Friday, October 16, 2009

When I was young my family did the traditional yearly vacation. I remember the red sands of Prince Edward Island, the cold beaches of Maine and even the warm beaches of the gulf coast in Florida. Once I got older though, my parents did a lot of vacations by themselves...both together..and not. I know, I know...Not together??? Even though their one and only child was old enough to stay home by herself for a week (My Grandfather lived with technically it wasn't me staying home "alone")??? It wasn't that they didn't enjoy each others company. Thirty five years together attested to the fact that they did...It was more about the things they had in common interest. The first trip to Gettysburg we took was great! We spent a week exploring the National Park, shopping at nearby stores and when we got hot, swimming in the pool at the campground. When my Dad started wanting to take a yearly trip to Gettysburg (can you say mega Civil War geek? ) just to take pictures of the monuments and carouse with other history Mother politely declined and instead of going with him, stayed home and took her vacation there. Yes, she vacationed at home.
Let me explain a bit about her family...or perhaps I should say let me explain about the mind-set of most OLD New England families. No one wants to hire someone to do something they are completely capable of doing themselves. This includes changing ones oil, building ones house, renovating ones house, digging ones septic, doing ones electric, running ones plumbing...You get the picture. And I'm not joking. I'm sure its a mind-set passed down from the times where you actually DID do everything yourself because there was no one else to do it. The first settlers certainly couldn't hire was pretty much do it yourself..or die. ..and since death usually is not much of an option...our ancestors opted to get off their butts and self teach themselves how to do things, and then they tought their children..and they taught their on and so forth which brings us back to my Mom..and her "vacation".
As soon as Dad would pull his Goldwing out of the driveway, my Mom would sit down and start "The List". This "list' consisted of two columns, one listed the things we (yes, I got to vacation with my mom....) needed to get done and the second one was a list of things we needed to get to accomplish the first column. The next step was usually a run to the hardware store to order supplies therefore taking care of column "two"....and let me tell Mother loves to shop at hardware stores...she browses there like most women browse at Victoria's by the time we were done 1/2 the day was gone.
I usually got woken up the next morning to the sound of the sawsall hitting nail after nail...then the day would be spent with her demolishing and me usually dragging the rubble out to the trash. Every day would go like this...and when my Father rolled in a week later there would be a new room, or a wall would be missing or there would be a hearth under the wood stove....
My point with all of this? My husband just left for a two week stint at Leavenworth (no, not in a cell..just on business)...and guess what I did today??? LOL yes, I got out the sawsall..and the drill..and the level...and finally put up the "command center" (geeze..can you tell we're a military family or what?) in the mud room. It brought back a lot of memories and gave me a good chuckle when I was using the sawsall to cut off a piece of the door frame so the counter top would fit in properly...especially when I took a big chunk of the wall out and thought "hm..I can cover that up with problem". I guess a bit of that New England mind-set got passed down to me...although I do have a contractor to build the addition..and a master electrician to do the one really wants me messing with electricity.
I feel like I accomplished something and that is really a great feeling. Yes, I will post pictures in a bit...right now I'm drinking some water resting...lifting a wall cabinet up to the ceiling and holding it there while you try to screw it to the wall really kicked my butt!

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