Saturday, December 3, 2011

Year in Review

What an interesting time I find myself in.  It all started with Christmas 2 years ago.  That was the year of the horrible snow/ice storm that interrupted all of MY plans.  Since then it seems most of MY plans have been interrupted pretty much without fail.  I’m at the point where it’s almost humorous.  Almost.  This year has been a year of monumental change, full of very high highs and very low lows.  We started the year out making two house payments and trying to sell my house in Arlington after renting it for eight years.  We were also working on getting the house in Fort Worth ready to go on the market.  You see we had found a house in Burleson we really wanted, the property was perfect even if the house wasn’t.  We were trying to get both houses sold so we could have the down payment for the new house.  In January a friend approached us about doing a lease purchase on our house in Fort Worth, it seemed like the perfect solution for us and them so we drew up a contract and had that settled.  One down, one to go.  The listing was up on the house in Arlington in March, guess what it didn’t sell!  What to do?  We decided to move back to my little 1800 square foot house and get it paid off in two years.  After all, after Rachel graduated in June it would just be me and Jeff most of the time and it was convenient to both of our jobs.  So we had a new plan.  The week after we made that decision the house in Burleson went on contract to someone else, confirmation to us that we are going in the right direction. 
In April we got to spend a week in Hawaii with our dear friends Joe & Lynn, absolutely precious time and very relaxing.  Life is good; things are progressing on “our” schedule!  The Monday after we got back from Hawaii, we had a little mishap with water in the bathtub running for five hours, came home to an awful mess.  Needless to say that certainly changes “our” schedule and several plans for sure.  Don’t know if you’ve ever experienced a flood and the aftermath but let’s just say I hope you never do.  Everything has to come out, we lived for a week with these fans and humidifiers that make a lot of noise and the rooms affected had to be kept shut and were about 100o.  Dealing with the insurance company was not a lot of fun either.  I learned a lot through the process.  Long story short it all worked out even though it was a huge ordeal and we got new carpet for the house in Fort Worth with what the insurance company paid and we had to add a little to it.  Not too bad.
We started working on the house in Arlington, painting making a few changes, light fixtures, building a shop for Jeff for his knife making business.  Things are going pretty well.  Then came the move.  I will not bore you with all the horrible details but let’s just suffice to say that for me especially it was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.  We have way too much stuff and the week we moved the girls Mom announced she was moving to Colorado and we had to get all of their stuff moved to our new “little” house.  Did I mention that we were already moving 2500 square feet of stuff into 1800 square feet?  We had to rent a storage building just to have someplace else to put things until we could get it all over here. I told Jeff I think we might be hoarders. lol  It was awful and traumatic for all of us but for some reason especially me.  The first weekend we slept here I woke up in my old bedroom and had this horrible feeling of going backwards.  You see I HATE going backwards and this was not a good feeling at all.  I felt like a failure, I felt like I’m 57 years old and I’m never going to have my dreams fulfilled all kinds of negative thinking.  I was beyond depressed and overwhelmed.  That actually lasted for several weeks, I was angry, very angry at everyone, Jeff, the ex, and most especially God.  Yep I admit it I was mad as a wet hen at the God of the universe.  How could He let this happen to me?  I have given and given and given time and time again, sacrificed my wants and needs for others and here I am again back in this house that I bought when I was single in 1994? Well I wallowed for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, I cried a lot.  That is not like me at all, I rarely cry.  I felt like I was losing my mind and I probably did.  Thanks to a couple of good friends, Lynn & Margo that just kept putting my focus back on God loves me and showing me that love, complete unconditional love I finally got back on track.  Let me just say right here that if you don’t have friends like that I pray God send them to you.  I would not have made it through this without them, they let me be brutally honest and never judged or “corrected” just loved me in my mess.
Then in August the people living in our house in Fort Worth informed us that they didn’t want to buy it after all, still don’t know how that is going to turn out but for now they are taking good care of the house and paying rent so all is good.  Didn’t really want to be a landlord again but God is in control and sees the beginning from the end and I’m trusting Him with the process.
