That One Warm Day In February

There always seems to be one day in February that's surprisingly warm, a day when everyone happily loses their minds because a sliver of sunshine appears as a promise of spring after a long winter haul. Today, my friends, was such a day.


I spotted my neighbor wearing shorts. I literally could hear snow melting. I went outside to spray paint since we surpassed the critical 50 degrees temperature threshold. People smiled. I think I saw someone frolic.
I know winter will fight back and we're not entirely through yet, but I'm thankful. A warm day in February always gives hope.

Mirror Mirror (Finally Hung) On the Wall

I write with good news: I've reached the stage in the pandemic where I'm tackling house projects like a boss. This wasn't the case last March when the world initially shut down and we pivoted to remote teaching and school. I mostly block those months from my memory.

Although I completed a few projects last summer, like painting my front door and painting my daughter's room, I never fully caught my DIY stride. But now I'm riding a wave of motivation, eking out these early weeks of the spring semester (still fully remote) when my grading workload is lighter. Over the past month, in fact, I've painted the entire main level of my house, removing years of hand prints, smudges, and miscellaneous scuffs from our walls.

One project I'm especially proud of -- and what I'd like to share with you today -- is task that took me only 35 months to complete. You see, a small lifetime ago, back in March 2018 when we were naive puppies who never had heard of Coronavirus or wore masks, I discovered an old farmhouse six-pane window at a Habitat Resale store. It was a simple beauty, and I knew I could create something special.

I lightly sanded the frame, then freshened it with a coat of crisp white paint. As a finishing touch, I bought an inexpensive replacement mirror at Lowes that a helpful employee cut into six identical rectangles so I could secure each individual mirror onto each of the glass panes.

Now the old window was something really special! But sadly, this was the point when the project reached a standstill. I loved my new farmhouse mirror, but I didn't know where to hang it. Eventually, I moved it into our basement storage closet and there it sat, largely forgotten, for nearly three years.


Fast forward to several weeks ago as I'm folding laundry and listlessly gazing at the empty wall in my laundry room. The pieces slid into place like a puzzle: my basement held an awesome mirror that I previously believed had no place to be hung, and my laundry room had an empty wall that was the perfect size for that mirror. 


It took me 35 months, but people, I hung that mirror.



Since I was on a roll, I also refinished a three-compartment organizer that I found at Goodwill for under a buck. At first glance, it wasn't much to look at, but the potential was evident.


After a fresh coat of gray paint and new hardware, it's the perfect place to store laundry room odds-and-ends, like loose change found in pockets or clothespins.


As an added bonus, I added a small tray, which was another DIY project, to corral a faux plant that brings a touch of greenery and a pretty white canister that holds my Oxyclean detergent. (True story: I found the canister on the side of the road during our town's bulk trash week. While I question why someone would throw it away, I was happy to be the recipient!) 

I'm not sure how these past few months have treated you, but I hope you've found joy in simple things, like I have with my recent influx of projects. In several ways, they feel symbolic of better times ahead. As I've completed each project, I've experienced a swell of purpose and accomplishment -- feelings that were relatively dormant this past year. 


Matters that have been stuck or tucked away finally seem to be getting unstuck and brought back to life, right down to the farmhouse mirror now perfectly hung on my laundry room wall.

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