Sky over Houston
Last time I shared the ups and downs (literally and figuratively) of our day of moving from Calgary to Texas.
Our following days continued to be full of juxtaposition…
Good: We experienced the joys of living in a bright, open, big, empty house.
“Bad”: We…were living in a big, empty house…
Good: This was a challenge, but it’s amazing to discover what you can live without. It was also intriguing to see at work the adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” We became very inventive.
“Bad”: We had almost nothing in the kitchen.
Good: We toasted bread in our one big non-stick frying pan and saucepan that we found for under $8 each at the grocery store.
For a week, we sautéed everything that needed to be cooked, since we had no oven pans or casserole dishes or crock pots or…
Good/”Bad” ( a matter of opinion): We had a lot of quesadillas, as they were easy to make in a frypan or in the microwave.
Good: Our window seat was such a blessing:
We ate our meals on the window seat; we had our Bible time on the window seat; when we wanted to sit down, we sat on the window seat.
Good: Eventually we bought some patio chairs and some wooden TV trays.
The patio table came later, when our moving van arrived.
“Bad”: We had no vehicle.
Good: We didn’t have to go anywhere!
“Bad”: Since we didn’t have a vehicle for the first while, we couldn’t go anywhere (like the pool). It was too hot to do much outside.
Good: We had exercise times to music in our big empty space.
Very Good: After we were here a week, or so, some very generous people lent us their truck for a couple weeks. That was lovely. The children especially enjoyed the built in DVD player. ;)
The second week had some interesting experiences.
“Bad”: A couple of the children, in one of those moments you could have avoided and you later regret, bent a patio lounge chair that we had borrowed.
Good: Ben found out where the chair had been purchased.
“Bad”: He looked there and at a few other stores, and could find no replacement.
Good: We ended up just giving the owners of the chair cash…and…
(“Bad”) …their new non-folding “low-rider” lounge chair.
Good: Thankfully, the wife’s mother-in-law had just given them a chair just like it, so they still had two that folded. Whew.
Interesting: We had a bit of difficulty figuring out when the washateria (laundromat) was open. Washaterias don’t seem to be as plentiful in our neck of the woods as they are elsewhere, and the only one remotely convenient is about an 8 – 10 min. drive away. We arrived a couple of times when they were closed.
One of those times, Mikaela accompanied me. We noticed part way through the drive that the streetlights weren’t working, and that all the vehicles were stopping at every light as if it were a four-way stop. Since the roads we were traveling each had two or three lanes in each direction, and turning lanes thrown in at the intersections, this was an interesting experience. I was impressed with how orderly it all was.
Since it was a weekend, I wondered if this was because the traffic was (a bit) lighter than other times of the week, or if the power was out over a large area.
Discovering upon arrival at the washateria that it was closed, we decided to grab a few essentials at a dollar store. It, too, was closed, also earlier than I would have thought. We headed for the grocery store across the street, its parking lot full of small lakes – a result of a cloudburst earlier – and my suspicions were confirmed.
We were experiencing what we would soon realize was a common phenomena here: power outages due to wind, rain, etc.
It was a bit of a trip to shop in dark grocery aisles, employees patrolling those aisles with flashlights to help customers find what they wanted. This store must have had a generator, as a few lights over the check-out stands were working, as well as a few of the computers. They were, however, starting to block off the aisles with shopping carts as we left, and presumably closing.
Good: We now have a beautiful Samsung washer and dryer set:
Doubly good: The set was on sale.
“Bad”: Our helpful Home Depot sales person discovered that we couldn’t get the dryer till October-ish. This was Very Bad. Indeed, it was unacceptable.
Good: He sold us the floor model, with the washing machine set to arrive in a week’s time.
“Bad”: We got a call from Samsung almost a week later that our machine wouldn’t arrive until September or so. Very Bad and Not Good again. Hold that thought…
“Bad”: In the midst of all this, the borrowed vehicle had a battery problem, and no longer would start. Ben boosted it, but we couldn’t use it. Doing laundry was getting a little dicey, and we only had available that we had brought in our suitcases. Looking (and smelling) grim, folks…
Good: One day, before I realized the borrowed truck was dead, I got our laundry ready to go.
Good: My new friend, Pam, called with the lovely news that she was going to bring a meal over at 10 AM, so I decided to wait to head out to the washateria till after that.
Good: I tackled one of my projects for the day: changing some burnt out light bulbs. I got the ladder (we had no furniture, and almost nothing in the kitchen, but we had a ladder, a lawn mower, and a weed whipper!) and got down several of the dead bulbs so I could take them with me to Lowes to buy replacements.
Good: I set them carefully at the back of the counter, behind something, so they wouldn’t roll off or be fiddled with by little people.
Pam called to say she wouldn’t be here till closer to lunch time.
“Bad”: While I was trying to decide whether to quickly head out to do laundry or wait till after Pam came, I was washing up a few dishes, and the kitchen faucet started to spray and leak everywhere.
“Bad”: I screamed.
Good: I turned it off and stood there, wet, wondering what to do. I mopped up the gallons (well, not quite) of water and decided to do the dishes in the laundry room sink. Shades of kitchen renovations.
“Bad”: Ewww. Look at that sink. Covered in paint stains, like any good homeschooler’s laundry room sink should be (the owners we are leasing from are a homeschooling family as well).
Good: I set myself up to enjoy my sink-cleaning/dish-washing experience with some good music (oh, yeah – we had an iron, too).
Good: I scrubbed the sink.
“Bad”: I heard the sound of a million (well…) tinkling shards of glass on our lovely tile floor.
“Bad”: I hadn’t hidden the light bulbs from our older children.
Good: We swept up (and swept up, and swept up…oh, look at that: we had a broom, too!)
Good: I went back to the excitement of dish-washing.
“Bad”: I broke one of our two stoneware bowls (from the thrift store).
This is the other one.
“Bad”: I found out that one of our toilets was clogged.
“Bad”: I had no plunger. Sigh.
Good: Ben brought home a plumbing snake that evening.
Good: After finally cleaning up and sweeping up and visiting with our new friends who brought a delicious meal, I lugged our grocery bags of laundry out to the borrowed truck to head to the washateria.
“Bad”: Then I discovered that the truck was dead. It took several days to make it to the washateria.
We really needed a washing machine.
Good: Ben talked to our helpful Home Depot sales person again, and told him about Samsung’s call to us, and that our washing machine wasn’t going to get to us until September or October some time. He scoffed and ranted at Samsung a bit, and then…
Very Good: …proceeded to sell us the washing machine floor model to us, as well…
Very, Very Good: …at a (small, IMHO) discount. Yay!
Very, Very, Very Good: We did laundry at last.
;). Hope you’re getting a kick out of reading about all our little opportunities for problem solving and “giving thanks in all things”!