Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Begin Again

Over a month since my last post.  It's hard to know where to start.  First of all, my husband's cancer progressed SO quickly that I lost him on 8/4.  Thanks to all of you who have reached out to offer your sympathies and prayers.  I found myself too overwhelmed with everything to answer you each personally, but please know I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness.

I have come here several times meaning to post, but I am not a person who puts everything out there for the world to see, so I never got started.  Same thing happened when my dad died; I feel like there should be some deep meaningful tribute or wisdom or SOMEthing to relate, but I close up.  I have been thinking a lot about it though, so here's what I came up with.

Preston and I were together for 32 years.  Sounds like a long time, but no matter how long you have it's not enough  It's never enough.  However, I count myself lucky because some people search their whole lives for what we had and never find it.  So I do appreciate that.  During that time, I liked to tell everyone I married well; there was nothing Preston could not do.  Everything that broke, he could fix.  Electronics, cars, plumbing, wiring, carpentry, painting, masonry, landscaping....just everything.  And for 32 years, I was his right-hand woman.  Hold this, fetch me that,point the flashlight over here,  reach up in there cause my big hands won't fit, etc. etc.  Apparently a lot of women don't do that, which baffles me.  I've never minded getting my hands dirty, which was good because I spent a lot of time under cars.  Didn't really enjoy it a lot of the time, it was cold, it was hot, it dragged on into the night because nothing works the way it says it will in the manual, but he needed another pair of hands and how could I sit inside doing whatever while he was out there trying to fix MY car? Or his, for that matter? We were partners.  We played music together.  We volunteered in Little League and Pop Warner together. We watched football together. We tiled the bathroom together. We got a PlayStation and played Batman and Far Cry and Portal together. We tended the garden and did yard work together.

Anyway, here's what I have gained that a lot of other women haven't (and maybe they don't care).  Now that I am alone, I feel well-equipped to take care of myself.  I know how to build and repair stuff and how to use power tools. I know how to clean out the chimney.  I know how to do plumbing (and have had to use that knowledge already).  I know something about wiring.  I know how to mix cement and quickrete and what kind of wood to use for different purposes.  I know soffit, fascia, drip edge, roof vents, tar paper, and how to shingle a roof.  How to install J-channel and the basics of vinyl siding. How to install tile and how to use the wet saw. I know stuff about car repair, but that is something I don't care to do.  Let's just say I know enough about car repair to not get screwed by an unscrupulous mechanic...which fortunately for me, I don't have to worry about anyway because I have a mechanic I trust.  Does a woman need to know these things?  You betcha.  We need a new mailbox and post, and it will be done right with a cement footing and a pressure-treated post.  Mom needs a step replaced, and that will require nails shot into cement with a .22 Ramset.  I can do that.  Our old plumbing is starting to give out here and there.  I can deal with that.  My kitchen floor needs to be ripped up and replaced.  I can do that too.

I learned not to buy the cheapest thing, because it won't last. Wait until you can afford a better thing. I learned to measure twice, cut once (the gospel according to Norm Abram).  That any job worth doing is worth doing right even if it means it takes you twice as long.  That you should do it well enough to be proud to put your name on it, even if nobody is ever going to see it.  Because if you try to cut corners, it will always, eventually, come back to bite you in the ass.  Always.

These are things I learned from my husband, and I wonder if he had any idea that he was teaching me to fend for myself all that time.  Probably not, I didn't realize it myself until recently.  Of course there are other things in my mind; how close we were, how perfectly suited for each other, inside jokes by the mile, I could go on and on but all that stuff is too personal.  It's for me. 

What's next for me is to take my business in a different direction.  Having been a tailor for the last 6 years, and having decided even before all this happened that that wasn't really making me happy, I am getting back into doing art/craft shows with my work.  Because if all this ugliness has taught me anything, its that life is too damn short to spend it doing something that doesn't make you happy.  That will also allow me to spend more time with Sparky, as I won't have to be anywhere away from home all day every day.  I have already booked some shows, and am working on some new projects.  Went to Mystic Village the other day and scoped out some shops I might seek to do business with.  Trying hard to focus on the new and not spend too much time thinking.  So tomorrow I will begin more regular posts here, beginning with the current woodworking project.  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Charles Taylor said...

Glad to hear your Moving on I know it will be hard but I'm Shure you will make it just keep me posted