Saturday, November 27, 2010

Finding gratitude on the roof over Thanksgiving weekend..

This holiday Thanksgiving Holiday is a rough one for me. For the past couple of months, I've been really, really stressed out and finding something positive in each day has been tough.   It seems that anything I attempt is the wrong thing or gets way-layed by something totally out of my control.  Even my Thanksgiving plans were up-ended by snow and bad weather.  I planned to drive 6.5 hours from my home to take my mother to her little house for a meal on Thanksgiving afternoon.  The roads were so icy that the drive took more like 9 hours and it was so very cold that it was not wise for me or anyone else to take Mom out in the wind.  I felt terrible that she'd probably sit in the nursing home with no family on Thanksgiving Day. Now comes the gratitude part...

After realizing that I would not make it to see Mom until late evening, my sister in law and nephew went to join her for lunch.  It was a huge meal with all the Thanksgiving trimmings.  They had a good visit and left Mom with candies, decorations and lots of love and hugs.  I was so relieved she had visitors and that she felt loved and remembered.  Throughout my drive my 2nd other brother called every hour to check on me, it was nice to know someone was concerned about my safety and had a warm house and food waiting for when I got there.

Finally getting home to Mom's I got bad news from the 2nd brother (he lives in Mom's house and pays the bills, which is also something I found to appreciate), the roof had leaked in a couple of places.  A wind storm a week before blew off so many shingles that water seeped through and had stained the ceiling.  Given the cold and wet forecast, a new roof can't be done until after the new year which means more leaks and damage and long term problems.   When my eldest brother learned this, he suggested that we patch the roof until it's able to be replaced.  I was worried because this brother is nearly 70 and known for his wild ideas that don't quite work out too well, if they get completed at all.   But, I had no choice so we made a plan on Thursday night.  On Friday we made a quick trip to Home Depot for some basic supplies - black tar paper in rolls, 2x4's and lots of nails.   We grabbed a spare nephew and the three of us spent 4 hours on the roof, unrolling, over lapping and nailing and nailing this black felt paper.  It was warm enough when we started but the longer we worked the colder it got.  Icy snow blew into our faces and it was hard to hold the nails and hammer but we got it done.  2nd brother stayed on the ground and handed up things we needed - more nails, another roll of tar paper. 

Half way through I realized I was actually ENJOYING myself.  We were teasing each other, working together and laughing out loud WITH each other.   In doing something WITH someone else and FOR someone else's benefit, I'd forgotten my stress.  I felt thankful for family that would pitch in to help like that in frigid weather.  I felt good to be doing some physical work and happy that I hit the nail head nearly every time - no smashed thumbs at all!! 

It helped me to look at all the positive things over the past couple of days - I had a safe drive home when many other drivers ended up stuck in the ditch; my family pitched in to help mom when I couldn't get there, my family pitched in to make her house (and where my brother lives) weather proof and we found something to laugh about.  I found my Thanksgiving on the roof in the cold, cold wind!