Thursday, July 29, 2010

Taking A Breath and a Quick Glance Back.

Got Mr. Kozak's for lunch...but got no table or chairs...or bibs?
This is a shot of the cousins sharing a tasty gyro on the floor of the empty dining room on our last day in the condo.
It seems SO long ago, but you could count it in days.
It is good to know that we survived that door closing...and the closing of the door as we sold our older place at Sandy Pines...
...just as we will survive as we pack things up and move them out of our sweet place on this little cove full of Kingfishers, Herons, and wonderful sunsets, leaving it to the new owners.
I'm happy that there are three sets of people that are SO excited about the new places they are inheriting from us.
I'm thankful that once again, God has accomplished a maximum of molding and adjustment in our lives in a remarkably minimal time frame.
I'm hopeful that in a month's time we will find ourselves unpacking our things in our new home.
We are blessed, truly blessed!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

but God Meant It For Good...

After all the hubbub of the last two months we finally find ourselves with our whole family ( even Emily and Christian who flew in for the week from So. California) at the Fredericks' cottage at the "tip of the Thumb" of Michigan for a peaceful week of vacation on the shore of Lake Huron. And, as always, we spend time appreciating the gift that Steve's parents gave us in the wonderful summer times spent here for all these decades.

Things here have changed over more recent years. First, one winter a burst water pipe resulted in a lengthy and extensive remodelling . By the time it was completed, Nana and Papa were for the most part not able to live up here any longer.

These two circumstances have resulted in a different look here. Mom loved gardening and the window boxes dripped with annuals. Little strips of garden boasted her favorites, dahlias and snapdragons often cut and arranged with tall gladiolas purchased from the local grocery. For years and years, we'd dig out huge clumps of her ubiquitous varigated hostas and orangey red Gaillardia to take home to start gardens at all our homes.

Mom "deadheaded " her Gaillardia and pitched the heads over the foot low cement block wall separating the lawn from the sand dune shore of the lake.

Last summer FOURTEEN of us, three generations, returned for a week of vacation thanks to the graciousness of Steve's brothers who took over ownership after Mom and Dad's passing. We again marvelled at the spattering of Gaillardias flowering in the sand on the beach side of the wall along with the two " Baby's Breath" plants which at one time had been true "specimens"...tall and broad, more easily considered shrubs than a flowering perennial plant, now all surviving rooted in sand with only an occasional drink of rain. We commented on the miracle of their subsistence....and were crushed when the landscapers hired to mow the lawn methodically moved to the beach side of the wall, turning these brave "volunteers" to sand and close cropped stubble.

Imagine our surprise to be greeted upon our return for a week THIS summer by a thick garden of orange and burnt red flowers periodically studded with healthy Baby's Breath plants! It's a powerful relearning of the concept of pruning of plants and people. It always seems so painful and harsh...but the longer term rewards are stellar!

I found myself thinking of the Biblical story of Joseph, now powerful and ruling Egypt, reassuring his brothers who feared his retribution for selling him into slavery in Genesis.

God is in control. There is NOTHING He does not either allow or ordain. He promised ALL is ultimately for good.

"What you meant for evil, God worked for good!"
Genesis 45:5

Thursday, July 8, 2010

And...That's That AGAIN

Ten days after our closing on our home in town, we found ourselves sitting in another closing at Sandy Pines. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I am getting used to this emotional upheaval, but I did sense a certain numbness as we walked through "K4" on Sailboat Cove for the last time; at least as it's owners. I really like Mary, it's new owner. I am so happy that she and our wonderful old neighbors are getting EACH OTHER.

I liked hearing her say that after being shown twenty other places she "fell in love" with mine. I am so happy for her excitement to move her vanful of things into my dear little yellow "cottage on the lake" ( we hesitate to use that "T" word) and for her looking forward to her family coming to visit this weekend. It makes it all seem as though it is exactly the way it was always meant to be.

After driving over to our old place to turn on lights and get everything up and running for the new owner's "walk through", we returned to the only roof remaining over our heads to find a park sales agent just finishing a showing with a prospective buyer.

It's a good thing to remember GOD is in control. That there is NOTHING HE does not allow or ordain in our lives.

For today, we look forward to a dinner at Uccello's tonight to celebrate paring ourselves down to one car, one elderly motorcycle, two storage units full of "stuff"....and only ONE trailer on a man-made lake in Allegan County. LIFE IS GOOD

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And That's That.

And then, suddenly all the packing was over; the mountains of boxes all transferred to a storage unit...OK, TWO storage units, a mile from home.
NOT our home anymore.
The parting was made slightly less jarring by the new owners purchase of the larger pieces of our furniture on the main level, so the place wasn't so entirely, sterilely empty when I closed the door for the last time.
But I know that already my former space is being filled with stranger's's THEIR home now, afterall.

We've moved more than most and my leave takings have usually been hasty retreats, no backward glances only itching to start unpacking at the eagerly anticipated new digs; new homes whose walls often began as pencil scratchings on my sketchpad.
Not this time.
This time is different.
This is obsessively poring over the MLS between packing marathons. Trying to imagine our things in....a 1923 farmhouse with a small barn and chicken coop. Or a 1956"Jetson" house...which was one day quite stunning, but not alas, today. There are new houses with the shockingly hard colors and black brown cabinetry we started out with in our very first home in 1978. I think I've been there and done that. There are dear old, hopelessly outdated homes that I long to revive...I feel their sense of rejection "How long have you been on the MLS? How many changes of Realty agents ?"....but I'd love to do that transformation for someone else, not for me!
There was a two story "barn", 30'x60' down a winding road in deep woods that a builder tempted us with a creative and practical reworking of space. But taking down the trees necessary to get a yard and some sunshine would yield enough firewood to last us years but tree felling and stump grinding would gobble up a budget.

On the Internet, two houses made my heart go pitty pat. They were both filled with wonderful "creature features" and the MLS photos looked great...but Onsite visits revealed that these homes had broken their family's hearts...water damaged and filled with black mold they sat empty and abandoned; just existing to disappoint MLS mavens who think they've finally stumbled upon "THE" new home for them.

On Tuesday, at 7:50 am, the moving truck pulled up and eight hours later I found myself all alone in my emptied and spotlessly clean FORMER home. Really, it looks like a brand new home. God gifted us with a beautiful, cool day. The breezes grabbed my pretty Martha Stewart lace curtains...I know it sounds hokey but it was as though they were waving goodbye. I AM going to miss them. I WAS tempted to "forget" that they were included in the sale....but if that had ever been a serious thought, which it wasn't, at our closing on Monday, their new owner asked once again, for good measure, "...and the window treatments are all staying?" yes,theyallstay.dang

...but I digress. It was so quiet. No one but me and the waving laces and the ceiling fans swirling lazily. I lingered. After so much rushing around running from detail to detail, I lingered, alone. It was difficult to leave, but I turned off the fans, latched the windows, denying the sweet breezes. I thanked God for all the blessings I so don't deserve, and I locked the door and drove away for the last time.