The House Arrives

May 25, 2011

Lauren’s new home arrived on Monday. That sounds funny doesn’t it? Like the UPS man dropped it off or maybe the Fedex guy.  It’s a manufactured home, and is delivered, by the manufacturer, in two pieces, completely finished inside and mostly finished outside, down to the drapes hanging on the windows and the shingles on the roof. The home arrives on two chassis or trailers pulled all the way from a small town in Pennsylvania, and it is then backed onto a concrete “pad” where a crew of “setters” will complete its assembly.

Yesterday and today the setters are raising the roof, installing siding on the ends, and buttoning up the “marriage wall” or points inside the house where the two pieces come together. It seems so long ago, even though it was only last fall, that I worked out the design for the home and selected the fixtures, carpeting, and cabinets. It is the first tangible evidence that Lauren will indeed soon have her own home. Prior to this, Lauren’s new home was all about planning, and numbers, and schedules. This is wood, and sheetrock, and faucets. I’m starting to get a bit giddy. The goal I’ve been dreaming about, and working so hard for so long to reach, is becoming a reality. I know there will be hurdles. I try not to think too far into the future, looking for problems, issues, potholes in the road ahead. For right now, we are in a wonderful, positive, age-appropriate place. This time last year a home for Lauren was not even a real dream. It was a goal without structure, permanence, or clear vision.

I’m on my way over to see the inside of the house now for the first time. I’ll take a camera so that I can share more pictures with you. Here are five words I’ve never said before that I’m sharing with you the first time - “I’m going to Lauren’s house today.”

God's Laughing

May 16, 2011

Last September I told my readers that I would be spending the next year telling them all about the process and, hopefully, the success of Lauren moving into her own home. Unfortunately, I think God must be getting a stitch in his side from laughing so hard lately - if you want to believe the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Hardly anything has gone according to plan in the last nine months. I know it was going to be a busy time, I just had no idea how crazy, how challenging, or how emotional a time it would be.

I hadn’t planned on major delays in my finely structured timeline for Lauren’s home. I hadn’t planned on the difficulties of dealing with the emotions and worries of Lauren moving out on her own being complicated by the additional turmoil of dealing with very serious changes in the lives of my elderly parents. I hadn’t planned on the resulting life-altering challenges to long held beliefs and dreams. I hadn’t planned on not being able to count on my plans.

Lauren’s home is still proceeding in a positive direction, just much slower than anticipated. According to the original plan, Lauren would be two weeks into my “transition plan” for acclimating her to her new home. She was due to be spending several nights this week “sleeping over”. Instead, due to various delays, mostly weather related, her home won’t even be delivered until next Monday. (Lauren’s home is a manufactured or mobile home and is delivered from the factory in two pieces.) We still need to make all necessary connections (electric, sewer, cable, etc), do other sitework and whatever else is required, before she can start to move in. That will put us at least a month and a half behind schedule. I’ve been using this time to shop for things she needs for the house, sew some special things for her bedroom, and pack up some of this things she will take with her. I’ve been stalwartly plugging along making lists and matching colors. Then, instead of packing her winter clothes away where I usually store them, I put them into boxes to take to her new home. The next thing I knew, I was sitting in the middle of her bedroom sobbing. Planning has become reality. My baby is moving out.

My father has just moved out of my home. Dad is living in his summer place now that the weather has warmed up. Mom is still not happy in the nursing home, and as we struggle to help her acclimate another curve ball has been thrown our way since last Friday. The nursing home is on lock-down. A rather nasty virus has swept through the unit and everyone is basically, quarantined. My mother came down with the virus on Friday. Frequent phone calls to the nursing staff tells us that she is recovering, but we cannot get in. She was angry with us before this, I can’t imagine how abandoned she feels now. We can’t call her since she cannot easily get to her phone….and, truthfully, I don’t want to be the first one to talk to her. Just call me chicken, I don’t care.

You can’t go through this much turmoil and strife in your life in this short an amount of time without it affecting all of the relationships in your life, some for the good, others for the bad. When the dizzying merry-go-round of stress slows down, for some reason, it seems to have clarified your vision of the people and path of your life. For awhile you feel like you’re in a freshly shaken snowglobe, lost amongst the flakes, straining to try to see through the flurry of responsibilities that just don’t stop. Then, suddenly the flakes settle. You’re still buried up to your knees but your vision is clear. You see exactly where you are. This is not where I planned to be today. I just hope God stops laughing soon.