Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Sometimes a trip to the hardware store takes all day..."

Hard to believe but I've now lived in Minnesota for one whole month!  Time has flown by, and I've only completed a fraction of what I intended to have done - what happened to the past month?

Years ago I attended a talk by children's author, Cynthia Rylant, who said that when she writes a children's book, she holes up in her bedroom with a yellow pad and doesn't come out until she's finished writing the book - usually about two days later.  When asked why she wasn't more prolific considering she could zip off a book in 48 hours, Cynthia responded, "Well, you know, sometimes a trip to the hardware store takes all day."  I now totally understand where she was coming from.

The first day I moved here, I had a "to do" list a mile long - three days later I had only checked two items off the list: "go to see Catherine's play" and "get Minnesota license plates."  Somehow during the first week, I also managed to order furniture and buy sundries and paint supplies at the hardware store (note: I've done no painting...).  But I did not even manage to get cable and Internet set up until I had been here ten days, and I think I've only unpacked about three boxes since I moved.  And suddenly, it was time for me to go to work, and I hadn't begun to make a dent in my voluminous "things to do before I start work" list.  Eek!

The day after I started my new job, my contractor, CL, announced that he was going to start work on putting in a new bathroom in the basement.  Two days later, he and his crew moved in and took over my entire lower level, garage and driveway.  CL sent me on almost daily trips to Home Depot (usually leaving me text messages or notes on my dryer) to pick up hardware, paint, flooring, and cabinets on my way home from work. Two weeks later and they are almost done.  Glad that someone is making progress in my house, even if I'm not!

So what have I been doing this first month?  I've seen my mother, sister, and niece almost every day. I've gone to friends' houses.  I've had overnight guests - Holly and Tish (and a semi-permanent houseguest dog, Jasper).  I've sat out on my deck with the dogs and enjoyed the sunshine. I've attended my new church and met new people. I've watched things sprouting in the gardens around my house (wonder what they are?). I've come home from work each day to admire the work the builders have completed in my lower level. I've read books and done crossword puzzles. I've taken the dogs to the dog park. I've been to a library event with friends where I met Wally Shawn. I've started my new job (which I love!), and I drive across the bridge over the Mississippi every day on my way to and from work.  And I've come to realize that I have the rest of my life to get my house in order and do my "to do" list.  After all, sometimes a trip to the hardware store takes all day.