Rain, Rain, Rainy Days and Surprises

Rain and rainy days are refreshing to me…usually.

Rain makes the flowers grow, cleans the air, and give the lawn that pretty green color.

After the house officially went on the market with a formal “for sale” sign in the front yard, I prepared myself for the next step. Having people walk through my house while I found someplace else to be. I worried about my three cats. Would they seek shelter under the beds, or would they come out and try to investigate the intruders, or hiss at them and scare them away?

My first showing was a no show, though they never told me. I had left every light on in the house, as suggested by my agent, so the rooms would appear bright and welcoming. When I returned home there was no calling card on the table. It had been pouring down rain, not just a little but a true downpour. More than we’d seen in a long time. Yes, I was out in that in order to meet the requirements of not being home when potential buyers came.

These, old, arthritic joints do not do well in weather like this! Life after 70 is called the “golden years”…I don’t quite understand this, unless it refers to the money paid to doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies! But I digress.

The next day there were two showings and another the afternoon after that. Things were looking up.

Neither of the first two lookers were interested. Boo. I began to feel a little down. The next afternoon another showing was scheduled and once again, God provided rain…lots of it. When it rains at the rate of an inch an hour, the street next to me, which connects with the main crossroad, floods. I know to avoid that street on those days.

Anyway, I came home from work, turned on all the lights, made sure everything looked picture perfect, and took all the paperwork regarding the new condo I was purchasing, and headed out between rain storms to have a late lunch.

While I was sitting in the restaurant, I heard another downpour with thunder rolling and lightning flashing. My first thought was that I’d come home and find the showing had been cancelled again.

Once the storm abated, I drove toward home. Streets were flooded everywhere! I avoided the bad street and turned onto mine…and saw an SUV in my driveway and two vans parked on the street in front of the house. Uh-oh. So I cruised on past and drove around the block to park on a cross street where I could see when the vehicles left. Let’s just say I sat there so long I worried someone would call the police about a suspicious, white-haired lady, in a silver SUV!

Finally a man came out and got into one of the vans. It was several minutes later when a lady emerged and climbed into the second van. No vehicles moved.

I began to get nervous. I noticed someone watching me from the windows of the house across from where I was parked, so I decided I’d better cut and run! I drove around several blocks and prepared to slowly go up my street. As I turned the corner, there were the two vans! A man was under the one the woman was driving. I stopped and rolled down my window and asked if they needed help. The man told me the woman had driven through a huge area of water and he was checking to make sure it was safe for her to drive. The woman said they were fine. She had been to look at a house for sale and were late because of the rain. She had turned on a street, not noticing it was flooded and drove through it!

Great. This was not looking good for me. I cheerfully said, the street always floods in heavy rains, but the next one over never does. She thanked me and I drove on. So did they. But the SUV was still in my drive. Sigh.

I took a different turn around the block and finally saw the driveway was vacant. Home, sweet, home.

I made my rounds to turn off all the lights, and when I went downstairs, I felt the sogginess under my feet! The carpet was soaked! I opened the basement door to water running from under the outside door straight across to the hallway. Oh, no!

Sure enough, the rain had come down so hard and the wind blew so strong that leaves, big leaves, from the neighbor’s sycamore tree had settled at the bottom of the stairs and over the drain at the outside entrance to the basement. I cleared them off and the water receded outside. But inside I had to sweep the water to the center drain. It took quite a while, but soon all the water was gone. I had to use my shampooer to suck the water from the carpeting. Then I started the dehumidifier to dry up the basement and the carpet.

Now I knew I had to call my agent and tell her the bad news. The house I swore never had water, now had…right when a potential buyer was viewing. I explained what happened and she said she could probably handle it if they said anything in their report.

No report came. The next evening I had made plans to visit my long-time best friend for dinner. She lives in a city about 40 minutes away. I alsof packed items to store in her basement until I moved. On the way to the restaurant where we were headed, I looked at the sky and said, “Doesn’t that cloud look like a tornado?” She agreed. Not two minutes later, the tornado siren went off! We continued to the restaurant to find staff standing outside videoing the tornado!

Yikes. We went inside and prayed for safety. Even tornadoes do not stop cooks and waiting staff in this restaurant! We enjoyed our comfort food and chatted long enough for the threat to be over before we left.

