Saturday, June 28, 2014

Renovation Realizations...

A few things I have realized during this Renovation process...

1. I love to paint… but today I learned that love for painting is limited to painting with brushes. Otherwise known as… paint rollers are not my friend. I hate them… they hate me. Generally, painting is a stress reliever, but painting a wall with a roller… just stresses me out! Maybe it’s a control issue, I think that I have more control with a brush than a roller. Lesson learned, I’m a control freak with paint.    
Painting with a brush... I like. A wall - not so much!
2. I’m ADD when it comes to projects. I started several today and didn’t finish any… made progress on painting the walls in the side porch/mudroom and cleaning the fireplaces, but the mudroom needs another coat of paint and I haven’t started painting the bricks on the fireplace. 

3. In general I have a real peace about Daddy’s death… I miss him, as I have written about many times, but when I’m trying to find something in his shop, can’t get something to work, or just don’t know how to do something that I know I could have asked/called him about – I get mad that he isn’t here. I often times talk to him out loud… so don’t judge me too much if you hear that sometimes… 
4. My generation is weak about a lot of things… but as I worked on the house today while the power was shut off and sweated so much that I looked like I was a participant in the Facebook Cold Water Challenge… I realized that I am most weak about Air Conditioning. Mawmaw and Pawpaw Cole at least had window units and ceiling fans… but I just don’t know how anyone survived pre air conditioning in Mississippi summers. Those summer storms only help a little bit…  and I still sweated buckets after the ones today.

5. Why does anyone, ANYONE use contact paper?? I removed some from the cabinet shelving today and the only positive things I can say about it is that it protected the wood very well!
Why would you cover this wood with flowered contact paper??? 

It's still a work in progress... they have been working on electrical and sheetrock this last week and I am doing some little projects (though I now know interior paint will NOT be a project I complete). Mom and I had to meet with the Power company this week because we have to cut some trees down to install a transformer, and I'm having the hardest time deciding ease over finances in regard to the flooring I choose... I honestly doubt I'll get moved in until the end of August or September (due to work schedule)... but slow and steady wins the race, right??? .....RIGHT??

I sure hope so!

Love y'all,

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sometimes, The Lord says "No!"

Five years ago today... God answered a prayer, a plea of mine with a resounding, heartbreaking, and earth shattering "NO."

Unfortunately, that prayer, that plea... was for my daddy's life. 

I can walk thru the motions of that day vividly, like a nightmare I will just never forget... One of those most vivid moments was right before I left the house to go to the hospital, I gripped a doorframe in our house and verbally and loudly pleaded with God that when I came home it would not be without an earthly father... But sometimes, The Lord says "No."

Over the past 5 years, and y'all... It's so hard I believe it's been 5 years since I've seen his face, held his hand, or heard his voice, I have heard The Lord say "no," or "not yet" in answer to several prayers... But never has one hurt as bad as the answer I received on the morning of June 20, 2009. I prayer none will ever hurt as bad again. 

The thing is though, I realize and wholeheartedly believe that if I could ask my daddy if he would come back to earth and live these last 5 years with us, he would not hesitate and answer with an emphatic "no!". The reason for that is clear, and anyone who knew Danny Cole knows it... My daddy loved The Lord more than he loved me or my brother, more than he loved my mom. More than he loved anything or anyone on this earth. I don't believe he would give up Heaven for anything. 

... And that my friends, is what made him the best daddy, best husband, best son, best friend, best worker anyone could imagine or ask for. 

So The Lord said "no" that day, and my daddy would too... So I had/have to learn from that. I had to learn to to live life without the person I loved most in the world, without my sounding board, without the person who gave me the wisest advice and frankly my best friend. I've learned to depend on myself more, to value my relationships more... I have remembered random pieces of advice he told me once and applied them to life. I've learned that "to be a success at life, you have to be a success at living," which to me means that despite cards that may be dealt you, you enjoy life, treat people well, always be kind, and love The Lord. 

