Hi, remember me?
Updated: 2 days ago
Hello, good morning or good afternoon. I'm Kate. Remember me? I used to blog. Then I didn't. Let me explain.
Things were zipping along in quarantine for me. Well not really, that's a lie. They weren't. The days were long and unnerving and I was trying to do whatever I could to keep busy. Cooking, gardening, house stuff. It didn't matter, I just needed to keep busy. It definitely helped. Blogging helped too-I need to remember that.
May 19th came along and around 2:30 my phone started ringing off the hook but I was out in the garden, I think, and didn't have it with me. Finally, my brother called my husband to find me. J. came out to the garden and handed me the phone. My brother was calling with awful news-my brother in law, Bob, had passed away unexpectedly. Off J. and I went to my sister's house where, thankfully, my parents had already arrived.
Since that day, I have spent a couple of days a week with my sister helping her navigate the mountain of grief, paperwork, and bureaucracy that comes with losing a loved one. It seems really unfair that someone who is grieving should have so much to do and worry about. I am happy to say that she and my niece are doing as well as can be expected and have had lots of love and support.
I cut back some on my gardening after that, I just wasn't as enthusiastic about it for a while. Not completely, of course, but I wasn't going with the same determination anymore. During that time J. and I decided to sell the home we have lived in for almost thirty years. I was now busy getting the house ready to sell, editing our possessions down to a non-ridiculous level, and emotionally coming to terms with leaving a home I love dearly. I was ready to and wanted to move, but it's still pretty emotional-not just for me but for my children, my parents, and all of our family and friends who have helped make the most wonderful memories there.
Luckily, our home sold very quickly. (Thanks red-hot New Jersey real estate market!) We were busying ourselves with organizing and packing and honestly it seemed there wasn't enough time in each day for the things we wanted to accomplish.
On August 4th in New Jersey there was a terrible storm. Like, really bad. J was working in our cabana as usual. Our two Golden Retrievers were with him as well. We knew the weather was going to be bad, but nothing prepared us for just how bad it got. The real estate appraiser had been at our home and five minutes after he left all hell broke loose. Winds like I have never seen at our home kicked up and the very large, very substantial trees on our property started swirling. We have had plenty of bad thunderstorms in the time we lived there but nothing like this. My son and I were watching out the back door, kind of in awe, and then it happened. Trees just started toppling. Big ones, and many of them. They started falling directly across our property and right towards the cabana where J was working. I couldn't help myself-I was just shouting, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!"
Those trees landed less than five feet from our cabana and amazingly J and our dogs were safe. I cannot say the same for our backyard.
Our back property was in ruins. Forty feet of fence was smashed. Pergolas were reduced to rubble, patio furniture was broken, my gardens were decimated, and large trees now covered 3/4 of our backyard. RIGHT AS WE WERE UNDER CONTRACT TO SELL OUR HOME. The damage totaled nearly thirty thousand dollars. Are you kidding me?
Not that I was in the mood to, but there was no time for blogging. Or gardening. Out of necessity I continued to make cocktails. Ha! It was all about cleanup as fast as possible. Thank god for J. He did everything. Like literally everything. I can truly say it was the most stressful time of my life. The good news is everything worked out. We cleaned up, the house got sold, and we are now happily living in our home in Vermont. I've been doing a few projects and I hope to blog about them soon.
Not that anyone asked, but that's what has been going on with me. I hope your summer was better than mine! In the end I am grateful. Grateful for the time I was able to spend with my sister and niece. Grateful my family was safe from the storm. Grateful for our new home and our new home state.