It’s been a while.
Where have you been?
I mean, where have I been?
Just like many of you, I’m sure, we’ve had a lot going on. Approximately 2% of it has to do directly with COVID, which is about 2 weeks out of the last two years where one of the kids still living with us somehow contracted COVID–although strangely enough, no one else in the house got it, and she only had a mild case. (All of us being fully vaccinated–including her!)
I think there are a few reasons for my absence:
Busyness: somehow in all of this mess we seem to remain extremely busy.
Writer’s Block: I never know what to say fully, and it’s been hard to really nail down what message I am sending with this blog and how to best say it.
Fear: I know, for someone who’s written a book about fear, it seems hypocritical for me to land here, but as I mention in the book, I have, by no means, arrived at perfection in the areas of fear and anxiety. I have let the fear of saying the wrong thing to keep me from using my gifts. I know I need to push through that and share what’s on my heart. (And to be honest, I spent far too much time looking at my website layout this morning subconsciously avoiding writing this post.)
So what has been going on in our lives?
In March 2020, we moved! I think it was 5 days after the governor shut down the state, we closed on our new home. 8 days afterward, we moved to what I hope is our forever home.
We lived in previous home–our “starter home”–for 10 1/2 years, so it was a long time coming.
Not only was it only supposed to be our “starter home,” but it needed some cosmetic work that we just were never getting around to.
The real issue, though, was the neighbors. We lived in a duplex (for those who don’t know, that’s a house that’s attached to another house). The house attached to us had been made into apartments, and the majority of the time, the tenants were less than stellar. To give you the gist of it, the police visited frequently. It made me quite nervous as it was, but add to that the fact that my middle-school-aged daughter had to walk to and from school, and I experienced a lot of anxiety around our neighbors.
We ended up moving into a home that is literally five minutes away, but it’s in a much more “rural” area. We live on a private drive surrounded by a small wooded area that it sandwiched by a farm. Our neighbors are somewhat close but not even neighborhood close, which is quite close enough for me (introverts unite!).
Not only do I love that our neighbors are friendly and helpful (they do most of the “plowing” up the private drive when we get a moderate to large amount of snow), I love that they are not attached (sorry, not sorry). I love that our dog has more than twice the space to run around. He has more room on his lead than he had in our entire previous back yard! I love the trees (especially when their colors change in the fall!). I love the birds nearby–I can hear woodpeckers and owls, and we frequently see cardinals and blue jays, among other birds. I especially love that I can see the stars at night. I could never see them at our old house, because we lived in town. We’ve had a decent amount of repairs to make on the house, which has been a challenge, but overall I do not regret, for one second, that we moved here. It has literally been a breath of fresh air.
We Dealt with New Home Repairs
Along with homeownership comes with repairs, as you may know. I’ve felt especially challenged over the last two years with the repairs that needed to made at the new house. Well and at the old house.
In order to sell our previous home, we needed to have some of the electric updated among a couple of other things. This paled in comparison to what we experienced last winter.
To be fully transparent, we moved into a house that had been “flipped.” While everything checked out in inspection, what you don’t get to find out is how they installed the hot and cold water in the laundry room backwards and install the bathroom fixtures incorrectly. Oh, and there’s an issue with the dining room light that was “fixed” but apparently was not really.
Handy Hubby to the rescue! Thankfully he was able to fix just about all of these issues for little to no cost.
We seemed to be having an issue with our well. Every so often (a lot more frequently than I would have liked), the water would stop running. At first, shortly after we first moved in, we determined that our filter needed changed frequently. Since the house had sat empty for so long, a lot of sediment had built up, and the filtering system needed to get all of it out.
So we thought that we had that fixed, but then over the summer (2020 still), we had the water shut off much more frequently. We decided that perhaps our water was low since, after all, it was summertime, and maybe we were running too much water.
Still, it seemed to frequently. I thought maybe there was an issue with the pump, but I know nothing about plumbing so let it go.
During the winter it got even worse. Like it wouldn’t even come back on.
So we had the plumber come out, and sure enough, the pump went bad. We had to replace it completely. EEK. $$$$$
A day or so later, it stopped again. Wouldn’t run.
So the plumber contacted a guy he knew to bring water out. Maybe the water level was too low for the pump. Except we had a snow storm. And then the guy wasn’t showing up. I think we went a week without water. I can’t even tell you how grateful I became for running water after showering with a gallon bottle of cold water. And how grateful I was for family and friends who pulled together to help us figure out how to get drinkable water, wash our clothes, and shower with hot water.
The water guy did end up coming out, and it turns out we didn’t need that much. Turns out, something happened to one of the pipes when they put the pump in, so the plumber replaced the part and we’ve been golden ever since.
Did I mention that this all happened after we had to replace the hot water heater?
Also worth noting is that God’s timing is impeccable. Prior to purchase we found out that the existing waste system failed inspection. It was emotionally exhausting to continue to wait (as I am not the most patient woman on the planet–my husband will attest!). But had we skipped that part of the process, we would have ended up having to replace it entirely. Yes, you read that right–the sellers had to put in an entirely new septic system before we could purchase the house.
Despite all this, I am still incredibly grateful for our new home. At this point, as far as I’m aware, our house is in good working condition aside from your typical upkeep and minor repairs that need completed.
We ended up putting in a pellet stove over the summer–there was a corner spot in the basement that had housed some sort of stove previously. So far this winter, it has done a great job of helping to heat the house. Now we just need to figure out how to insulate the garage. (It’s below the master bedroom and our dining room so that part of the house is quite chilly.)
I still love the trees. And the way they change colors in the fall. And the woodpeckers and owls and blue jays and cardinals. (Not the snakes–but the stray cats seem to keep them away!). I still love seeing the stars at night. And I think my favorite thing to do at this house is sit outside in mid-Spring or mid-Fall and take in the colors and the warm air and soak in the sunshine and the peace we have here.