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We're HOME!


opus88
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Hi, Gang!

Just wanted to share my excitement of moving back into our house. It was exactly 3 months from our last night in the house to our first night returning there. Hurricane Ivan uprooted our lives for a while and will still affect us as we pursue insurance matters, exterior reconstruction, etc. But we're HOME!

I dropped into mild insomnia the middle of last week, making me very tired of course, as well as lightheaded. The adrenaline rushes turned into numerous (but thankfully small) panic attacks which forced me to take my beta-blocker for the first time in a long time - but just one dose brought things back under control again. I am again having back trouble but I'm sure the activity of cleaning the house, moving, and cleaning the rented condo have been the culprit there. Other symptoms have been popping up since the insomnia began, but nothing huge. I'm very encouraged to have made it through so much stress with so little health trouble!

Everything has a positive side if you're willing to look for it. I would have never, ever wished for any of these hurricanes to happen. But for my husband and me, Ivan has given us a superficial opportunity to not only update the look of the house (really needed it) but also a deeper opportunity to sort through our stuff and toss so much unneeded clutter. It feels incredibly good to truly "clean house", but I just didn't have any motivation for it until the hurricane forced the issue. I'm glad for that still-unfinished adventure - I am learning how that clutter was affecting my life, even though I thought it was all "hidden".

Please continue to keep all victims of natural disasters in your prayers - there are still so many who have lost so much (homes, jobs, treasured possessions, sense of security, etc.) yet recuperation has only barely begun.

To those who have donated items or money to relief funds: Unless you are on the receiving end of such generosity, you may never know how deeply you have touched someone's life, or the tears of joy you have brought by your caring and generosity. Please trust me when I say your efforts are deeply appreciated!

So, I'm flying high to be back in my own home again (yes, after the help and kindness of many strangers), especially just in time for the holidays. What a wonderful Christmas present this is! Thank you all for your support during this time!

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Thanks for sharing such wonderful news, Opus. I can't imagine being ripped so suddenly from my home--and for so long. I love your optimistic spirit and your positive spin on what could have felt more like disaster. You're a champ, you know that? I'm happy you're home!

Your friend in a cold cold hurricane-free zone,

Merrill

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Opus, so glad that your life is getting back to some normalcy. There is nothing quite as nice as being able to go home, huh? <_< I even like coming home after vacation...it's comforting.

Nina

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Guest tearose

How wonderful to return to your new home. I am sorry that you had to go through the hurricane but it is good you can find the positive in this trauma.

Please teach me how to let go of possessions! I have enough dishes to set up an entire neighborhood! I know you had some things pulled away without choice, but did you learn anything you can teach others about letting go of the old/excess?

Don't overdo the setting up process. You don't want to end up on the sofa for a month!

warm wishes, tearose

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Tearose,

I'm not sure I can teach anything about the tossing-out process, but I'll tell you my situation which caused the action. 1) The water-damaged areas required thorough cleaning of all possessions nearby. 2) The drywall process left such an incredible mess ("mud" and dust) that everything in cabinets and behind closed doors was covered with thick dust - and then stuck on due to humidity. 3) Since everything in our house has been replaced (flooring, ceilings, all walls painted, countertops, window dressings, etc.), much of the old stuff doesn't match anymore.

It was just easier to toss stuff than clean things that I knew would never look good again. I've amazed myself at my sense of detachment, since I do tend to hold onto things "just in case I need it next month or next year."

Without those 3 things, I don't know that I'd have gone to such lengths (and still am) to clear stuff out. But in the process of cleaning, some stuff naturally was ruined - out it went. Stuff that was in bad shape to begin with wasn't even worth cleaning, so out it went. Each item in a drawer had to be pulled out and cleaned (including the drawer), which means it got sorted. If I hadn't used it in the past year, it got tossed. Pan lids with no pans, Tupperware bowls with no lids, wok utensils (I no longer have a wok) . . . all were tossed out. Clothes that didn't fit properly (unfortunately, too many!) or don't match anything else were tossed, and socks that don't stay up or had holes went in the trash, too. Ratty old blankets and flattened or horribly stained pillows were trashed. And so on. I just set my mind to it, and I made quick decisions rather than think about who gave it to me or how long I'd had it.

