Thanksgiving Thoughts

I know it is expected for everyone to ‘say’ they are thankful for something at this time of year. But I must say I’m thankful for a lot!

Friends and family have had health issues in past months, but everyone seems well at this moment.

My manager at the contract company I do instructional design through tells me that my supervisor at TIAA and the extended team have been singing my praises for the work I did this year.  He had no difficulty getting my contract renewed for 2018. It looks like my day job is ensured and I can continue to work from my home for another year.

I’m enjoying teaching again at the Cy-Fair campus of Lone Star College. When I asked to return after an almost four-year hiatus (starting with mother’s illness) and there was no slot in Acting or Intro to Theater, the head of the Fine Arts Department had enough confidence in me to bring me on for two sections of Film Appreciation. It is a class I would never have recommended myself for, despite my life-long passion for movies.  But I am loving it.

I’m especially thankful for the amount of theater I’m being asked to do.  Queensbury Theater has asked me to shepherd an eight-month project to bring the winner of their 2017 playwriting competition from a reading to a full production in 2018.

My good friend, Becky Udden at Main Street Theater entrusted me with their production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. The play is the third by Lauren Gunderson (this one co-written with Margot Melcon) that MST has undertaken. I have been truly blessed with a wonderful cast, fabulous designers, and the full commitment of the theater to this production. It is up and running and being very well received by audiences.

I’m thankful that I renewed my flood insurance and that I’ve finally found a contractor who follows through on what is promised. After Harvey dumped fifty plus inches of rain on Houston, water wicked into carpets at the foundation requiring me to remove the flooring in two bedrooms. I decided to replace the carpet with tile while I was at it.

My insurance adjuster urged me to also open the wall in the master bath, which requires removal of the tub.  While they would pay for the removal and putting back the tub, they did not pay to replace it.  But since it is original to my 47-year old home, I took this as a sign that it was time to update the master bath as well.

My first contractor did a lovely job of opening walls and treating studs in the bedrooms, replacing the sheet rock and painting. Then he begged for the tile job. I agreed to order the tile and he agreed to come back a week later. I thought I was incredibly lucky when I found a close match in tile that was actually in stock at Lowe’s.  I notified the contractor that he could pick it up and start as soon as possible.  After four weeks of excuses and delays, the tile I’d bought was restocked and some of it sold. So I would have to special order it.  I fired the contractor.

Unfortunately, it took three and a half weeks to get bids and negotiate a price on everything I wanted done.  The tile I’d special ordered had disappeared into open stock again and I had to go in to personally guarantee they could provide it to my new contractor. But, when he showed up, Lowe’s did not know where it had been marshaled for pick up.  I had to go in to the store a fourth time to straighten it out.

But now, Village Plumbing has demoed my tub and Van Shannon Construction’s tile guy, Caesar and crew are here. Wood rot is being remedied, the floor smoothed, and prep done for the laying of the tile, which is safely in my garage.

Finally, I’m very fortunate that my family decided to postpone Thanksgiving to the first weekend in December. That means that I’m able to have workmen in and out of my house all holiday weekend without missing time with loved ones. Sometimes, after much difficulty, everything just comes together. Hallelujah!

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