So we lived on concrete for a couple of months, the summer was just too crazy busy with all of us trying to get moved and sort through this mountain of material possessions.  (that process is still not complete the garage is still full but the storage building is empty)  We finally got the wood floors put in the hall and living room in late August early September and then marching season hit with our beautiful granddaughter Whitney.  We enjoyed getting to spend that time with her and the band.  Once a band Mom always a band Mom, I love it!  So we got the house pretty put together, at least as much as possible and ready for Thanksgiving guests.   Jeff’s folks, Mom, Dad, brother and niece came and Abby, Nathan and his sister Ana.  We didn’t have room for everyone so we put them in a hotel down the street.  I was not happy about that, and didn’t like it but it was the best we could do.  We had a great time and enjoyed them all being here.  On Friday after Thanksgiving my stove and oven quit working, I called a guy from work that is an electrician and he came right over, bless you Kirk!  He has it fixed in 10 minutes and didn’t even charge me.  What a blessing.  Then everyone left on Saturday and Sunday and we were getting ready to take Rachel back to Baylor and I walked in my utility room and there was water everywhere.  Just one problem, it was coming from a wall with no plumbing.  How does that happen you ask?  Well it’s called a slab leak, yep water coming up through the slab and guess what it was hot water!  We had nice toasty floors in the laundry room and my sewing room.  Oh did I mention the sewing room has a ton of furniture and brand new carpet?  Called a plumber and he told us what to do to get the water stopped.  We put towels everywhere, moved as much furniture as we could and left to take Rachel back to school.  I forgot to mention that I had woken up in the middle of the night with a lot of congestion on Friday night.  So by the time we got back from taking Rachel I had fever could barely breathe and just in general felt awful.  I called my boss and told him I was going to stay home on Monday.  The plumber came Monday morning and gave us the estimate, don’t know if you have ever experienced this and hope you haven’t but it’s expensive.  We realized the damage in the sewing room was more extensive than we first thought so we called the insurance company, they gave us the go ahead to start repair.  The plumber knew a company to come out and dry everything.  So our next saga began with the water and drying machines.  Let me interject here that water is a very powerful and destructive force, it is amazing to me that something we MUST have for life can also cause such devastation.  So we moved everything from my sewing room into the living room and lived for the next three days with machines and lots of noise.  The plumber dug a 4 x 4 tunnel under our house and took out the pipe with a little pinhole that was causing all the problems.  They were here until 11:00 Monday night, I’m sure the neighbors loved that.  But they got it fixed.  Insurance covered most of the cost; it’s only going to cost us about $1,000 out of our pocket.  The upside is I had decided I didn’t really like the way I had the furniture in my sewing room but there is so much of it and it’s all really big and heavy and I didn’t want to ask Jeff to move it so now we had to!  God works in mysterious ways!  That’s one way to rearrange the room.  Also, because the baseboards had to be pulled up and holes drilled in the wall to dry out the sheetrock, I got new base trim in there!  How cool is that!  The room is still not completely put back together but it’s arranged much better and we can actually put a blowup bed in there now when the kids all come home no more hotels. 
I mentioned earlier that I was not feeling well on Sunday and Monday but by Tuesday I was really sick and had to go to the doctor.  Long story short I had a nasty upper respiratory infection that had started moving into my lungs and she put me on mega antibiotics, nasal spray, prednisone and cough syrup that knocks me out.  I ended up missing the whole week of work and today on Saturday I am finally starting to feel a little better. Of course with the week of drama from the plumbers and the drying company and insurance adjuster it worked out being home sick.
I forgot to mention that on 11/11/11 we had the honor of hosting Barry & Michelle Patterson at our home for a house concert and it was awesome.  It was our first social gathering in the “new” house and it was spectacular!  Very much looking forward to more of that sort of thing.

One more thing I forgot to mention, in August we took the girls rafting in Colorado.  It was a glorious trip and it also was a full circle experience for me and Jeff, you see our first family vacation after we married was to Colorado Springs 13 years ago.  We had a great time and made some great memories, it will probably be the last time we have that sort of family vacation, now that the girls are all grown up and going their own way but what fun!
So that brings me to today, as I sit here and reflect on all this and ask “God what are you doing?”  What does all this mean and what is my response to be?  All I kept hearing is don’t get too comfortable.  Jeff and I are settling in to this new space and time in our lives and we like it a lot.  I feel like I’m home and I am at peace.  I’ve always loved this house and it enables us to meet some financial goals and it works for us.  Excited to see what next year will bring, looking onward and upward, keeping my eyes fixed on Him.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy path.  I really do believe that and I can say that I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life. God truly does work all things together for His good to those and love Him and are called by Him.