It Took a Village, But We’re Home

Officially it has been nearly three weeks since the last painter took his ladder and brushes and departed and we could call our house our own (although he did come back today for touch-ups) after Hurricane Irene. It took a village of workers and friends, and a lot of work, but it is finally done.…

Published January 13, 2012 3:38 PM
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Officially it has been nearly three weeks since the last painter took his ladder and brushes and departed and we could call our house our own (although he did come back today for touch-ups) after Hurricane Irene. It took a village of workers and friends, and a lot of work, but it is finally done. The threshold we cross is our own.

 

By Holly Kennedy

Officially it has been nearly three weeks since the last painter took his ladder and brushes and departed and we could call our house our own (although he did come back today for touch-ups) after Hurricane Irene. It took a village of workers and friends, and a lot of work, but it is finally done. The threshold we cross is our own.

I’ve never been much of a homebody, but this holiday season there was nothing my family enjoyed more than staying home. It feels good, especially the simple pleasures. Making a cup of coffee in my own kitchen, knowing what utensils and pots and pans are in which drawers, and being back to familiar routines and driving routes are true comforts. I can vouch that there are a lot of comfortable beds out there, but our family is happiest when their heads are on their own pillows in their own bedrooms.

 

We celebrated Christmas with a new tradition due to sheer necessity. We’re typically the family that gets the tree and starts decorating weeks in advance and take a few days to do it. Not this season. With the house finally holiday-ready December 22, our family of five, plus some friends, set out that evening to get a tree at the Kohl’s parking lot. Turns out that it’s a fun adventure to shop for a tree in a parking lot at night, and the trees are half price by then. Who knew? The kids loved it, so we may do it again.

 

New Year’s we toasted in front of our own fireplace and felt like old fogies watching the ball drop curled up on our sofa in front of our own TV. But it was so fun to be home. We reflected on 2011. I tried to get people to make New Year’s resolutions, but no one was willing to commit to a resolution other than me. I resolved to remember to be thankful for small blessings and to not sweat the small stuff. However, I must add that my daily visits to Dunkin Donuts, which were a great stress reliever for several months, did result in inevitable weight gain, so I resolve also not to eat donuts, and lose those pounds.

 

Here is my thankful list so far. I am thankful for the people in our lives. First, to Rye’s Department of Public Works and the very brave first responders who worked tirelessly during Hurricane Irene to keep people safe. To the City Council for continuing to make flood mitigation a top priority, and to the Building Department for assisting so many residents as they negotiated all the details of renovations and rebuilding. To our amazing contractor, Dave Anspach and his hardworking crew, who not only rebuilt our house, but, with their cheerful spirit and smiles, worked hard to keep me in good humor and held my hand during the especially crazy days at the end.

 

A few more thanks are in order to our dear friends and neighbors near and far who went out of their way to lend a hand, a house, a meal, advice, cut curtain rods to size, and, during the dust and construction chaos the week before Christmas, brought over a wreath for our door and poinsettia for our hearth. Finally, to the community of Rye for supporting the efforts of the City staff and Council to continue to protect our downtown and Central Business District, high school fields, library, YMCA, and Locust Avenue Bridge and Fire House from floods. It took a village, and we’re home.

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