The following day was my day off, so I asked another friend to join me for lunch and to drive by the condo to see if there had been any flooding there. I had heard the road was closed due to high water! As we departed, I received a phone call. The person who had viewed my house during the basement flooding event offered to purchase the house at the full asking price! God can turn any dark situation into something beautiful! (And the condo and surrounding area was just fine!)

We had a bit of negotiating to do on some of the closing costs, but three days later, I had a signed contract. And I also signed a contract on the condo!

And now, the waiting began.

 

It’s Amazing How Much Clutter People Can Collect in 33 Years!

Clutter! It’s amazing how much my husband and I collected in the 33 years we spent in our house. He was a saver of all things which might be of use one day. Electric cords, cancelled checks from 1986, and even a rubber chicken.

He once saved egg cartons because he was going to paint them and turn them into a swag lamp! I’m serious.

He made me wall lamps out of the ends of butcher paper rolls he saved for several years. They were unique and if I hadn’t given them to the Salvation Army to bless someone else’s house, I would show you a picture.

When it came time to rent a dumpster so I could “downsize” and get the house ready to sell, I ordered the 14 cubic foot size. It took up my entire driveway!

Thanks to my son-in-law being a school teacher and thus not working this summer, he and three of my grandchildren helped clear out the clutter. I was truly amazed at how many things we tossed.

The rule I used was simple: If I hadn’t touched it in two years, it was fair game for the dumpster. I didn’t think twice. Well, maybe I did think twice about some things. But I remembered a dear friend’s advice: The joy of a gift is received at the time the gift is given. So those little knick knacks which friends and family gave me over the years had to follow the two year rule as well.

I shouldn’t just blame my late hubby. I collected hardback books. I began in the mid sixties and stopped when I bought my first Kindle (mainly because hubby said, either you stop buying books or I’m going to have to find a place to live because there won’t be room for me any longer)! We boxed up around 600 books for the Salvation Army. I could never bear to throw away a book!

I will have to invest in at least ONE new bookcase for my condo. I have writing craft books to display for easy access.

Anyway, we completely filled that dumpster to the top. I threw away everything that wasn’t up to recycling, but the basement is clutter free, the 12 X 12 shed is clutter free, all the closets are clutter free, and there is so much room in the house now! Honestly, it sure did look good by the time we put that For Sale sign in the yard.

And then began the process of showing the house. That took some preparation, too, which I’ll talk about in a later blog.

I can honestly say being over 70 takes a lot of stamina and fortitude!

‘Til next time, take time to enjoy life. Every moment is a gift from God!

 

Life In a Box

Life in a box is how I’ve been living for the past four plus years.

So today I decided to revamp my blog and call it “Life After 70.” It inspires me to come to this blog and share my life with you…the ups and downs. My new mindset began in June…

…when I made the decision to put my house up for sale. I realized I’d been living in a box.

Four years after I buried my husband, the love of my life, I realized it was time to begin a new phase of life. After all,  I had crossed a bridge…one that put me over the age of 70. I had been living inside four walls in my “comfort zone.” I felt trapped into existing in a house that had outgrown me. Living in a box.

Truthfully, I don’t feel being over 70 means I’m old or that my life should be winding down into a sedentary life. Nor should you! I love working part-time as the Office Manager at my church. I love to meet with friends and visit, shop, and have long lunches where someone waits on me. I like to walk. I love to read. I like to walk. I love people. But I have to admit these old bones just aren’t what they used to be!

I cannot keep up with the yard work…okay, I don’t WANT to keep up with the yard work. My old ticker doesn’t like pushing a lawn mower under beautiful sunny skies. I’d rather be sitting on the deck and enjoying the sights and sounds as I sip a cup of tea and think about what I’m going to write next.

This home I live in is a bi-level, which means the minute I walk inside the door, I must make a decision to go upstairs or downstairs. Or just stand on the landing and think about it for a while and maybe forget why I’m standing there.

Carrying groceries up the stairs to the kitchen is a major chore. There is only so much fast food one can tolerate.

Carrying dirty laundry downstairs to wash, and then carrying the clean laundry back upstairs is another challenge. Many nights I prefer to avoid the stairs and watch TV in my bedroom instead of in the downstairs family room.

So four years of doing this while living alone has taken a toll on me mentally and yes, I must admit, physically as well. No more stairs was beginning to be my mantra. And the only way out was to break of the box I’d been living in.

At the age of 70 plus, the thought of taking on a 30-year mortgage was a bit frightening, but not as much as the thought of spending the rest of my golden years in an apartment.

