During our six weeks in Ohio, we are helping friends and family. Helping them with what? Pretty much anything they need help with!
Obviously our family gets most of our helping. Jackie and John and my parents keep a running list so there will be things for us to do when we visit their houses. At John and Jackie’s house we installed baseboard in the upstairs hall and helped decorate the Christmas tree. We cleaned up leaves in the yard. Tom tried to clean out the gutters, but they were frozen, so he will try again another day. Tom and John put down a floor transition strip. They also built sturdy wooden storage shelves in the garage. We made multiple trips to the recycling center cleaning out their garage. Tom aired up the tires on Jackie’s car and installed new windshield wipers so it was ready for traveling. We took the dogs for multiple walks.
We have been helping my parents. Tom and Dad cleaned up leaves and cleaned out the gutters. They put the snow blower on the lawn mower in preparation for the winter weather. They carried the glider into the storage shed. We put up Christmas lights around the trees in the front yard. We rearranged the furniture in the bedroom to the winter configuration.
Setting up the Christmas tree turned into an adventure. Mom and Dad’s Christmas tree has fiber optic lights with a disc that rotates in the tree stand so the colors change. We helped put up the Christmas tree and then noticed that it was too close to the wall. In pulling the tree away from the wall, a tiny plastic piece on the stand broke which caused the rotating disc to catch on the stand. So we lifted the tree out of the stand – thanks to Tom’s strong muscles – and two of us held it while two of us worked on fixing the stand. It was definitely a group effort with all of us working on one part or the other.
After several surgical procedures with screwdriver, tongue depressors, and duct tape, we finally removed the disc completely. The motor that made it turn was too stressed and on the edge of burning up. Removing the disc means that the lights are white all the time, but the tree looks beautiful and is no longer in imminent danger of catching on fire.
Finally, it seems like we can’t spend time in Ohio without helping someone move. We helped our friend Deborah move some of her furniture from her apartment in Findlay to her condo in North Canton. She didn’t really need our help – unloading the truck only took about 15 minutes – but it was a good excuse to spend time with Deborah, her brother Gary, and her sister-in-law Connie.
Tom and I love helping people. Helping those we love, our friends and family, is even sweeter. It never seems like work when we are working together.