So, after nearly 2 years of whatever it is that we have been doing, my clothesline is back in business. The hubs put it in 2 weekends ago and I promptly washed some vintage tableclothes so that they could dry on the line. Rosie had to help me of course.
Part of the rest of the clothesline is the steps out the back door. So that I can walk out the back door in the laundry room right to the clothesline. Going around the burned double tree stump and past the little oak tree regrowing from the old oak stump to get to the line. I don’t have pictures yet – they still need to be painted, but they are functional and fabulous. We thought of buying the premade concrete steps but they didn’t come tall enough for what we needed, so hubs spent several hours building a set from wood and hardy plank. Considering that he’s never built stairs before I think he did a great job. Thank heavens for the internet and instructions on how to do everything.
The line being back is a milestone of sorts. Another step closer to … to what I’m not sure. I really hate the phrase “new normal” and yet, it is new and it is sort of normal. Normal before the fire was one kid in a house that needed a lot of work. Normal after the fire is 2 kids in a house that is pretty OK but with a yard that needs a LOT of work. It’s different. It’s great. It’s normal?
I was talking with friends recently, and trust me when I say that there are a lot of folks in this area who are also in the fire club, and what we concluded is that people who have never been through something like this or who don’t closely know someone who has – they don’t get the recovery process. Nearly 2 years out and we’re still fighting our way back to the top of the hole. And that it is the little things, like a clothesline, that mark a small victory.
I remember last year emailing a friend and telling her that I can’t wait until life returns to boring. To a time when I’m not making a zillion decisions about a new house or baby or… when we get back into everyday routines and occasionally, delicisouly, find ourselves bored. To me, that is probably the definition of recovered. When life becomes routine and mundane and I think about a bit of excitement… I’m not there yet. There’s to much new in our lives still. Kindergarten, the baby hopefully soon learning to crawl (and the chaos that that will cause) and the work on the yard… so much to do and think about still. Being bored means that I have time to mentally recover, to not be so exhausted just getting through a day and have more of a buffer between being OK and wanting to throw rocks at the world. Disasters take that buffer away and it is seeming to take an exceptionally long time for the buffer to return.
Little things though, they seem to help on the buffer issue. Being able to hang out wash by myself on my clothesline while looking at my chickens and a couple of newly planted baby trees… it helps. Planting flowers around the clothesline poles (I put in 4 oclocks) and hopefully watching them grow and bloom. That helps, too. Sewing 45 baby bibs… and working on my next project (details coming later this week)… I think that this is why recovery is so long though. It took ages to get to the point of putting the clothesline back in, it wasn’t high on the priority list, but yet…
So, here’s to small victories, and growing buffers – a load of wash on the line at a time.