The decision was made. I was going to sell the house and have a new beginning. I would look into purchasing a condo…no steps…two bedrooms…and a garage.

And so the story begins of my transition into a new beginning of life after 70. I was going to punch my way out of the box I’d put myself in.

(More to come…)

 

Jesus Christ is Alive and Well

I want to proclaim the Good News! Jesus Christ is alive and well!

It has been a long time since I shared my experiences in this blog forum. Honestly, it was as if I’d totally forgotten I had a blog. I became complacent in sharing and found myself hiding in my comfort zone…

Until tonight! Friends, again I say, Jesus Christ is alive and well! That is the Good News and I want to share this with the world.

At our Bible Study session during our Wednesday Family Night at church tonight, we were studying the first five verses of Romans, chapter 1. Each of us shared our first thoughts on hearing the scripture. The more we shared, the more I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit among us.

God is doing a new thing within the walls of our church. He has given us the privilege to share the Good News…that Jesus Christ is alive and well. And He has been preparing our hearts to be bold and courageous, to not be afraid to lay down our lives for Jesus.

Our church, and I’m sure many others, have become complacent within the “walls” of the building where we worship. We share the Good News with each other and sometimes even with the new faces who come to worship. Ah, how easy to do so where we know we are accepted and already established.

But the church came into existence when Jesus sent the apostles into the farthest corners of the world to “spread the Good News.” No wonder so many churches are struggling and sadly, folding. We have forgotten that the “lost” will not come to the building, the body of Christ (His Church: US) must go out into the world and spread the good news of what He has done for us so they will want to know more…to have the light that shines from us so brightly.

Our church is on fire to do what God has given us the privilege to do! We are going to spread the Good News in our community and do what God has called us to do….Love!

Tonight as we closed in prayer, God revealed a picture to me of the walls of our church moving outward and disappearing. This isn’t the first vision He has given me, but each time I am so humbled and in awe beyond words. But God reminded me I have a blog and I should share this vision with all.

He is with us always. We just need to “be”. To be still and know that He is God!

As tears continue to dampen my cheeks, I promise you it is true….Jesus Christ is alive and well! Believe it!

NEVER SAY NEVER

One should never say never.

My hubby and I used to enjoy visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. After he passed, I thought that part of my life had come to an end. Vacations were a thing of the past.

Yet here I am sitting and relaxing in a motel room after walking the strip in Pigeon Forge! I’m going to share my adventures through my blog, and I hope to entertain you.

We started out Tuesday morning. I drove to my friend Sharon’s house. I parked in her garage because we were going in her SUV. So I put my keys in my glove compartment and went into house. When we left, I went to open the back of my SUV and realized with horror I had automatically pressed the auto lock button before shutting the door!

Had to call daughter to meet us at my house to let me in to get my spare key. What a way to start, right? But we were determined not to get stressed about anything…so we just had a little delay. I like to think it is all God’s doing. He delays all of us to prevent anything bad from happening. We might have been in an accident if we’d left on our time table.

We were in no hurry to get to Tennessee, so we took a longer route avoiding major interstates. What a joy! Traffic was so sparse and scenery was gorgeous. We wanted to eat at places we couldn’t in Ohio.

Our first stop was at Diner 23. What a perfect place for us to stop! It was a true diner…a blast from the past.

So clean and the service was great. The food was wonderful and abundant! I chose the meatloaf and Sharon chose the marzetti.

We drove on to Kingston Tennessee where we stopped for dinner…or as they say in the south…supper. We passed two hotels and planned to go back to one of them for the night. No hurry, no worry!

I forgot to get a picture of the sign, but it was a little dive called Pizza Plus. Small, clean, and fabulous service.

Clean platers! Ron would be proud. The best part of eating there was the guy who ran the place. He was so friendly. We decided to ask hi a good place to spend the night. He said we shouldn’t stay at any of the places there in town. They weren’t a good place for two ladies to stay. He even named another place to avoid where the occupants paid by the hour!

He gave us good directions in the same direction we were traveling where we could find some nice hotels. We first tried a Hampton Inn but the were filled up. Baseball team! The lady at the desk told us not to go to the Quality Inn, so we went to the third option…Comfort Suites. The beds were so comfortable. The room was spacious, had a fridge, microwave, two TVs and a sofa in addition to the 2 queen size beds. A lovely view from the parking lot. And they provided a full free breakfast.

After a great night’s rest, full tummies, we began day two. More tomorrow. I will never say never again!