One of the things Tom and I enjoy most about being retired is helping our families get things done. Whenever we are in Ohio, we spend time working with my parents as well as going on adventures. John and Jackie usually have a project for us to do. So, during November and December we spent time tackling the list at Mom and Dad’s house and at John and Jackie’s.
We love to keep busy and tackling projects together is a way to spend time with family while feeling like we are doing something useful. Tom does the majority of the chores because he is better at lifting heavy things and at doing handy stuff around the house. He never did this much handy stuff when we owned a house – but then, he was pretty busy working!
At John and Jackie’s we took off the brown oak trim around the windows and replaced it with white. Jackie felt the white made the rooms look fresher and more open. This was a pretty easy job except when the wood around the windows stuck out further than it should. We also replaced the baseboard trim in the living room. Fortunately Tom is good at figuring out compound miter saw corners. Because we got all that done quickly, we also took out the carpet in a guest bedroom. John replaced the carpet with tile flooring a week later.
Tackling Mom and Dad’s list takes longer because they keep adding stuff to it! Usually their stuff is smaller. We helped set up the Christmas tree, alerted them to a couple of mice in their crawl space, and moved furniture. Tom figured out what was causing the water hammer in their basement so they can stop it in the future. Dad and Tom puttered around while Mom and I tackled some other stuff on the list: baking cookies and making music together.
Tom cleaned out gutters and raked leaves at both houses. We both helped clean at Mom and Dad’s before the family Christmas gathering. After vacuuming and dusting the house, we both agreed that their house is BIG – especially compared to our house! Tom even helped my dad clean the handbells at church.
Sometimes tackling the list requires our professional expertise. Tom spoke to the Men’s Group at Lexington UMC about our travels. He has done this in previous years and he always puts together a good presentation. I blessed prayer shawls and comforters at my mom’s “Knotty Ladies” group.
We are glad to help out our family and are thankful that they have things for us to do. It makes us feel useful and like we are giving back after everything that they have given us.