Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bless This House by Helen Taylor

Bless This House

Bless this house, Oh Lord we pray
Make it safe by night and day.
Bless these walls so firm and stout
Keeping want and trouble out.

Bless the roof and chimneys tall.
Let thy peace lie over all.
Bless this door that it may prove
Ever open to joy and love.

Bless these windows shining bright
Letting in God’s heavenly light.
Bless the hearth, a-blazing there
With smoke ascending like a prayer.

Bless the people here within.
Keep them pure and free from sin.
Bless us all that we may be
Fit Oh Lord to dwell with thee.

Bless us all that one day we
May dwell O Lord with thee.
--Helen Taylor

Daddy asked me to find a copy of this song to play at our housewarming/ home dedication on August 23rd. I had an instrumental version in my collection, but Daddy said he'd get too emotional if he tried to actually sing it, so Peter found a youtube video, transferred it to his iPhone, plugged that into the auxiliary port on the Bose radio upstairs, and played it that way. Isn't technology wonderful?

At the housewarming, we had a huge crowd of relatives. Uncle Doug was in town, as were Maryanne, James, and their son. Martha was there with Isabella and Sam (Aaron was in the hospital after a followup procedure on his heart). Uncle Steve, Aunt Sue, TJ and Carter all came. Ryan and Trudy, brought their boys Ethan and Caleb. Adam was there with his wife and daughter. Aunt Shirley even came, and of course, Mom, Dad, Grandpa Roly, Elizabeth, Peter and I were all here to begin with. In all, we counted 26 people! Grandpa Roly said it had been a long time since nearly his whole family was together and happy, and was very touched.

Of course, before the party, there was a LOT of work to get the house ready. The first POD arrived on Tuesday, August 11th. That day we worked ourselves to the point of exhaustion hauling the literal TONS of stuff, furniture and boxes inside, and then when the POD was empty, beginning to unpack so that we'd have room for more boxes the next day. We fell into bed, and woke up the next morning to do it again on Wednesday, and yet again on Thursday. On Friday, we had a break of sorts (they didn't deliver another POD) so we cleaned and emptied the Provo apartment, then went to Grandpa's house in West Jordan and hauled all my stuff up from the basement and boxed up the things Grandpa decided to bring. Saturday, we loaded it all into a Uhaul truck (Which was a huge hassle to get -- I'll have to devote an entire post to that ordeal), drove back down to Salem, and unloaded it all. Sunday, we got a true Day of Rest, and were thankful for it, but then we had to start all over again with three more PODS on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Each of the PODS was stuffed to capacity -- not always space wise, but certainly always weight wise. The official limit of what the machine can lift is 6000 lbs (three TONS!!), and Mom and Dad were always at or over the limit. With six pods and a truck, we figure we had about twenty tons of stuff to haul into the house and put away.

We did have some things to help us though. Daddy rigged up a ramp going up the front steps, and with the dollies that Tim and a neighbor loaned us, we could haul heavy furniture, stacks of boxes, or even (heaven forbid) refrigerators and full filing cabinets up the stairs without having to lift them straight up. We also had lots of help. The neighbors/ward members pitched in day after day with Elder's Quorum, High Priest's Group, and Young Men all cycling through to do some of the worst lifting (we even had one of the Young Women come and play with Elizabeth and keep her entertained while I couldn't give her the attention and comfort she wanted).

The lifting help was most important because Mom couldn't lift anything with her back in such bad shape (it went out again a few weeks ago), and Grandpa shouldn't lift anything (because of his heart -- and his balance isn't too good either these days). I could carry in a lot of light loads, but I quickly found that if I wanted to keep being able to work at all, I had to know my limit and stick to it. That left Daddy as the only one who could physically do most of the work, and he had spent the last several weeks loading it all IN to the PODS!

Along with the Ward members mentioned before, we also had help from the Utah Valley Nerds group. They were supposed to come help us load Saturday morning, but they all decided they were too lazy to get up that early on a weekend (these are Nerds we're talking about, you know) so they decided to hire us some help in the morning, then come down and unload in the afternoon instead. We got pizza (and it took the delivery guy about an hour to find the house which was less than a mile from the pizza place, and even in the same town (which, after all only has 5000 people, so how hard can it be???)) and everybody sat around and talked in the shady room under the willow tree for a couple of hours after we finished. Heidi (Lesli's sister) is a part of that group, but couldn't make it that day, so she came another day and helped to unpack and break down boxes (we have really felt the love from Lesli's siblings in our moving -- Mark, if you'll remember, went far above and beyond helping us unload the POD from California in April). Ryan and Steve also worked hard on Saturday, bringing first one, then the other refrigerator from West Jordan (the first one's door was so wide it hit the kitchen counter and wouldn't open all the way).

After all the unloading, we still had to work 12-14 hour days unpacking and finding homes for everything. There were, you'll remember, TONS of books, that Dad and I assembled shelves for, and Mom sorted and shelved. I can easily believe there was another thousand pounds of games and toys to find shelves for and put away in the basement playroom. Then there was the food storage, and suitcases, boxes and bins of baby clothes, Christmas decorations, and various gifts and such to build shelves for and arrange in the storage room, and then there was all the fabric and American Girl stuff that went into the fabric room, not to mention the clothes, beds, dressers, and dishes that had to find homes in other parts of the house.

By the time Saturday the 22nd rolled around, we had made incredible progress, but when Mom announced the size of the party we were having, we realized that we had a lot of work left to do. There were boxes that still needed to be emptied, more boxes to break down and dispose of (thank you Craigslist and Freecycle), and even more boxes to hide in the fabric room, storage room, and office (which were designated as official uncompleted projects). Then we had to decorate by finding, and then arranging art and other knickknacks. Then, of course, there was the cleaning and vacuuming (moving in is VERY messy work), and the cooking of enough food to feed 26 people. We got the place looking presentable, and had a lovely evening with the family. All the kids were thrilled with the big playroom, and aside from a few arguments over what constitutes a turn on the rope swing (your feet can touch the floor three times, unless the other person isn't watching, and then you take as many swings as you can manage, but if you walk away for any purpose other than getting a running start, then you forfeit the rest of you turn, etc) and a frantic few minutes when they thought there was only one foam sword in the house (little did those children know who they were dealing with), they mostly got along.

After the party, there was several hours' worth of cleanup, and then even more unpacking to do the next week. Daddy also spent a lot of time fixing all those little things that have to be done when moving into a home. For instance, he changed six light fixtures for me, and took apart my toilet so that I could give it a really good cleaning in places where the sun doesn't figuratively shine. Mom did a lot of cleaning in her bathroom as well, and painted some of the places in most dire need of it (including my kitchenette downstairs).

Well, it's after 11:00, and I have to go to sleep, so I'll leave more for another day. I know that you want photos, and a full tour of the house, and an update on how Elizabeth is progressing (two words: leaps and bounds!), and how we like the ward and the neighborhood etc, but there simply isn't room in one post. So because I'm lazy and tired, I'll just give you the one shot that Peter took with his iPhone and sent out to the family lists already.

1 comment:

  1. WOW. What a job. I'm glad you had as much help as you did, and that Barbie and Kyle were able to help too.