I have one week.
One week to unpack our boxes.
One week to find a place for everything.
One week to haul in a tree, decorate it, hang up stockings, and buy a few more presents.
One week to stock our pantry with food.
In one week my parents and my brother will be here. I know they won't mind a bit of a mess, but I badly want us to have Christmas together, not just a visit that consists of wandering around a maze of boxes and dusty furniture. I want to have a lighted tree and a place to sit down and sip eggnog. I'd like to cook them meals in our own kitchen. Make sugar cookies. Hang a wreath from the front door.
It's a lot to ask. But if the designers on HGTV can do a room makeover in three days, surely I can get everything looking sort of nice in one week. Can't I?
I'm making progress. I did my first load of laundry in my new washing machine today, for instance: a load of sheets so that I can make the girls' beds. I've hung curtains (never mind that they're wrinkly).
Now if the weather will cooperate, I can go buy a couple of bookshelves for all the books I brought from China that are piled up in the living room. I couldn't leave my books behind. Today I planned a big bookshelf shopping trip, but we've had freezing rain here all day so I had to call it off. Instead, I spent an hour up at the house unpacking more boxes and making more piles. Piles of toys, piles of novels, piles of kitchen utensils, piles of shirts.
Eventually I'll be able to clean and set up the living room, but I have to wait for the kitchen to be done so we can get the dishwasher out of the middle of the living room floor. Everything depends on everything else.
But counter tops should arrive tomorrow, if the icy roads don't stop the installers from coming. And then we're just that much closer to being done. That illusive done-ness. It always seems to be several days out. Never now.
That's why I'll focus on progress: another shirt hung, another shelf cleared of odds and ends and wiped clean, another bit of furniture scooted into the right spot. We'll get there. Hopefully in one week.