Last week one of my friends called.

“Um, can I suggest something about your writing?”

“Sure,” I say. “I’m not precious about my writing, You can say anything.” Well I may be a little sensitive about it but I also want to hear what people think.

“When you look back on your daily life through moving countries and everything, wouldn’t it be nice to have one good thing per day to reflect upon? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I know it’s been really REALLY hard on you and your family. Harder than you thought. Harder than you imagined. But wouldn’t you like to be able to laugh at least once a day? Not that maniacal laugh you had the first month after you arrived, though. No, not that one. Just a normal happy laugh about some small positive thing so that in ten years from now when you look back on this time, you’ll find happiness in it too.”

I wish my friends weren’t so switched on sometimes. I kind of enjoy complaining about all the things that have gone wrong, and if I don’t write them down I’d only remember the wonderful things and I’d forget how I felt at this very beginning of being Canadian again.

She’s right though. Juliana is usually right. She’s one of those people who always says the right thing and thinks of others first. She did fall off a bar stool one night though, but that’s another story. And it was a long time ago.

“You know,” I say to her sipping a little late night Sauvingnon Blanc, “I was sort of thinking the same thing. I mean, if we’re going to be restoring this Turreted Money Pit for the next two years and living here through it all, I want to enjoy it, I want to be happy. I mean what if I die in the middle of it and I’m miserable?” (I look upward even though I’m an atheist: I’m not putting that out there ok and I’m not planning on it?)

“Exactly,” she says.

So, I have decided and I am pledging here that I’m going to be the first person in the history of the universe to truly enjoy living through a restoration/renovation. (I didn’t have this attitude when we renovated our 1930s Queenslander in Australia, but I did have a four-year old toilet training a two-year old and one of Australia’s worst floods in the middle of it. I would mention something about my absentee husband, but his extensive work trips paid for the renovation, plus he is an excellent cook and he’s been away again and he’s coming back tonight and I’m very hungry.)

If I’m going to LOVE restoring the Turreted Money Pit, I need a plan. After getting Bruced and Bobbed last week and being left with holes in the ceilings and walls and what Bruce calls Divorce Dust everywhere, I’ve decided my first step is preparation. That means putting nice stuff away or covering it up. So I’ve been looking for protective covers for the faux suede dining room chairs. I posted a note on a local community FaceBook group that does a lot of sharing and recycling/reusing because I don’t know where to find anything. One woman posted some links for me to follow and then, another one, said she had slip covers that had been sitting in one of her cupboards from their move to Canada and was I interested in a freebie?

“Oh yes please!”

The next day she walked them over with her daughter and her dog and we met and chatted and I think I may even be making a new friend.

I had a big smile all day. I still have a big smile. My daughters think I’m crazy but I love my new chair covers and I’m so touched with the community feeling here and the spirit of generosity. People helping people they don’t know.

“You made my day,” I messaged her.

Aren’t they the best chair covers?