Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What ice cream can and can't do

We've been packing, of course it has to wait until after the boys are in bed. I'm exhausted from the late nights. We went and bought blinds for the house today. I've lived here two years with just cheap paper blinds...and now, we've bought real, very nice blinds for the entire house. I'm fixing up my home so that someone else can move in. I feel a bit like I'm handing my own life over to someone else. Someone else will be cooking in my kitchen -- even using my refrigerator. I just loved that fridge. I thought it was so nice to move here and get one of the new refrigerators with the freezer drawer on the bottom.

My Mom is still without power. I finally got in touch with my Dad and he's without power as well...although the car dealership he works at has power. My Mom gets food and water from FEMA every day. What a joke that is. If FEMA would just send the generators for the water treatment center in town (like they promised to do days ago), maybe they wouldn't have to send so many National Guard to help hand out bottled water. Ya, that's right. My Mom is even without running water. Thank God she's been through enough of these storms before to know to fill all the available bathtubs up with water before it gets bad. I have a friend who lives by my Mom and she's an insurance agent. She's been working every day with no electricity or phone line just to get people's claims. I think that times are getting desperate there...my Mom says my step dad hasn't been sober a day since the storm. Hopefully this will get cleared up soon and the bastard can go back out and work on his stupid oil rig. I loathe drunkards.

And in other exciting news about what the storm dragged in, there's been a new colony of ants pop up in the back yard. Sunday was such a beautiful day that I let Adrien go out and play in the back yard. While the folks were here signing all the lease papers, Andi was showing the man our yard. Adrien had been picking me "flowers" which were really just tall pieces of grass going to seed...you know the ones with the black seeds attached. At some point Adrien ran in the house screaming, holding his hands out. I could see black dots on his hands, but I thought it was the grass seeds. I really thought he'd been stung by a wasp. No, he was being eaten by ants. They covered his hands. The rush to get them off of his tiny little fingers wasn't fast enough. He has about 75 bites between both hands. They swelled up like the marshmallow man's. I took him to the doctor Monday and she gave him a regime of steroids and Benadryl. He looks like he's got leprosy or some other crazy Biblical plague. I felt so bad for him on Monday that I let him have ice cream for lunch. Because if I'd just gotten eaten alive by ants, I'd want ice cream for lunch too. He was grateful.

Too bad ice cream can't keep me in my life as I know it. But for now, it does at least offer some comfort.

I'm spending the last few days here in this house, trying to soak everything in. I'm trying to absorb my life in every moment so that I don't forget...because I know I'll never have anything like this. Ever again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Storm has Passed

The only part of the storm we saw was a full day of wind and rain. My husband's parents are still without power. Ike's eye moved right over their home, but fortunately, by the time it hit them, it had downgraded to a tropical storm. My Mom wasn't quite as lucky. The storm was still a category 1 hurricane when it moved over their home. And even though they live about two and a half hours inland, they've been told they may not have their power restored for two to three weeks. She's running on generator power right now, but that will only last as long as the fuel for it does.

I stayed up late Friday night, watching minute by minute coverage of the storm on The Weather Channel. I knew it was going to do damage, but in my mind, I don't think I realized to what extent. Galveston Island was, for the most part, washed away. It will be a long time coming before it looks anything like the Galveston I know and love. I can't believe so many people stayed behind. This storm was a monster. Andi and I honeymooned there. I lived there for a while with my Mom after I graduated high school. It hits hard when you see something so familiar shambled.

My Mom had planned on spending her birthday at the Balinese Room...which is a historic night club on the Sea Wall in Galveston...or rather, it was.


Was turned to this:

It's so crazy to see all of this on television. Sort of like when the Tube was bombed in London. I'd just been living there a short while before, and I took the exact route that was bombed every morning, either to get to class or my job. It's such a strange feeling when something you've called home gets turned upside down.

In other news though, we've managed to lease our house out. I prayed a lot about it and I finally told God I was giving it over to him. The next day, we had someone look at the house and decide to lease it...a three year lease none the less. They filled out the paperwork today. We won't be losing this place after all. We're starting to pack, which is utter chaos in and of itself. We'll be moving next weekend. I'm so sad about leaving my church...but I know that I'm heading some place God wants me to be. My life has a purpose, and I'm getting closer to fulfilling it. I'm going to miss all my friends and my life here, but having the house taken care of has lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. I can finally breathe again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where I was...

I was sitting in Physics class. Third period. Junior year.

A friend came in and told me she'd just heard that someone had crashed an airplane into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. She said she'd heard that another one was headed for the Whitehouse.

She was such a gullible girl. Surely someone had tried to get the best of her to see what she would be believe. I mean, after all...earlier that year, I'd learned that she didn't know Kurt Cobain had killed himself. "Oh," she said, "I thought they just stopped making music..."

