Tuesday, October 21, 2014
"If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." ... Galations 1:10
Way, way back when I was (arguably) a sweet young thing, Tom, Naomi and I lived in Nevada and sometimes we'd take the curvy, high-pitched drive to Virginia City. Now, if you've never been, you don't know that Mark Twain's name is etched and plastered everywhere because he spent time there and Virginia City is practically holy ground if you were a fan-- and I was.
Back then I learned that Mark Twain wrote, Roughing It, describing the funny things that happened to him and his brother, Orion, on their way to V.C. and I vowed to read it because, 1.) Twain wrote it, 2.) I lived in Nevada, 3.) We'd driven over most of the Nevada desert and 4.) We dragged all our out-of-state company to Virginia City and had it memorized. (We nearly moved to Virginia City, even walked through a house with a realtor, but that's another post.)
Well. Today I began reading my Kindle version of Roughing It, 24 years after vowing to do so because hey, these things take time.
Of course, it's delightful.
And I even read bits of The Innocents Abroad, another book I've been meaning to read since 4 or 5 Presidents ago. What a sense of humor this man had.
Reaching ones 50's is cool because you've done many things, visited tons of places and read whole shelves of books and now--on the other side--you can calmly decide which other things you'd like to do, visit or read before you leave this planet.
Which sounds like a much heard, trivial thought, but while we're younger? We were probably too busy or afraid to do what we wanted, so instead, we did/visited/read what other people told us. And because we did not know ourselves (or what we were created to do), we lived other peoples' lives and now it's all a blur.
But in your 50's? I think the pull of other peoples' opinions or bossiness lessens. Or it should by then, anyway. Calmly glancing back at what one missed becomes easier for many, though sadly, some will assume God's previously planned version of their life is forever gone, with no chance of restoration. They'll hang their heads and tell sad stories till they die.
But the stout-hearted and determined folks who refuse to stay pitiful? They make hopeful lists of goals and, holding God's hand, they plug away at checking them off. When we burst out of the 'shoulds' and 'oughts', God opens remarkable, previously unseen doors and turns bad to good so that these people, the late bloomers, miss hardly anything at all.
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done," ... Genesis 50:20
"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten..." ...Joel 2:25
Monday, October 20, 2014
"Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. " ... 1 Corinthians 7:17
Nope. No new house for us, at least not this year.
Tom and I crunched some numbers yesterday and ack! We could easily pour $35,000 into that house I showed you (including new rugs, furniture and upkeep)--and that doesn't even account for kitchen updates which, see for yourself, it needs:
The kitchen could never be made larger, either, not without wiping out the dining room (and I'd feel disloyal doing that). The house would still be a good investment (if we someday found small-kitchen-loving buyers), but we'd have to live with contractors and cigarette-smokin', tool belt-totin' noisy workmen for a very long time. Bleh. Been there, done that and cringe at doing it again.
Yet, gee are we grateful that we wandered the rooms of that larger house. Yesterday morning outdoor temps fell to the 30's (again), but we've still not used our main heater this season and as I told Tom, "I'll bet we couldn't heat that big ol' house with our two tiny woodstove electric heaters as we have here." He said, "No, we certainly couldn't."
This Hobbit Cottage with it's small needs and rooms and doable fixes has enabled us to do something we'd only read about--they call it 'saving money'. Such a foreign concept to us, but we've certainly enjoyed it. :)
So Life goes on and we continue to make our updating plans for our sweet place before Winter comes swirling in and keeps us inside where all is warm and golden.
"When disappointment comes, you have a choice. You can either let it press you down or use it as a stepping stone to something better." ... Neil Vermillion
My clock radio awoke me with this lovely, evocative song this morning and I just wanted to snuggle there with Daniel the Cat for another hour, dreaming along with more such songs which whisk my head away to sunny, retro places.
A special thanks to Clarice for sharing this at Facebook.
Free Kindle books:
It's Your Call: What Are You Doing Here?
In God's Time
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Way back in May as Tom and I drove away from a yard sale, he pointed and said, "There's a house for sale." I looked across the street and gasped. "Oh, it's my Blondie House!"
My heart pounded. Oh my. The type of house I'd wanted since I was 15 and watching good ol' Blondie and Dagwood movies.
Well, we looked the house up online and saw that it cost $109,000. Hmm. More than we wanted to pay and besides, in a week Tom would travel to Africa so the whole matter seemed impossible. So we forgot about the house. Kinda.
Then yesterday I saw it again online and ack! It had gone to foreclosure and was $30,000 less. Wow, the deal of the century, Tom and I told each other.
We walked through that house today. It's in a beautiful neighborhood and when I saw the milk bottle box I thought, "Yes, I knew you'd be here. I've 'seen' you for decades." The same thing happened when I saw the laundry chute, coat closet, entryway, pantry and linen closet. Three pretty bedrooms and a bathroom were upstairs and a whole little 'house' for Tom's room/man cave downstairs:
And the corner cabinet in the dining room was a dream come true:
I think I even saw the ghosts of both Blondie and Dagwood. Happy sigh.
"We could afford this! Pay cash!", we reasoned (though since it's a foreclosure, the agent said the powers-that-be would consider us if we got a loan, first, but wouldn't wait around on a contingency.). "It's the perfect house for us," we told ourselves.
But then we talked ourselves out of buying it.
We came home, calmed our emotions and then considered all the cosmetic work and the hiring of men to do it (nothing major, but still, there's a list). Plus, there's the paperwork, the selling our house, the packing up, the cleaning, the moving, the switching over of addresses everywhere, the buying of one of those stair lift chairs for company and Tom, the cleaning and heating of all those rooms, the way Tom and I would probably never see each other while rambling around in 1,700 sq. feet and how we'd have an excuse to collect more furniture which Naomi would someday have to sort through if something happened to us. Oh, and we'd probably be moving in a January snowstorm ...
Weirdly, I can't even get excited about it. It's like I see Grace wildly shaking her head, "No! Don't do it!" And even though this is the house I've pictured for 40 years upon hearing the words, 'Dream House,' I keep recalling recent days when I became downright weary just doing my usual housework. How would I handle such a huge upheaval?
Though truly I believe if we had to move, Grace would help and hold us together. But we don't have to move...and I realized today I must love Hobbit Cottage more than I believed since I'm willing to happily stay. And it is a grand thing to realize that.
Though, gah. Tom says he's gonna sleep on it tonight, just in case. He keeps thinking about how it would be a step up for us, both the house and neighborhood, and I keep reminding him that that's a matter of perspective and priorities. (The houses may be worth double, but there's no river there, after all, and who says we need to make a 'step up'?)
Anyway, there'll be no more looking at houses for sale online, not by me. I mean, after you let the perfect home flutter away, well, what's the point? Instead we'll stay here (unless Tom decides differently tomorrow--yikes!) and continue to make these rooms more efficient and comfortable. We'll stop wishing improvements would get done and just do them. Finally.
And all will be well.
These are a couple houses across the street from The Blondie House:
And here are more photos from the house: