By Guest Blogger Alyssa Tabacca, author of Driving the Big Van

Every once in a while I am on top of things around the house. Solving problems, fixing broken glass. For example, the frame around our back door has been broken for almost a year. A determined person could easily have pushed through the broken door and gained access to our house. To be honest, there were a number of times when the kids forgot to lock the back door and we’d return home from an errand or a day out and find the back door opened, by a stiff wind. I won’t lie, my first concern was wildlife gaining access to our house. We had an “incident” with raccoons last spring that has forever scarred me. But I did it. I called businesses, I got recommendations and estimates and decided to have the fine folks at Window World come install our new back door. The door was ready to install just as the outside temperature dropped below freezing but in a few short hours, we had a new, beautiful, fully functioning patio door. I was so excited about what I had accomplished that I took to the home improvement store to accomplish my next task: switching out our faucets in the master bathroom.

As long as we have lived in our house the water pressure in our shower has been less than ideal. It sort of felt like water was unintentionally dripping on you rather than spraying out with a purpose. We got to a low point last week when my husband declared he was going to shower in the kids’ bathroom from now on. We have 5 kids. They share one bathroom. If you have kids I’m sure you can imagine how clean and orderly that room is. So I believe his determination that it was worth showering in that chaos there speaks to the disaster that was our shower. As often is the case one project led into another. (A new shower head involved cutting through drywall…hire a drywall guy…shutting off our water to the house determined that the shut-off valve was failing…schedule plumber return trip.)

The tasks were adding up. I had checked two things off of my to-do list and added 2 more. Ah, homeownership. And then it happened…things started breaking. I went to get frozen go-gurts out of the garage freezer…and they felt remarkably un-frozen. It was still cool inside the freezer…but COLD was no longer accurate. As a family of 7, we need to have a little extra refrigerator/freezer space in order to keep me from running to the grocery store every single day! (Plus, my son’s basketball team is doing a Mrs. Pumpkin’s fundraiser and I need somewhere for all the chicken pies I plan to stock up on!) This was not great timing.

And then last night the kids and I settled onto the couch for what has become our new evening tradition- watching Painting with Bob Ross. I turned on the tv and the sound started warbling so badly you could barely tell if we needed Cadium Yellow or Pthalo Blue for our painting. The kids were having none of it. (After some internet research and some troubleshooting all is well and the television is back to work! I was able to use the long-successful method of “unplug it all and then plug it all back in again” so I’m basically Bill Gates.)

So today I’m going to make an effort not to touch anything else in the house so as to avoid breaking anything else. I guess these are the days our parents were talking about when they warned us that being an adult was not all it was cracked up to be during struggles for independence in our teen years. It is also a good reminder that we really can survive with much less than we think we need. That sometimes the small setbacks are just magnifying glasses for the blessings in our lives.


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