Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In The Zone...

The past week or so seems to have been a blur.  Part of the family was here for a few days, so we were very busy doing family activities.  I love having the family "home" with me even if it is just for a few days, and even if some of the family could not be here. I will update you with some of our activities as soon as I get photos downloaded.

As has most of the country, we've been dealing with heat.  In this part of the country, we don't have to deal with humidity along with the heat, but we are in the middle of a drought.  I've commented that it is so hot that the only things growing are the weeds.  Anyway, that is how it seemed whenever I looked out at my yard and garden while the kids and grandkids were here.  The weeds had to just keep growing, because this grandma was not going to pull weeds when she had grandchildren around to enjoy.
Family Time
Manitou, Colorado
At the Penny Arcade

Being surrounded by family has a way of making me feel happy and complete.  In fact, I am never quite as happy as I am when I am surrounded by my children and grandchildren.  I think the visits from the past week came at just the right time.  I was ready for some fun times, some joy, some laughter, and some activity around the house.

I know the visit was difficult for my children in many ways.  Julie was not here to join in the fun.  I am sure "the presence of her absence" seemed to be there, just below the surface, for us all at times.  Hopefully the time was also healing, restorative, and memorable for those who could be here at "home."  New memories were made.  New photos were taken.  Many great bonding opportunities  between cousins occurred.  We missed the ones who were not here due to work and busy schedules.

It was terribly hot while everyone was here, but we survived with the help of the A/C and fans throughout the house.

Now, they've all gone home.  I spent Monday washing many loads of sheets and towels.  Today, I tackled the weeds.  One flower bed is looking much better.

We also had the A/C people here today working on an update to the system.  Our multi-level home has never had a heating/cooling system that adequately heated or cooled the upstairs where all the bedrooms are.  When we were working, I don't think it bothered us as much because we weren't home.  Now, my husband and I each have a study on the second floor.  Our bedroom is on the same level.  We have been miserable in our studies on a cold day and on a hot day.  Finally this summer, I decided I had had enough.  It was time to make some changes in our system.

After the bids came in, I got real.  To retrofit the system with an additional heating/cooling system was complicated and expensive.  It would be cheaper to move to a single level home than to add a unit.  Then, one company suggested setting the house up on temperature zones.  Today, they came in and did some work on the duct work, set up three zones in the house, and cool air started pumping upstairs.

I am sitting in my study, and I am cool.  It is 77.9 degrees in our bedroom at 4:15 p.m.  It is 95 degrees outside.  It is never this cool up here in the late afternoon.   I am looking forward to not seeing 80 degrees register on the thermostat when I go to bed tonight!

Today, after enjoying coffee and breakfast with my hubby on the back deck, followed by working in the garden and enjoying a nice lunch my hubby cooked for me (hot dogs from the microwave), I said to my husband, "It is good to be readjusting to retirement again."  He agreed.  It is going to be even better now with our update to the heating/cooling system.

I'm in the zone.  I'm cool.  I'm pain free (for a few days anyway).  After a lecture from my doctor, my therapist, my husband, and my dear sweet daughter Amy, I am also trying to manage my stress better.  Thanks, Amy.  You always seem to have just the right word at just the right time for me.  It is good to be in the zone.


DJan said...

We had an 80-degree day last Sunday, our first for the season. And then it went back to the mid-60s. This is the summer that wasn't for us in the PNW. Glad to hear your A/C is better, that heat had to be unbearable. (It's one reason we live here, but there ARE limits!) :-)

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

So glad to hear that you had such a lovely family visit (and that picture of the group was wonderful!) and a chance to make some new memories. Also, thank goodness you got your A/C problem fixed. We all really rely on that these days, don't we? Our A/C quit about a month ago on a week when the temp was 115-118 outside. The highest temperature in the house got up to about 90. Our neighbors invited us over for sleepovers until it was fixed. But we have a guest house/office with its own A/C and spent a lot of time there for the three days it took to get the unit fixed.

Jeanie said...

