest room, and I could barely get to my bed and the bathroom in my room. Everything was stacked up, packed up, and tossed into random boxes with no real plan.

     It took two weeks of heavy work to get everything done. At the end of the construction, I had wallpaper stripped from two areas; ceiling removed as well as insulation and both replaced; painting done in two bedrooms, the upstairs hallway and stairwell, and the downstairs hallway; and hardwood flooring put through the area. The floor guys refinished the steps to match. I was back to snorting spackle dust and not being able to vacuum enough.

     Now the reoccupation begins… Now the boxes for the most part, are empty. I’ve gone through a lot of the “stuff” and moved it downstairs, closer to the door. Hey if it’s close to the door it will leave the house, right? I’ve figured out which pictures I want back up. So much trash!!! So much to donate!!! I’ve found homes for a lot of items, like old text books. I hate to toss them out. Seems so wasteful, but they were from when I earned my degrees. Newer versions exist now and I’m sure they are available online.

     And then there’s the other rooms and how they look after a fresh coat of paint nearby. It’s amazing how you redo one room and more projects present themselves. I’m in a home improvement snowball! I’m trying to have fun, doing with I want with the room colors. And now, by choice, my main bathroom looks like a bottle of Pepto exploded on it. Yes, there’s that much pink out and about.

     I almost hate to finish, because the next thing I planned to tackle is my room, and Hub’s dresser and his part of the closet.

     Things are starting to calm down a bit. And now I am really starting to feel my loss. I’m doing ok… but just ok. More tears at odd times… never know what will trigger the waterworks.

     All of this and I’m still trying to recover my writing mojo…

     So many things still half done…

     So much left to start…

     “Sandy, you left me…”

     But I’m still alone… in a crowd.

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