Right after the writer's conference, I drove out to Utah to my parents home. (This is a picture of all twelve kids in our family at the funeral.) When I arrived the rest of the family had already been there and the few things left were either in boxes or scattered piles of things no one wanted but no one had the heart to throw away. It is an eerie feeling to disemble your parent's home after they are gone. I'm way to young to be an orphan.
We rented a Penski Truck and headed back home with it filled to the gills. The only problem was that when I was got home, I had to make room for it all. We got rid of two book shelves, a large sectional sofa and a washer and dryer and drove them to the good will in the same truck.
It took me a solid week of arranging things to get them like I wanted them but I think it turned out great! I talked Greg into buying new shelves for the office to put the five boxes of books I inherited. I got two couch sets and even filled the little shelf in my front hall with my mother's silk flowers.
By the time all this happened, with one son starting football, scout meetings and just life with five children at home, I finally turned my attention to my son who was about to turn 18 in three days. He had finished his eagle project, told me he had the write-up done and was working on his last three merit badges. He even said he had contacted the counselors.
Well, on the Thursday I finally sat down with him and asked him to show me his stuff. The neighbors could hear my scream of horror. He had drawn some nice pictures for his art merit badge but hadn't done a museum or art visit; he had left a message on the genealogy counselor's answering machine twice but that was it and he had done electricity with his brother but never gotten it signed off and forgot to call the counselor.
The eagle write-up was in four separate files, none of which went together but you could tell he had really tried. So we immediately called around. We replaced fingerprinting with genealogy since we couldn't find an available counselor in time. We re-did all the 15 requirements for electricity, since his original couselor didn't have time to meet with us. It was a hard one. We had to make an electro magnet (which was sooo cool) and hook up a buzzer with a button and light with a pull switch. The hardest part is that everything at the hardware store works on alternating current and you had to use batteries so it was hard to find all the supplies. We had to pull apart a flashlight to find a light bulb that would work.
By Saturday everything was done and in the mail, and we sat back and relaxed for one minute. BUT because I had been so focused on George, the laundry was backed up, the house looked like a tornado hit and I don't even think I got on the computer for over a week.
Sunday George turned 18. We had two other families over and a great day. He didn't want or need anything so I went to the dollar store with my daughter and we got him eighteen little things. We wrapped them separately and by the end of the day both Camron and William said that is what they wanted for their birthdays. Funny, since I spent so much on William last year. You'd think I'd learn. The magic trick cards were a huge hit as was the grooming kit, yo-yo's and root beer.
By Monday I was in knots. I just felt over-used and like I needed to unwind. Greg left on a business trip and I wandered around, not wanting to clean or do much of anything. I let the children play all day and grabbed a stupid Delinsky from my mother's old books called Three Wishes. I was surprised because my mother liked some trash fiction too. Often I read to be lifted, to learn and to stretch my mind, but sometimes I just want to escape and be entertained.
The story was cute and predictable but a definite page turner with a very clever premise. When I gobbled up the last page at three o'clock in the afternoon still in my pajamas, I felt like I had gone on vacation and was ready to come home.
I think that's the best gift of fiction. It refreshes me.
So life is good. I've got two weeks before school starts and I plan on enjoying the time with the children and coasting through. The majority of the shopping is done so it's just a matter of having fun- that is something I'm good at.