If you have never read any of my blog before and you have some time, I invite you to go back to the first posts I ever wrote, because I created this blog as an outlet for the emotions and thoughts I experienced after daddy died. In this blog are the lessons I've learned in this valley of life that I have passed, which was an answer to another prayer from June 20, 2009. That afternoon I shut myself in my room and cried, slept, and cried some more. I asked God to not waste the heartbreak. I prayed that He would teach me through the sorrow so that I would at the very least learn from the experience... And I am so thankful he answered "yes" to that question... Because without Him these last 5 years would have been very very dark. I can only imagine how much worse it would hurt without the hope I have received thru Jesus Christ. 

So to all who may be reading I advise you this... Do not always expect for The Lord to say "yes"... Though you can not in any way prepare for the "no" answers in life, if you have faith in The Lord and trust in his guidance then I hope that you will eventually learn from them like I have and continue to do... Because without the lessons learned, the "no" just causes a world of hurt with no positive effects. 

If anything, my daddy was a positive influence on the people in his life, he made sure people felt as if he listened to them, (though he talked quite a lot too!) and always had a good time in the process. I hope that I can always follow that example and continue to learn from the "no" responses I may receive.... Because there is a lesson in every one of them, you may just have to dig deep to find it. 

Love y'all, 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Progress Report

Today is Pawpaw Cole's birthday. If I do my math right he would have turned 93 today, and oh how I wish he was still here to celebrate with... if you didn't get the chance to ever meet him, you missed out. Shane, my cousins Heather and Vanessa, and I were so lucky he was our grandfather. He retired a few a few months after I was born (if I remember correctly), so we spent a lot of time together when I was litttle. Most of my fond memories from childhood involve Pawpaw in someway or another. He may not have claimed to have many friends, but he was a man that was loved by many and loved them all right back. Pawpaw was never one to communicate his love verbally, in fact, I don't know that I remember him ever saying, "I love you." Anyone that knew him would tell you that he showed his love through acts of service, and he served many.

I think Pawpaw would be proud of what I am doing in his house. He might yell at me about the amount of money I'm borrowing and spending (I have been doing that to myself enough), but I'm pretty sure that as long as there was a bed to nap in, coffee cup to drink out of, and some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream in the freezer, he would make himself at home.

So here is the progress report... Demo is pretty much done. Panelling has come down and has revealed some very pink wallpaper...

When the panelling was removed, the living room and dining room was COVERED in this pink and gray wallpaper. Evidently Aunt Ivloy and Mamaw Robertson put it up for Aunt Ivloy and Uncle Dexter's wedding. (I saved some to frame!)

and some BEAUTIFUL wooden walls...
After the wall paper was removed, this beautiful wood was revealed!!
... is the question that everyone has asked after seeing the picture above, which is of the living room and dining room. The answer is ... Partially. Unfortunately, there is no insulation in the house, and therefore (after much debate/discussion with my mother) I will be covering at lease some of them with sheetrock so that I won't go completely broke every month when the power bill arrives. One exciting thing I learned from Uncle Bo is that all of the wood in the house was sourced from the property, which makes it even more special. I'm choosing practicality over pretty here... and while it may hurt my heart a bit, it will help my wallet.

We ARE going to be able to save the original floors in the 3 bedrooms... but the living/dining room, kitchen, hallway, bathroom, and laundry room are going to have to be replaced. Due to the unlevelness (is that a word??) of the house I can't put hardwood in, so I am looking at some laminate and vinyl options right now... will hopefully have a decision/update soon.

More Wood revealed under carpet and panelling.
The bathroom is a work in progess also. I picked a bathtub (soaker tub), but that is about it so far. I have decided that I want to add insulation and put beadboard on the botton half of the walls, and am also looking at flooring options (geometric tile or vinyl) for the bathroom as well.
Bathroom Demo... don't get too attached to the pink tub, it isn't staying!
Before I left to go study abroad in Mexico in January of 2004, Pawpaw advised me to "Remember Who you are, What you are, and Where you're from." Those words still stick with me 10 years later and have been accountability in a lot of ways over the last 10. I am trying to continue and heed those words as I do this work on the house understanding that I'm a Cole, a Christian, and I will always and forever be from Hattiesburg/Oak Grove/Midway.

A picture of the property that I found... not sure when this was taken, but I assume it is quite old since the fields have not been cleared in the photo.

This house holds a rich legacy of good people who impacted their community in a positive way like Pawpaw Cole did, and it is my responsibility to remember those 3 things and keep that legacy going.

Love Y'all,