Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Home, Family, and School

As happy as Joo and I were about our recent house purchase, there were still some key remodeling and nesting milestones that needed to take place for it to truly feel like our home. The first major one was to redo our living room floors. Carpets still felt a bit unnatural and perhaps even "dirty" for Joo (I don't think I ever saw a single carpet in my two and a half years in Korea), and we were both sneezing quite a bit from the pet hair even after we had vacuumed. And so when Justin offered to come down and help us install a laminate wood floor, we jumped on the offer.

Though excited, I was a bit apprehensive about the project since my tool experience was limited to basic hammers and screwdrivers. Justin was confident though (luckily he didn't know about the transition problems we would later encounter, nor that the room wasn't square) and so we jumped right in. It took us a couple doors due to various problems we kept running into (while Justin repeatedly reiterated that it was nothing like the laminate wood floor he had put in his own house in a couple hours!), but we eventually got it to look pretty good by the end of the weekend.

Joo helped out also, cooking several meals, cleaning everything when needed, and even painting the new trim:

In addition to saving money by purchasing a separate underlayment and installing the floor ourselves, we also utilized freecycle.org to donate our old carpet - rather than us paying $50-$75 to have them carted away, a family contacted us and picked them up within a matter of hours!



The big damper on the weekend had nothing to do with the floor itself, but with Justin's daughter Addie who had to be rushed to the hospital with stomach pains. He went home a day early to check on her, and it turned out to be quite serious, as she needed to have a fluid-filled cycst and a lump surgically removed. When we visited her in the hospital, she seemed quiet and frustrated at first, but soon warmed up to her spunky self as she pelted me with stuffed animals and put premie diapers on her babies with her mom.
The surgery went fine and now it's just a matter of waiting to see how the test results come back on the fluid and object that were removed.
While we were back at my parents' home, we were amazed to see the growth that had taken place in the garden!
We then zipped to the Columbus airport to pick up Joo's brother Kiwi who would be staying with us for the rest of the summer. Unfortunately, the 24 hour flights with transfers had taken their toll on him around Chicago and he had fallen asleep in the airport and missed the final leg of his journey. Knowing almost no English, he somehow managed to arrange a second flight (for free!) From a traveller's standpoint, I was pretty impressed with his skills.
John arrived soon after, thus completing our four-member intentional community for this summer. He brought with him a gasless lawnmower which provided us with a good source of exercise and an incredible cut!
In reading one of the many Athens publications, I stumbled across a free English program that was being offered at the university and so we signed Kiwi up. He was a bit reluctant to go on the first day, but we eventually forced him to go, and he soon adapted to enjoy it. Since the classes were free, we went ahead and enrolled Joo in the most advanced level class and it turned out to be quite helpful to her as well. I sat in on the first class and I felt like I was in a traveller's hub again as I watched students from 12 different nations communicate with each other in English.
Before going on vacation and turning the keys over to John to do his remodeling magic, our final surprise was being connected with a recently graduated PhD student who was returning to Israel to live. She had accumulated a vast amount of possessions and was now selling them all at very low prices. Joo and I bought a printer, a futon, and several other things and she ended up throwing in about a quarter of her entire possessions for free as a bonus!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the new house! I must say, the difference between the carpet and the hard wood flooring is remarkable!

    Hope all is well