The House Blessing, Part 2

26 02 2008

Our desire was to buy some of Maria and Kirk’s land and place a trailer on it.  I could envision all of the fun that we would have being close to them.  Kirk gave his okay for us to start planning in that direction.  First, we had to have a special test done to see if our part of the land would be able to handle another septic system.  We had that test done . The results were that the land would be fine with another septic system. 

I had completely forgotten that Maria and Kirk had a mortgage.  Thus, our plans shifted a bit.  We would have to buy the land from the mortgage company.  Maria requested the proper paper work.  However, after looking it over–we found it to be too complicated and too costly.  My other children didn’t want us to buy a trailer.  Trailers are usually the first to be blown away in tornadoes. (And our recent sweep of tornadoes did destroy many trailers in Western  Kentucky ).

I just would  not give up on the idea of a trailer.  I knew the risks but I wanted a small, simple living space.  I was very influenced by the  voluntary simplicity movement.  Maria called to tell me that there was a home for sale not far from her home.  The catch was that it had no indoor plumbing.  At first, I wasn’t even willing to look at the house.  However, I finally agreed to at least take a look.  Jim  relunctantly went with me to look over the house.

It was quite a cute cottage.  Except for no indoor plumbing, it was in excellent shape from all outward appearances.  I envisioned Ben, our son, building the bathroom.  We made arrangements to meet the owner.  Ben and his wife met us out at the house.  Although he wasn’t thrilled with this project–he agreed that the home was in good condition.

We walked all through the interior of the house.  It had beautiful stained woodwork that had not been painted over.  There was so much potential to make this little house– a  place of beauty.  I began thinking of color schemes.  Everyone said that they would help with painting.  The catch was that the couple that owned it– wanted to say that they were selling it for one price and then later collect the rest of the money.  I kept trying to talk them out of that way of doing business ,because I wanted that home so badly.

Now we couldn’t buy this home until we had sold our home.  We had a man who wanted our home with much the same passion–  as we wanted the home close to Maria.  All of the events looked like we would have our home sold within thirty days.  The next problem we had to solve was a temporary place to live.  Ben had bought a home  in 2003 and fell in love with his next door neighbor, who was a widow.  When they married, he decided to keep his home.  (He joined his wife in her home adjacent to his.) We asked Ben and Linda if we could rent Ben’s place while he was building us a bathroom.  They were hesitant because he was in the middle of remodeling his home –so he could rent it for a good price. 

Ben explained to me that he was reluctant to take on building our bathroom because he would lose contact with his regular customers.  (Ben does contract work for several families who are in the rental home business.  He gets regular work by doing repair work on those  rental homes.)  Finally, he agreed to let us stay in his home if necessary.  The little house we wanted would also get a custum made bathroom built by Ben.

That dream was disolved when the couple who owned the house would not do things legally.  Our Realtor found us another home in a small Kentucky town about twenty miles from where we live.  The home was old but seemed to be in good shape.  We would be able to buy it outright when we sold our home.  We felt like it was a good choice and I looked forward to living in this small town which had a lovely town square.  If we couldn’t have the home near Maria–this seemed to be a good second choice.  Ben was relieved that we didn’t have to rent his house .  He was also glad he didn’t have to build us a bathroom.

The inspection process began on our home.  Since the man who wanted our home was having to get a mortgage–certain requirements had to be met.  An inspection man came and spent several hours going over everything in our home. On a general measure, we met the basic requirements.  We were delighted to know that our home was framed in oak.  That was a bit of knowledge that we had never known.  There was some question about one wall in the basement.  It had some cracks in it.  Ben had strengthened that wall with huge wooden beams many years ago.  The man who did the inspection said that he was fine with that, but that the appraiser might not let it sell that way.

The appraiser came out and spent several hours in our home.  He didn’t like the basement wall at all.  He said that buyer’s loan would never go through unless we had it fixed.  The Realtors we were dealing with got someone out to give us a bid.  The cost would be $2,700.00.  At first we told the Realtor that we would just withdraw our home from the market.  We thought it over a few days and changed our mind.  Jim put the paper work in to his work place– to get the money from our retirement fund.  As soon as we had the money available, the Realtor called to tell us that the deal was off.  The man’s loan was not approved anyway, because he had damaged his credit report in the past 30 days. 

At that point , all of our dreams went up in smoke.  The drought was in full force and my nerves were on edge.  We had already packed our things.  The house was full of boxes.  Everything would have to be unpacked and put away.  My grandsons hated the boxes.  They had hated the fact that we were moving.  In a way, I broke a promise to Sandy, my oldest daughter.  I had told her last March that I would pick up John from Kindergarten and keep him each afternoon.  I had already started doing that in early August.  Sandy never made me feel guilty, but I knew she had been disappointed when we started talking about moving.

We were not in good shape to continue our search for a country home.  We were burned out by our negative experience.  The heat just would not let up and our central air system broke right in the middle of the drought.  That would be another repair we would have to make in order to sell our home.  Sandy’s husband who works in the heat and air business told us that it was beyond repair.  An entire new unit would have to be installed.

In the middle of August, we told the Realtors to take our home off of the market.  We owed just a small amount on our second mortgage that we had taken out in l995.  We paid that off with the money that we would have used for the basement wall.  I knew I had to create a new dream.  What would it be?  I was surrounded by ugly boxes and it was 1oo degrees in my home day and night.  A new dream did take hold in my heart.  Stay with me for part 3.

God bless each of you!




2 responses

7 03 2008
David Web


It looks like you amd Jim are anchored to that old house by the power of God. All of us like to make plans and imagine a change like uprooting, will make us happier, while we seldom like to entertain the idea that we put down roots over time, that sink into the very cores of our souls.

The heat may have represented the roots being sunk down into the hard dry ground, uncharacteristic for Western Kentucky, usually awash in rain aplenty, and then some.

One thing I am definitely getting better at is listening to the quiet, and enjoying it. We are all blinded to some extent by our own willfulness which may not be in tune with the plan destined for us.

Little Brother

8 03 2008

Dear David,
How poetic is your good advice. I’m glad now that we don’t have to drive 20 miles to the nearest shopping area or hospital. I think we are here to stay.


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