I've been absent from the blogging scene for a few weeks due to some drastic changes that have occurred in our lives. My grandfather passed away on March 26th after a short battle with cancer and emergency surgery. In many respects, the timing was not good, but then again, it never is when you lose a loved one. In the midst of everything, we are still working slowly on the house. I must commend everybody who has helped us during the past few weeks and who has provided understanding during the times when Tim and I couldn't be there to give our assistance. Particularly, the Karpet Shop of Norfolk for finishing our tile work and carpeting, Doescher Appliance of Wayne for installing and moving our appliances, Discount Furniture of Wayne for delivering our living room and bedroom furniture that has been stored in their warehouse for 3 months, and Russ Loberg Electric of Wisner for putting the finishing touches on the wiring. It was a relief to know that I could trust these folks to handle the work without us being present, and it was nice to come home to the finished product after the long days prior to and following the funeral.
This house is my tribute to Grandpa and the many things he taught his grandchildren throughout the years. The day after grandpa died, we installed a flag pole in our front yard in his memory. He was always proud of his country and the service he and his older brother, Dale, had given it during World War II. Dale was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for valiant actions on Okinawa just days before he was killed in action by a sniper. My younger brother is also named after him. Grandpa taught us the meaning of service, valor and honor.
My grandfather was bit of a perfectionist, and I must admit that I inherited the same gene (much to my husband's dismay). With the remaining cement from setting the flag pole, we also fixed broken section of the curb that borders the street running north of our house. Grandpa couldn't stand it when his curbs had chunks of broken cement missing out of them, and my dad, brothers, and I spent a few Saturdays helping him replace portions where the snow plow or a car tire got a little too close. I am thankful that he taught me and my brothers how to do this task. He instilled a sense of pride for owning your own property and keeping it in good shape.
Grandpa told me several times after we purchased the home that he was coming down to see it after we were finished with the remodeling. He insisted on waiting until we were done because he didn't want to "bother" us. He understood that we were busy, and he always felt like he was in the way if we were in the middle of a project. I would always laugh when he interjected about the way something "should be done" versus the way we were going to do it. He liked to share his knowledge, and he enjoyed being able to have a say in what was happening. We should have made a point to have him visit sooner.
As I've said many times before, a house is more than shelter. It is a place of great memories and good times with family and friends. Don't put off those visits from loved ones because you feel like you don't have the time or things aren't in the order you want them. All they care about is seeing you. I know that Grandpa is proud of how far we have come with our house and in some way, he is talking to us to make sure we are doing things right. We wouldn't have it any other way. Welcome Home.