Life Frozen in Time

I’m sitting at the new kitchen table my God blessed Sister of sorts drove 600 miles through seventeen inches of snow and ice over highways closed to lesser angels in order to deliver her gift to the girls and me. She only just got home last night. How can I ever express my appreciation for this woman who sees a need, then does what it takes to fill it? While sitting for a chit-chat before she headed back home, she mentioned she liked the arm warmers my mom crocheted the girls for Christmas. When I told this to my mother, she was digging in her yarn stash before I brought up a color preference, (purple) then whipped up two pair so one pair could be sent on to her daughter as well. How can I ever express my appreciation for this woman who sees a need, then does what it takes to fill it?

I dropped them in the mail today while I was running errands. They will be delivered Saturday, less than a week since the desire was first shared.  All of these thoughts are magnified now, as I sit at this table assembled today by my daughter, who has been at my side every day since the table was delivered helping me sort out the trouble that would cause such a delightful present to sit neglected and unutilized. She often brought her friend along who was wearing clothes my daughter gave her from bags I was taking to donate. She pitched in, created laughter, and endeared herself to me like another child of my very own heart. What did my daughter ever do before she had this woman in her life? She is the best friend Stephanie has always wanted and needed. The two of them together make you think of Lucy and Ethel, Wilma and Betty, Laverne and Shirley. This week they created a chicken sanctuary, and are planning a road trip to rescue my dear friend because I can not get away to do it.  She’s been through some tough times and seems to need some extra support.  Again. How can I express my gratitude for this network of angels as we hold each other aloft?

Even as I watch my ceiling fall down in front of me, I’m ok because I’m focused on love that is shared with me. Though it is 8:15 PM on a school night when I would normally be reading books, saying prayers, and tucking my bunnies in their beds, I am literally watching the gentleman from the water damage restoration company pull the ceiling down in the room I created to write in, but that isn’t going to happen tonight. Instead that room is full of words like “asbestos testing” as if 100 year old lath and plaster isn’t going to contain that magical fire-proof element. It wouldn’t matter what it was made of, it is still saturated and has to come down. The ceiling was not designed to be a water feature and as delightful as a ten foot waterfall may look and sound in nature, it is not the same effect uncontained in your dining room… Or basement. But until the test results come back from the state, I have approximately a dozen fans and dehumidifiers scattered about on every floor of my home, stirring up 100 years of dust and toxins.

ceiling demo

Did I mention that there were gentlemen in my living room?  Well, you have photographic evidence of that in front of you.

Weird, I know. Good heavens do I ever know. Even though they declared me the week’s best customer, (I offered them hot, homemade soup when they came in) this is nothing compared to the plumber.

The extremely attractive and good-natured plumber who didn’t seem to mind that I kept getting lost in his Tardis Blue Eyes for an eternity longer than what could ever be considered socially acceptable. Perhaps he is a Time Lord, because of the weird wibbly wobbly effect he has on timey wimey stuff. Why is my life suddenly and constantly punctuated by a sense of de je vous again? I doubt I am the first woman to fall into his vortex and he seemed to be amused that each time I would come up heart fluttering and gasping for air after being lost in the depth of his eyes I at least had the decency to blush… And stammer. Not stammering exactly, because not only could my mouth not form simple words, I couldn’t fit the words together into intelligible sentences. I’m pretty sure I occasionally sounded like a drunken pirate with a stuttering speech impediment imitating Yoda when trying to communicate with him. He was also patient enough to let me try again and only tipped his head to the side and squinted once. He laughed with me, and made me laugh.

The girls noticed these things as well.

I feel I should mention here the affirmations that I do not need or have time for a man in my life were all made BEFORE I actually beheld a man walking up and down my staircase. How is it that I lacked the ability to conjecture in my imagination what a glorious experience that would be to witness? He would quicken his step with each trip as he became familiar with the tread and the rise, sometimes taking them two at a time, just like I do when I have to climb them repeatedly because it is a long span with short risers.

What? It’s not as though I was exactly being a total creeper staring and drooling over the captive worker. I didn’t drool at all. I honestly couldn’t help but notice these things.

  • The girls and I were crawling around pulling up tack strip in the room with the stairwell
  • Dude had to go up and down those stairs a hundred times
  • The sound of those big boots tripping up and down my stairs put me in a hypnotic trance and every time I heard it, all I could do is watch and grin.

It did occur to me that he could be running up the stairs because he was frightened by the gaggle of girls on the first floor giggling and baring their teeth each time he walked past. I’ve always found it odd that what is seen as a sign of aggression among pretty much all other animals is the human way of being friendly. Did I mention he has a beautiful smile? I couldn’t help but notice while I was swimming around in those eyes. And he smells like candy. I know this because at one point while he was in his van I slipped up-stairs to move some of my delicate girly things so they would not be damaged by the long pipes and manly tools he was dragging up to my room. My room has never smelled like boy before.

I want you to understand the irony of my life, people… As I drove to my home that morning and declared before God, Gurus, Saints, and Angels, “If I have to handle this mess, than at least send a good looking plumber.” I really wasn’t psychologically prepared to have said attractive gentleman climb all over my dirty bathroom or watch me empty my closet of its rainbow of lacey silken splendor where 75% of the contents still lay on the floor after last week’s hide-and-seek hijinks. I had the closet on the list of things I was going to address this month. I wrote the list of all those things I’ve been fearing and putting off on the new white board on my dressing room wall as part of my New Year Revolution because I wanted to look it in the face every day, yet make sure no one else would see it.  Hahaha. That was the day before Mother Nature turned into a frigid bitch and added exponentially to that list.

I’ve now had three gentleman in less than a week tromping through my private space unattended with their big dirty boots climbing into every last corner of my personal area. Ugh. This is obviously only the beginning. Dry time, test results, permissions, ceiling removal, drywall repair, flooring; I don’t know when we will get our home back. They won’t even give me a rough estimate.  When all the unknown variables soak in and I begin to calculate the difficulties losing our home even temporarily will cause my little family I panic. Even though insurance is ready to cover the repairs to the house, the disruption to our routine, and losing the security of our home will set us so far back. And the driving. I begin to sob each time I think of it, but I don’t have time for crying. I have to come up with solutions. Also, it makes people feel bad if they catch me crying. So I turn it off, and I turn on the smile and I assure all these frightened girls that it’s going to be alright (everything is ok when you are dead?) even if I’m not certain that is true which makes me feel like a fake and a liar. It still seems like the best option.

So, I hope you will forgive me if I allow my mind to linger on the healing effect of diving into the bluest blue eyes I have ever seen because it makes me smile from a sincere place. Life is better since he showed up at my door. He struck up a conversation about the house and mentioned he’s been having a rough time as well. After the girls left and asked me directly if there was a man of the house. He said he knows how difficult it can be to try to do it on your own. There was a slightly pained tone in just under the hard edge of his voice that told me he knew this personally. Sometimes I pull out the card with his name and number on the back and ponder what he meant when he said to call him if I had any problems or need anything.  Sometimes I think I might work up the courage to call that number, because maybe he would like to join my network of angels.