Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rootling and Nesting

Dear John,
 
I spent a good bit of the day at Jen's new place. NIPSCO got the furnace and water heater turned on. I hauled 4 car-loads of stuff over - I kept rootling the kitchen and basement, and finding more things she needs.
 
Do you remember the stoneware we started out with? It was pure 1970s - brown, green, orange, and yellow. And Bi-Lo grocery stores had a deal, something like a plate for $5 with a $20 grocery purchase. So all the women on my parents' block started getting it for me. I have 14 place settings and all the serving pieces. It's the only stoneware set I've ever seen with three sizes of bowls. I'm also giving her the farmhouse table and chairs we bought for the townhouse in Mishawaka - it's a small set, and will fit in her kitchen. I rummaged and found a set of 8 large and 8 small glasses for her. I rounded up a mop and bucket, a broom, cleaning rags, 2 pots, an old canister set, a cheese grater, a hand mixer, that set of measuring cups that Mama gave us that we started out with (the measuring spoons didn't survive - puppies chewed them up), waste baskets, bathroom towels, a butter dish, one of my big stock pots, a dish rack - lots of things that I haven't been able to part with because there were so many memories associated with them.
 
I'm so glad we weren't able to get things gone through and taken to Goodwill in summer of 2011. Jen's starting from scratch with furniture, so we can give her a sofa, coffee table, 2 chairs, tables, lamps, and an entertainment center for the living room. For her room, we're giving her all the furniture in her bedroom here - bed, desk, filing cabinet, and bookcase. And I'm giving her our grill and all the tools and gizmos that go with it. She grills out a lot, and I can't see myself doing it without you.
 
So today I got to go and nest in somebody else's house. And oh, what a house! It's early 20th Century, lots of craftsman details, with a bit of Queen Ann in the exterior design. Jen's upstairs apartment has an entrance from outside, and the original woodwork and doors (and knobs!) tells me that the apartment is original to the house. I'm thinking maybe a mother-in-law suite? The way the entrance connects to the rest of the house doesn't say boarder to me - there was no way to lock the doors to separate the area from the rest of the house. Oh, and Jen has an attic fan, and two large shade trees to the west and southwest. The living room and two bedrooms have ceiling fans. The house is amazing. I want to buy it and restore it. What a showplace it could be! Oh, and it's two doors north of where LaVoid and Betty used to live. Jen has fallen in love with it, and I don't blame her. Elyssa is amazed at how much room they'll have. Me, I'm focused on the history and architectural integrity of the house. I guess you could say that we each appreciate it in our own way.
 
So now I'm off to bed, and I'll be taking something for pain after I finish this letter. After packing all that stuff, getting it up from our basement, out to the car, across town, unloaded and inside, then up the stairs and unloaded in the right room - everything hurts except the end of my nose. And I'm jumpy and irritable because I hurt so much. I'll be taking something, so don't worry about me. And no, I didn't push myself too hard today. I enjoyed all that I did, and today was the only day to do it, with the holiday coming up. I'll be okay in the morning.
 
You'd be proud of Jen. She handles money and business things so well. She does a good job of standing up for herself, too, like when NIPSCO tried to charge her an extra $40 because they forgot to call her. She's an amazing and delightful woman, and I'd be proud to say I had any hand in that but I didn't. She came that way.
 
Well, this time I really am off to bed. I'm working tomorrow and leaving for Springfield on Thanksgiving morning. Jen will be looking after house and dog, and having friends over. I'll get a reasonable amount of sleep tonight. Please keep praying for me. I do for you all the time, and I will especially this weekend, spending the holiday with your family but not you. Pray for all of us - we'll all be missing you on Thanksgiving.
 
Love you, miss you, and thankful for you,
Joan.

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