Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Thoughts at a Sad Time

My dad passed away suddenly last week at age 58 while exercising on his treadmill. We think he died instantly of either a heart attack or a stroke. My chest literally aches with sadness right now.

I'm very fortunate that my dad came to town and got to see our house last May when Chad & I bought it. My dad kept up with this blog over the past month and praised our progress, and laughed at our foibles. I'm happy that I got to share the experience with him even though he was halfway across the country.

My parents have owned MANY homes over the course of their marriage. (Does anyone know of a good twelve step group to overcome real estate addiction? If so, please let me know so I can find a chapter for my mom to attend.) Dad and Mom worked very hard to make each and every home a showplace. Even homes that we lived in for less than two years got lots of beautifying updates. My dad enlisted my help to rip out wallpaper, hang wallpaper and to hold the light while he crawled around working on projects in dark cabinets and corners. Ripping out and replacing wallpaper with Dad convinced me that no home of mine will ever be cursed, blighted or otherwise besmirched by the presence of wallpaper. I don't care how many magazines say it's back in style, no way! I was very happy when Black & Decker came out with the adjustable snake-light, and I snapped one up to give my dad as a Christmas gift. I didn't have to hold lights anymore! I much preferred to hand Dad tools than to hold the light at just the right angle for what seemed like hours until my little arms shook with muscle fatigue. Maybe I'm being overly dramatic.

Here are some happy thoughts and pictures:

A friend of mine and Chad's sent these gorgeous orchids when she heard about my dad's passing. Many friends have reached out in support, and I very much appreciate each and every email, call, card or kind thought.

Every home needs a gnome. We hope he does not roam! Chad calls him Gnomaste, because he looks like he's doing prayer position and wishing us peace.

Marigold takes time each day to stop and smell the flowers.

The front planter likes all the rain we've been getting.

Our beautiful new underpinning courtesy of Ron from Aaron's Stucco. Ron did a great job and cleaned up his mess -- a total gem of a contractor!