Laura and Granddaughter #2
My daughter, Laura, is due to deliver our second granddaughter the weekend of October 17/18 in Botswana. I am scheduled to run the Hersey Half-Marathon that same weekend. This is Laura’s second baby and my second race of this length. I have decided to dedicate my race to Laura. What better way to use that time than to pray for Laura, her husband Kagi, their daughter Anaya, and the precious baby.
As I think about the race and the birth, some comparisons come to mind:
- I know exactly when the race will begin and what is required for me to finish. Laura must be ready from now until the baby comes, which could be a month from now! Even though this is her second baby, there are plenty of unknowns. Anything can happen!
- We will both experience physical pain and exhaustion. Laura will probably experience much more!
- We will both need stamina, endurance, and physical strength to finish. Laura’s feat will more intense and she can’t quit!
- By God’s grace, we will both experience positive emotions. Researchers from the Institute of Psychology at Jagiellonian University studied how marathon runners felt after they crossed the finish line and found striking similarities to childbirth.
- We will both feel a sense of accomplishment. However, my accomplishment pales in significance.
- I have been specifically training for this event since July. Laura has been pregnant since January.
- My race should last about 1.5 hours. Laura’s labor will probably last much longer.
- My race celebration will last a day. Our family will celebrate Laura’s accomplishment the rest of our lives!
So Laura, even though my event is wimpish compared to yours, I will do my best to run in solidarity with you. I pray that you experience God’s grace as you usher this wonderful new life into the world and into our family! May God protect you and your darling new daughter during birth and give you all the stamina, endurance and strength you need!
One of the problems the General Contractor and I have been hoping would work out was the hole for the large window we needed through the rock exterior outside our future great room. The wall is about a foot thick. We were unsure how to knock a hole through it and we did not know what would happen to the wall if we put a hole in it large enough to accommodate the window. The wall is far too solid to knock down with a sledge hammer or small power tools.
When I left for lunch Wednesday we did not know that Art, our excavator, was on his way with his skid loader equipped with a hammer tool. By the time I returned, he was finished and gone. The wall had a hole approximately the size of the window!
Preparing the rock exterior for the living room window.
It was relatively easy clean up the edges and interior part of the wall and we installed the window Thursday.
The great room window and about half of the shingle roof were installed this week.
The framers finished their work Thursday, so we were able to start installing the roof and rough mechanicals. The plumber completed most of the rough plumbing. The HVAC team worked Thursday and installed about half of the heating ducts and the electricians came Friday and installed about half of the wiring.
This week I was particularly encouraged by the number of people who expressed interest in what we are doing. A retired pastor from the area and a friend who was at Penn State with me dropped in and my mother visited with three of her cousins. Also, a retired couple who lives across the street invited all our neighbors to their house Thursday evening for sandwiches and home made ice-cream so we could meet one another. It is fun to begin to feel a part of the community!
A number of people have asked about the rib I dinged during a fall about two weeks ago. It is still sore, but, thankfully, the pain continues to decrease. I’m grateful it has not hindered me from completing a number of projects at the construction site.
The roof trusses are going up
This week started out well with a fantastic weather forecast. It was a wonderful week to work outside!
However, my week quickly went downhill when I fell through the hole that will be the basement stairs. I was greeting the General Contractor Monday morning when I stepped on the piece of plywood that had previously been secure. It could have been worse. I did not fall all the way to the basement floor, but I did ding my ribs and was in pain all week. In fact, it still hurts when I breath deeply or move my left side.
The back of our house
We made a lot of visual progress this week. The framers arrived Tuesday morning and worked the rest of the week. By the end of the week the walls and roof were mostly up. We also continued to build the rooms in the remodel portion of the house. Our goal was to have everything ready for the plumber who is scheduled to arrive Monday.
Personally, my largest contribution to the project this week was to begin the legal process that the Township is requiring for us to obtain water. We need to secure an easement, a legal agreement with the adjacent property, etc. I communicated with our lawyer and engineer. They are busy and expensive, but willing to help.
One of my favorite activities is to walk around the construction at the end of the day and imagine what it will be like to actually live in the space that we are building. I am grateful for the progress and for the general safety we have experienced on the construction site.
We did not accomplish all that we hoped this week, but we did cover the basement with joists and plywood sheets. With that floor in place, it is much easier to envision how the house is going to look when finished. In this picture, you might be able to see the hole in the middle of the floor that will be the steps to the basement. You can also see that the level of the floor of the new construction is matched with the preexisting floor. Next to the stairs will be a hall to the three bedrooms that will be in the new construction. The entry to the house from the garage will be at the right side of the existing building. You can also see the basement window well.
This week we removed another ten trees that were in the way of the septic system and on top of what has become a wall at the east side of the house. I had previously taken out the “easy” trees, but there were more that required professional attention. I was delighted to find an arborist who was willing and able to do the technical work for a very reasonable price. About half of the mess is cleaned up and I hope to finish that task next week.
Nancy left for a two month trip to Africa and Asia Thursday. She worked hard to choose floor coverings, counter tops, bathroom tiles, etc. before she left. Hopefully her design wishes will work out as she envisions!
Yesterday, I decided to take the weekend off and drove north to my home town, Benton, PA, to spend this Labor Day weekend with family. Many hard working people are cooperating to build our new home. I am thankful for each one and pray that God will bless them!