Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

It has been a few weeks since I last posted, and what a few weeks it has been.

When last I posted, I mentioned that we were going to downsize. This meant getting our house ready for selling, which confirmed why we need to downsize. Between Holly and me, we went through every closet and every drawer of our fourteen-room, 3,600 square-foot house. We cleaned every baseboard, washed every wall, purged, deep cleaned, and organized every square foot. I mopped the floors so many times it makes my head spin. Jim and Holly moved 90,000 pounds of landscaping rock as we switched out our landscaping beds, while I cleaned up all of the landscaping edges and tackled the weeds on our 0.75-acre lot. And we did it all in eight days.

At the same time, we were puppy-sitting for our neighbors, a lovely Huskie/American Shepherd mix who just happened to be blowing his very fluffy and massive winter coat while we had him. Plus, we were getting ready to go on vacation the same day the house was to officially enter the market, AND Jim worked full days during all of this. So, insanity ruled around here for the last half of June.

Thankfully, the house is now for sale, and we have had quite a few showings and a lot of expressed interest. We have even had a second showing already, but we are still missing that important offer. In the meantime, our condo progresses nicely. We signed all the paperwork and put down earnest money before we left so that they could continue construction. We meet with the cabinet vendors next week and are now in that stage where we get to see little changes every day. I would feel better if we had an offer for our house on the table, but I remain confident right now that we will sell it in plenty of time. Now, try me again in two weeks.

Our vacation was not really a vacation but a trip to Pittsburgh to visit with Jim’s oldest brother as well as his oldest sister and her family. All involved followed the safety measures against COVID before we arrived, and we received everyone’s permission to visit before we left. Even as the number of cases started to balloon while we were there, we all stayed safe and had a good visit. We got to meet and visit with our new great-nephew, born just five days before we arrived. Holly had her first unofficial college visit to Penn State, which she decided she does not want to attend after walking the campus. We hiked, we hit all the famous Pittsburgh places to eat. It was nice to get away and not have to worry about the house for a week.

Now we are back. Holly’s dance kicks into gear on Wednesday of this week as she heads back into the studio for four long days of dance seminars and choreography. It does seem weird for her to go back into an enclosed setting like that, but the directors swear they will follow proper protocols for cleaning and distance and are keeping the numbers in the rooms to under 20, as the guidelines for Wisconsin suggest. Our COVID cases remain low compared to the rest of the country, so I don’t think the risk is huge for Holly. However, we did tie our one-day record number of cases yesterday, so I will be keeping an eye on things.

We still have no idea what school is going to look like in September. Our neighbor is the Director of Curriculum for the school district, and he tells me they have three different scenarios depending on what phase we are in when school starts again. It is frustrating to have no answers, but I get that everyone is trying to do their best with a truly shitty situation. Patience seems to be the keyword as the first wave of the pandemic lasts a lot longer than anyone expected.

I hope everyone is safe, practicing social distancing, and wearing their mask when out in public. Now is not the time to be selfish or ignorant. The sooner we get the pandemic under control, the sooner we can get back to some semblance of normalcy.

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