Recovry from Disaster & Preparing for the Holiday

It has been just over 7 months since our home was damaged due to fire and sewer problems.  The recovery has been draining in more ways than one.  At the end of July we finally finished up the major kitchen renovation in the downstairs apartment.  I spent the entire month of August repairing my kitchen.  I’ve included a video I recorded, in August, of all the work that was completed up to that point (I’m a little late adding this video to the website).

It is also heart breaking to share that the contractor, my best friend and mentor Tom Kenney, was killed in a car accident on June 24, 2016.  It has been a heart breaking year with one tragedy after another.  My tenant Bill and I had to complete the kitchen renovation, finish the plumbing, and begin the massive yard clean-up.  I’m grateful for all the thoughts and prayers over the past 7 months.  You might say I found out who my friends were… there were more than I could possibly have known.

Though there are still a few projects to complete around the house, I have made the decision to assemble the 2016 holiday display.  I have been graced with some donations to add a few new props.  We have 12 new RGB stars, a 4 1/2 foot animated snowman, and 18 new snowflakes.  Granted, some of these “new items” were made last year.  I just did not have time to install them with the display.  Hoping they will be easy to add in this year!

I am scheduling light-up night for November 26 at 6:00 PM.  There will also be a large number of songs that will return from the Leechburg Lights archives.  I was able to import and upgrade 7 of the original displays songs that include:  What Child is This, Shake Up Christmas, Last Christmas, Christmasvile Fanfare, All I want for Christmas is you, and One Silent Night.  There are also 3 new songs that will make their debut this year.   I expect to have over 30 songs in the play list.

Finally, I have been doing some sequencing work for people who run an animated holiday display. The income is helping to paying of the $35,000 debt I’ve accrued due to the renovations.  It will be some time before I’m fully back on my feet.  I’m just thankful for the grace I’ve received.

2016 has brought a mountain of challenge and heartache.  My close friends have quietly named my house “the Phoenix”.  Today I can finally say that we have reached the precipice.  We have climbed out of the hole we were stuck in and are able to catch our breath.  Even though there are still projects to complete, things are returning to normal.  It is hard to believe that the worst is over.  I’d really like to thank this amazing community who has helped me through the worst time of my life!  It reminds me why I must put this display up every year.