Thursday, August 26, 2004


This summer we have had house projects that I would rank as being of Olympic proportions. We have had a lot of home improvements and repairs done, which I intend sharing and am in the process of preparing for posting.

I reminded Daniel today of the Comrades Marathon. This is a race that covers a distance of some 55 miles held every year and is run from Durban up to Pietermaritzburg. South Africans would sit and watch the race on TV and I have to say, as cruel as it sounds, more for the pleasure of watching those finishing last than the winner crossing the line. One of the shortest finish times recorded was 5.54 hours with others setting a goal of completing in 11 – 12 hours. At this stage, people would wobble over the finish line. They could barely speak, hardly walk, let alone run. They would usually collapse into the arms and towels of a loyal supporter, have gallons of water thrown over them and their legs would resemble that of jell-o corkscrews. This, basically, is what Daniel and I feel like today in terms of the stuff we have to complete in the house by Sunday.

Our Nanny, Marti, arrives from Slovakia and we have to have her room ready. This requires the purchase of dressers, or chests of drawers as we call them, and the re-arranging of three rooms in the house. While it is our pleasure to do this, and while having her here is going to create so much value in our lives, we feel like we are at the closing stages of what has been a three-year marathon. Just finding dressers we like has been like a marathon itself!

Much in the same way as these runners do, I am psyching myself up to survive the building of the flat packed dressers. When Daniel embarks on such a project, you can be guaranteed that we will leave the store with the items that God’s factory workers messed up. This of course leads us to that inevitable point in the process where Daniel raises his hands to the heavens and asks “why, why, why, why, WHY do you do this to ME, e.v.e.r.y s.i.n.g.l.e t.i.m.e, WHY?” and it is then followed by those heart wrenching little whispering sobs.

It has taken a few years, but I have learnt that this is one time I quite simply shut up. When the whaling subsides, I tip toe into the room and give a Comrades style supportive rub on his back or just stand and extend one of those “you can do it darling” smiles … you know, the one where you squeeze your lips together and puff out your cheeks, followed by a re-assuring wink and nod of the head! We can do this, and we will get through it.
The summer seems to have zoomed by so quickly that I am going to draw up a 'DID I DO IT?' Checklist. That will be for next time.