Tom was in the hospital week before last getting a tune-up on his heart and my youngest sister just had a double mastectomy.

During this time, a dear friend, who was a tenant in our guesthouse 20 years ago, called to say she and her two young daughters need a place to rent due to her impending divorce.

We knew that eventually in retirement we would need to rent our guesthouse again, but have avoided doing so due to the extreme loss of privacy we experienced in previous renting forays. We now have a deck with a hot tub and that compounds the privacy issue (as well as the safety issue with small children present). So....in the midst of this stressful time, we've begun a huge privacy/safety overhaul of our landscape to allow our friend to bring her daughters to their new home.

A large parking pad and meandering pathway along the east side of our home will provide an entrance to the guesthouse that is NOT directly across our patio, aka our "outdoor" home. A tall fence along the portion of the walkway running through our backyard will increase that privacy AND make the hot tub inaccessible to renters. A 10' x 16' concrete area behind our tack shed will accommodate two storage sheds (to hold all the now unnecessary furnishings from the guesthouse)...so much to accomplish!

We've spent the last six days clearing brush, removing trees, chain-sawing limbs, pulling out fences and re-locating stacks of old lumber and pavers. The last four of those days we added concrete workmen and yesterday our daughter, son-in-law and grand-kids to the mix, all working like crazy to get the jobs done. Our progress thus far (with yellow caution tape across the entrance to the nearly 160 ft. path):

walkwayThe pad behind the tack shed was poured on Friday and we begin work on the fencing tomorrow. With Tom's health improved and my sister recovering I can feel the "killer stress" mentioned in my previous post finally lifting. The renovation work has forced us to clean-up areas around our property that because they're mostly "out-of-sight" have also been "out-of-mind."  Thus, there are numerous silver-linings to the past few weeks: no one died, my husband's heart is pumping well again and as he says, "good for another 25,000 miles," we've had working fun with our family, and we're getting the corners of our property spruced up. 

We know the nightmare the path through an eating disorder can be, but my wish for loved ones and those who are suffering is that you may find at least one silver-lining in your journey. Focus on that, no matter how small. May that "one thing" lift a bit of the "killer stress" from your shoulders, too.

 [Originally posted on the G├╝rze Books Eating Disorders Blogs]