My suggestion: Don't let it get as bad as I did so that it takes a hurricane to do something about it. Take just one drawer one day. Maybe one cupboard next week. The floor of the closet a few days later. And so on. But if you feel well enough and motivated, capitalize on it at the moment - you will probably find that the motivation feeds on itself because there is such a sense of accomplishment and pride in getting one area done. And it's strange, but there is a positive mental component to getting that done - like a clearing of the mind as well as the house. Ahhh . . .

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Thanks, all, for sharing in my enthusiasm. It's sooooo wonderful to know people are cheering me on in this huge endeavor!

The excitement is certainly there, motivating both of us to get things organized quickly. But I'm pushing extra hard to finish the big stuff because I'm throwing my hubby a surprise birthday party at our house Saturday. Oh, such bad timing! I just couldn't ignore this one, since he turns 60 next week! It's been a trick to get some things done without making him suspicious, but so far I think/hope he has no clue. He may hit the ceiling, though, when they come to deliver the gravel for the driveway Friday. That was gonna be put off for a while. Oh well . . . it will be worth it. :-)

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opus88

I am so happy for you that you are home. What a vivid description you gave of what it's like to have your house flooded like it was by those hurricanes. I felt like you put us right there - standing beside you back when you were in the midst of all your muck and dust and damage. It's hard to imagine how every nook and cranny of everything you own could be so affected without such a description as you gave- what a vivid picture you painted. TV might show pictures- but it doesn't give the "feel" like you did so eloquently of how such damage plays itself out- the ruination of so much.

Nevertheless, it certainly sounds like you are taking lemons and making lemonade- turning a negative into a positive. Now you have everything new-an updated house and you feel good about having "cleaned house". I will repeat some prior advice, though, don't do too much or wear yourself down. Hope your husband has a great surprise for his 60th.

Beverly

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That is great news that you're back in your house for the holidays. My mother flew up from Ft. Meyers twice to stay with me--once in August and once in early September--to escape the hurricanes. Her building had thousands of dollars of damage and the frames of her lainai windows bent with the wind pressure which allowed the carpets to get wet--so she is just finishing up with the insurance company. Things can be replaced--people cannot. Take care of yourself. Martha

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opus88, so glad to hear your good news. You really have a great outlook on what is happening and have some really good suggestions for clearing the clutter. Every time I clean a closet or cabinet, I really do feel it lightens how I feel. Very therapeutic!

Take it easy with all your house reorganization, holidays and bday party but enjoy it all at the same time!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Opus,

You wouldn't happen to be from the Pensacola area would you?

I'm very happy for you that you are back in your home. Had I not sold my house in Gulf Breeze 2 weeks prior to Ivan I would have lost everything. My house there got almost 5 ft of water. I had the same decluttering problem when I was moving. It's especially hard to do when you just don't have the energy. Take care.

Jill

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Hey, Jill!

Great timing on the house sale! My goodness, what a lucky thing!

Hope you fared well throughout the storm and the move. I fully understand what you mean about things being especially hard when you don't have the energy. I truly believe that if I hadn't been working with the Metabolic Typing Program before Ivan ripped things apart, I wouldn't have been able to do even a tiny fraction of what I did these past 3+ months.

(I just sent you a private note. Hope you get it!)

- - - - -

Everyone,

I'm still cleaning and decluttering, but certainly making progress. (I really wish I was better at domestic stuff, especially decorating. My new window scarves look like a kindergartener put them up!) The siding installation began last week and the under-house storage/workroom should be done in a couple of weeks. Then we should finally be done. We are so lucky - we talked to 2 different couples last week who both said it would be July before they would get to return to their condos!

The construction traffic and noise has taken this quiet little corner of the world and turned it into day after day of commotion. I'm not complaining by any means, but it has changed our day-to-day experience in a big way. Like anything in life, you get used to it and adapt. But between moving & cleaning duties and a stint of bad weather, we haven't yet had a chance to escape the noise (well, as much as possible) by walking on the beach. That's just plain cruel - it's like being teased constantly - ha!

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