But it was true. Unimaginable truth. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. I still can't.

A few years later my tour bus would stop at Ground Zero. I could hardly get out of the bus. I really didn't want to.

Every year, I'm still that girl in third period physics. I still can't believe it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A fork in the road

It is sometimes the hardest to remember that our paths are already chosen for us. We forget that God knows how its going to end before we even begin. In our own human stubbornness, we plow through life with the rare realization that we have a purpose in this life. We get caught up in the day to day grind and routine of it all, often times never noticing those forks in the road that have been set out for us. I mean, sure, we've all got hose little decisions: turn left or right, cream or no cream, paper or plastic. But its those really big decisions in life that can be scary. The ones that will turn your life upside down. Sometimes we feel like we're deciding which road to take blindly; with no guidance from anyone. It's a shot in the dark. Other times, God sends us huge signs to follow. And still other times, He forces us down a path. I think the forced paths are the hardest pills to swallow. After all, God set in motion free will within each of us. Forced is often not in our vocabulary.

A few months back, my husband opened our mortgage statement to find we owed about $500 more than usual. We thought it was a mistake. A call to the mortgage company assured us it wasn't. It seemed that, since we'd built our house, our escrow payment had been sorely under charged. We owed a lot -- over a year and half's worth -- of property, city, and county taxes. The entire time we'd lived in this house, we'd been paying taxes on land only, with no house occupying the space. Obviously, there's a house here.

The mortgage company was able to work with us a bit on our payment, but it still went up quite a bit. When you are raising tow kids on one income, it's hard to come up with that "extra" few hundred dollars at the end of the month. If that higher mortgage statement had come just a few weeks earlier, we wouldn't have bought the new SUV we'd just brought home only three weeks prior to opening that mortgage statement. We wouldn't be in this mess. But it didn't, we did, and we are -- in a huge mess. As of Monday we are 2 months late on our house payment. We pay half of it every two weeks, but we're slipping closer and closer to foreclosure.

A few weeks ago, my husband was online perusing jobs, when he saw the name of the town his parents live in show up. He clicked to check out the job, only to find that it was exactly what he was looking for. Not thinking anything would come of it, he sent his resume off. A few hours later, he had an interview set up for the next week. The company, apparently, was looking for a candidate with his exact qualifications and experience. So he interviewed, never imagining they'd be able to pay him the salary we needed. To our amazement, they said his salary requirement was no problem. Andi meets with the CEO tomorrow. He should have an offer soon after.

Although we'd been talking about moving closer to family recently, I never thought he'd actually find a job that payed...in his career field [They have tech jobs in the sticks?]. This entire thing has thrown me for a loop. Of course I have a huge fear of what will happen when we leave. Will we be able to sell or lease our house? I'm not sure. Facing foreclosure is scary. I fear it will butcher our credit...and why wouldn't it? What kind of future will that be? Will we ever have a house again? [Do we deserve one?] For that matter, will we ever have anything again? Remembering that God will provide is increasingly hard. But He does, and He will. No matter how ashamed I feel right now, I have to be able to pick my chin up to thank God for all that I do have.

After returning to Andi's parents' house after a disappointing search for an affordable, decent sized apartment to cram the last two years of our life into, we learned that the house next to Andi's parents' property is going up for rent. Being a long-time family friend, the owner is willing to rent to us. God's providing us a home...And even though we'll most likely be staying with his parents for a short time while we figure things out financially, I'm grateful for that home. Those apartments were breaking my heart.

Here I stand, at a huge fork in the road. I'm completely out of breath and scared. Up until now I've been too proud to write about all of this...or even talk to friends about it. I cling to my material possessions so tightly, and have for so long, that losing them is putting huge holes in my self. My whole life is down the road I'm on right now: friends, church, things...Stepping foot down my new path feels like jumping into an abyss. It's dark and unknown. I have to give it all to God and take the leap anyway.

I'm absolutely terrified.


By the way, in case you're wondering, we have called the mortgage company. Despite the overwhelming number of foreclosures looming in America, our lender is unwilling to help us. They said that given all of our bills and expenses, since we have no surplus of income at the end of the month, they're unwilling to help us. If we had a surplus of income, don't you think we'd be paying our mortgage with it?


So I finally remembered to get some decaf at the store...and some really great creamer.

I can't tell you how good it feels to wake up and have coffee to look forward to again.

It just beeped to let me know a pot is ready. Mmmmmm.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I have a lot to blog about.

Of course it will all take entirely too long, and of course, it needs to wait until after the kids are in bed. Let's hope I have the energy to type it all up.

The kids are in bed now...but not for much longer.

I've just got a lot going on in my life and a lot circling around in my head about it.

I really hate being an adult some days.