We are cleaning up, fixing up, painting up in preparation for Christmas. It is kinda fun, in a weird way, and my husband and I make a good team while we do this.
He does one task, I take on another - and when one of us gets weary, or discouraged, the other encourages or helps out.
As I move from one task to the other I am confronted by so many memories.
Here in the kitchen is where my dear border collie, Maggie, chewed off the corner of the cupboard while she was teething.
Here in the bedroom is the water mark left by the steamer I had going day and night when my daughter had croup.
Here on the doorway between the kitchen and living room are the marks of my growing children - 1999, 2003, 2014.
Here near the kitchen ceiling are the tape marks from a sign the hung for years that said 'Mary's Cafe.' My kids and husband made it one weekend while my father-in-law was recuperating at our house and I was making homemade bread, and soup and even sushi.
There is more tape residue from birthday streamers, mistletoe kissing bugs (don't ask), a poster from the Yukon, and a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey birthday game.
I have taken down pictures to wash walls, one of them that my father made for his mother in 1937. He was thirteen.
One my aunt gave me (in an attempt, I think, to make me feel not too bad for my messy, messy house.)
check out the price..... $1.47!
I have decided to move the dulcimer that hangs on the wall, a gift from my husband years before I had children. I need to change things up a bit.
I have decided to eighty-six the elephant-pocket wall organizers that kept odds and ends in the kitchen and by the front door.
I have recycled (or thrown-out) things that don't serve me anymore, following my colleagues advice to only keep things that a) are useful, b) are beautiful, or c) I Love. (Luckily my husband fits all three categories.)
Today we are washing ceilings and removing wall-paper, working as a team despite sore shoulders (me) and tweaky knees (him).
We have colours to pick before the painting begins, and that is an issue because neither of us has any kind of colour sense. Ideas welcome!
Despite removing the tape residue, sanding the chewed cupboard, and washing away the grime of raising children this house will still hold the memories.
Because those memories are locked tight in my heart.
And I am ready to make some new ones.