I love the picture of you with the grandkids. I know your loss will never be forgotten and I only hope that times like you have described in this post will help with your healing.
I hope the temperature zones do what you need them to do.

Lynilu said...

As difficult as it is to have events that accentuate the "presence of her absence," it is good that you are having those times together. It is inevitable, but with each family encounter, you achieve a touch of healing. I'm sorry it is necessary for you, but moving ahead is right for everyone. Happy healing, dear friend. :')

Joanne said...

So glad that you had your family visit seems like you all had a wonderful time. I wish my family got together as often as my husband's family, but it is fact that I have finally accepted. We don't have central air...just two very noisy air contioners that drive me crazy! I think that is why I love the spring so much...the windows can be opened and their is that delicious breeze that rushes in! Great post! enjoy your cool home!
Blessings, Joanne

gigihawaii said...

Congratulations on getting that a/c fixed, so necessary in Hawaii. Yes, we have a/c but no heater for those times in January when the temperature sinks to 55 degrees.

Jeanie said...

Hi, Sally, I'm enjoying catching up -- sorry to be MIA. Glad you had a good time with your family -- a different time, but a good one. Sorry about the heat -- we've had the same and it's unbearable. And Friday we leave Michigan for SC. Alas! But it beats snow!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

There is nothing that relieves stress better than being surrounded by wonderful grandchildren. Hope you continue to feel better, Sally... You truly have a wonderful life and a fabulous husband.. You two need to take off together and go and have some fun.

Sandi said...

What fun to have the family around. I had both of my daughters home for a very brief 36 hours, and enjoyed that short time.
I'm feeling sorry for the rest of the country, sweltering in the heat. We've had very little heat this summer . . . but perhaps that will change!

Dee Ready said...

In her poem "After Great Pain a Formal Feeling Comes," Emily Dickinson says, "the feet mechanical go round a wooden way of ground or air or Ought, regardless grown." She ends her poem on loss with what ultimately happens: "This is the hour of lead remembered if outlived, as freezing persons recollect the snow--first chill, then stupor, then the letting go."
Your postings reflect that all this is happening in your life. Your family gathering together can be, perhaps, the "letting go" so that the memories become the constant in your mind and heart not the grief. Peace

Arkansas Patti said...

What a handsome group and so glad you had fun inspite of the heat.
Wow, how lucky to find a company that could solve your problem and not want to sell you a new system. If I had multiple stories, I would check into temperature zones.

Beth said...

The best thing in my life is family. I am so glad you were able to spend time with them.

The heat here seems never ending and I am longing for fall.

Linda Myers said...

We had a similar experience with a heating/cooling system and ended up replacing ours this spring. Mostly what we notice is that the air filter works really well and my husband is almost untroubled by his allergies when he's indoors.

Very glad to see you are all creating new memories!

Olga said...

Vermont has had a couple of hot days and one hot night. Typical summer weather here except lots more wind.
I am glad to hear that your family was reunited (at least some) for some fun times. Sounds like you really needed that connection time. I hope you carry it forward now.

Maggie May said...

Its lovely to have family round you, isn't it?
Mine will be here this weekend!
Your weather seems unbearably hot to me. Glad you got the air conditioner fixed. Sounds much cooler indoors!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Kay said...

Yae! I'm so glad you found a solution for the heat. I love it that you were surrounded by so much family, so much love. That's terrific! I do hope you're pain free from now on.

#1Nana said...

I envy you all the grandchildren...I really need to marry off my son if I am ever to have more than our two granddaughters. I was glad to hear that the family is doing well. Take care Sally!

I Wonder Wye said...

I am glad to hear you content and that you had a good family visit. We have a/c zones in the house too and it does make a difference. Though we don't have a two story house just one big single-level 'cause I don't do stairs well.

Barb said...

Sally - it's a good time for you to be visiting Breckenridge - bring a jacket! It starts getting cool around 4 PM. Your family time sounds like fun - an interlude to make some good memories.