The first day back from a too short vacation is always a tough one.
Vanity in production – laying on it’s back.
What is wrong with this picture?
So much to catch up on and no desire to start anything big. Not the first day anyway.
After all, there are materials to pick up, jobs to check up on, paperwork to shuffle through
and 2 golden retrievers that haven’t seen me, like… forever.
With a second cup of coffee in hand I started working in the office listening to the messages.
The first message was that the granite counter top for the vanity I’m building in the shop has arrived a week early. The next message is the client telling me the granite counter top has arrived a week early and
…. can you pick it up and install it right away?
So much for an easy 1st. day back. The paperwork can wait.
I decide to head to the shop and work on the cabinet. Good thing I made a full pot of coffee.
The cabinet, doors and drawer fronts were already completed and ready for paint. The next thing to do was finish making the dovetailed maple drawers. This is a part of the job I really enjoy.
I’d made all of the drawer sides before we left so it was just a matter of setting up my Porter Cable dovetail machine, plug in my dovetail router and make the 4 drawers…...piece a cake.
As I slowly pushed the router back and forth on the dovetail machine, I listened intently to the high pitched sound which drowned out the radio.
It was mesmerizing and put me kind of in a trance where my mind began to wander,
… thinking of everything that just happened over the last 3 days.
It seems like we have been in limbo, waiting for our lives to completely change.
For the last 20 years, we have been driving from Chicago to Keowee key, South Carolina to spend our vacations with Lynn’s parents at the lake house I helped design.
Before that, we spent most of our holidays and birthdays together when they lived near us in Lake Forest IL.
We vacationed at Marco island together, went on a Caribbean cruise and they’ve stayed at our house for a week at Christmas numerous times.
I never had this connection with my own family…. for religious reasons, if that makes sense.
They were my extended family and it meant a lot to me.
Every time we went down there on vacation, my father in law, Jim would talk to us about leaving the house to us to continue his dream of “waking up in paradise”.
Before he passed away he paid the house off and set everything up so that there were funds to take care of Lynn’s mom and Scott, her older brother who lost his job and moved in to the basement 6 years ago.
It was understood, we would buy out Scott’s interest in the house and he would buy a smaller house on the lake nearby that he said he really liked. We wanted to move there and keep the family house as it was, in memory of them and to continue sharing it with friends and relatives as a vacation spot, just like we enjoyed.
When Lynn’s mother passed away a year later, Lynn went there for 2 months to help her mother spend her last days at home with a view of the mountains and the lake instead of a nursing home. It was very hard as you can imagine. I was so proud of her.
6 months later, we were planning to go there for a 7 day vacation with Scott and to work out the final details.
But, we got a call from Scott telling us he was in ICU with “liver failure and almost died” from his drinking, so last Friday, we left early and drove 13 hours straight through to check on him, thinking the worst, and help out.
When we got there, he tells us mom changed the will and left the house, the 24ft deck boat, the family heirlooms, the gold coin collection, the cars,.... everything to him and that he’s known all along (1 1/2 years) but didn’t want to tell us until he was ready. He smuggly says,
“Sorry…. nothing I can do about it”
We put our suit cases back in the van and left. A 1600 mile, 30 minute vacation.
Big….Sigh. I’m glad it’s over. At least now I know. Put it in drive and go…..finally.
I’ve always said, “After all the remodeling we’ve done on our house, the only way I’d leave would be to move in to a Lake house like that.” See blog: Our first home.
So, we are staying here… in our own home. Good. I couldn’t be happier.
I can look at our house and say: “We did this. This is our life.”
Lynn and I have a great relationship and that’s all that matters. We have good memories of Lynn’s parents together with us and Scott can never take that away. The fact is, we have so much to be thankful for.
This is the first time I’ve ever routed a dovetail drawer on the wrong side.
I have to laugh at myself considering I routed and assembled all the drawers before I caught my mistake.
...... What was I thinking?
I’m sure I’ll find a nice project where I can use them so it’s really not a big deal… a nice reminder of what’s important.
I think I’ll call it good therapy.
Now if you don’t mind, I have a full cup of coffee in hand, a clear head, and 4 new dovetailed drawers to make.
I’m off to work in the shop!.... I am home.
-- Mark - I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.