Saturday, August 15, 2009
We're back from our trip up to Paisley, Oregon and here are some highlights...
For those of you who don't know, the house originally was the Paisley schoolhouse in 1895.
Then it became a Catholic church (some of the stained glass windows are still there), and then a private residence.
We even found out that it was used as a storage facility for the local gas and electric company for a while. Gavin's family bought the house in the early 1980s.
Nadine has done such a wonderful job of restoring and renovating the house, and yet she managed to retain so much of its original charm.
We were in Paisley for a week, and during that time we visited with local friends and neighbors,
had another memorial service for Nadine complete with a potluck dinner,
went to the local swimming hole (called The Falls) of the Chewaucan River,
had dinner at the only restaurant in town, The Homestead, and spent a lot of time in the hammock,
watching the kids ride their bikes, reading and cleaning. It was a full week and it was worth every moment.
Despite our restful time in Oregon, I'm feeling like a deflated balloon. Although I'm looking forward to getting back into a schedule, I'm also exhausted by the mere idea of getting back to it.
It's still so surreal to think about all that we went through with Nadine this summer. My interactions with people feel strange, awkward. At the risk of sounding overdramatic (some might even admit to thinking I've been this way for a while), I'm thinking that we're forever changed from this experience of terminal illness. I know it'll just be time that brings us back into the present. Not that we want to forget, but that eventually these thoughts and feelings won't be so close to the surface anymore.
We were in such a mode of day-to-day living for so many months, not knowing what we might face at the beginning of each day. And then over the last few weeks, we were in 'go' mode for the memorial services, family visiting, and funeral arrangements. Now all that is behind us and we're feeling quite blah. Now we have a choice. We can either stay in this mode and isolate ourselves from others and from activities, or we can choose to participate in the things around us and start to gradually move on.
Life moves on, our family needs to continue to function, and our kids need us to keep going for them. It's all very strange. If I sound confused in my thoughts, believe me, I am.
Our first step to 'getting back to normal' (what is normal, anyway?), happened yesterday. We actually cleaned our house, and I started to go through some of the bags of stuff we brought up from Nadine's house. This week I'm planning a trip to donate things to the thrift shop, we're going to get to Nadine's paperwork and we have to start notifying the DMV, insurance, financial institutions, etc. with the death certificates (sorry to be blunt, no other way around it, I guess - it's reality).
Gavin goes back to work tomorrow and the kids start school on Wednesday. Soccer started last week too. I've busied myself with sewing activities - I even brought my machine up to Oregon.
I made an apron for myself (I know, it's blurry), and then the girls each wanted one of their own,
and then I made placemats with the leftover fabric I found.
We're leaving it all in the Paisley house so it's there for us to use during our visits. I also made a wrap skirt from the Sew What! Skirts book.
If you made it all the way through this blogpost, congratulations - it was a long one. Although this next week has potential to be exhausting, I'm looking forward to the changes, and to moving on. Thanks for listening.