Home is Where Your Story Begins

January 1, 2011

The Home of Many Blessings

Filed under: Life — my3daughters @ 12:46 pm

My home is blessed.  First off, this is a literal statement.  Walk in my front door, turn around and look at the lintel.  In blue chalk you will see the following written “+ 20 C M B 10 +”.  Each year during Epiphany, our priest comes around and blesses our homes.  And it’s there as a reminder all year that I am blessed to have found a great church to call home.

Now that you are in the door, let me take you on a little tour to show you all the reminders of the many blessings in my life.  Since we are in the foyer, we might as well start there.  Open that left bi-fold door.  See the old Apple computer sitting on the floor?  It doesn’t work anymore.  When I first moved out after the divorce, I did not have a computer.  I did have three students who needed a computer for school work.  Coach Mark Tripp found out about my lack of a computer and gave this one to me.   I’ve been told that I can sell it on eBay even though it doesn’t work.  Maybe I will actually get around to that this year.

Moving on to the living room, (the foyer is cramped for so many of us) you’ll see a brass lamp on a small side table.   The table has odds and ends in the drawer (I really need to clean that out) and all of my kid movies are in the space below.  Laura Hitt had this table in her garage to donate to charity.  I fell in love with it so she donated it to the Dawn charity.  The lamp was given to me by Peggy Patston when I moved into my first apartment and realized there were no overhead lights (why do they design apartments that way?).  I had one lamp that I was moving from room to room until Peggy gave me this one.  It’s very heavy and can double as a weapon should someone break into my home.  I’d prefer to just continue using it as a lamp.

We’ll come back to the living room in a bit (this isn’t a long tour) but let’s head down the short hall for right now.  The first door on the left is a storage closet.  It’s filled with memories and Christmas decorations (or will be as soon as I take them down).  I’m blessed to have this much storage in my apartment.  The next door on the left is the main bathroom.  As you can see, it’s decorated in rubber duckies.  Not really any blessings in here unless you count the many bargains that I found to help me decorate and stock it.  Finding bargains is a blessing, at least in my book.

The door at the end leads to my bedroom.  Don’t mind the clothes on the floor.  Most are clean.  I just need to put them away.  Again, my half bath is filled more with bargains than blessings as is my walk-in closet.  I do feel blessed to have a walk-in closet.

The first thing most people notice upon walking into a bedroom is, of course, the bed.  Bishop and Jan Fick blessed me with the mattress and box springs set and the bed frame when I got my first apartment.  I am blessed every night with a wonderful place to sleep because of them. This mattress is so comfortable.

Let’s just close the door on that mess and head back down the hall.  This door says “Caution” on it.  That’s because it’s Abbey and Gillian’s room.  My room is messy, theirs is a disaster area.  We’ll just peek in.  That’s Abbey’s bed over there.  She used to sleep on a mattress and box spring on the floor until Fr. Tim and Anna Doubblestein blessed us with a bed frame.  Gillian uses this daybed that Peggy Patston’s daughter blessed us with.  We won’t walk in and peek in their closet, but they have a small dresser in there that Laura Hitt blessed us with.

Again, this linen closet holds more bargains than blessings.  I do love my bargains.  I can’t remember the last time I paid full price for anything.

Now we are back in the living room.  The TV was a blessing from Sue Beck.  And the Wii sitting next to it I count as both a blessing and a bargain.  The girls knew money was tight for Christmas.  They asked for one thing—a Wii.  They said they would be fine with a used one.  Tom DePew mentioned to me that GameStop was the place to get a used Wii.  And when I went on the GameStop website and saw that they had a used Wii for $99, Tom rearranged his plans to take me there.  That’s the blessing.  The bargain is that I managed to get the Wii, an extra controller and 3 used games for less than the price of a new Wii.  Score!

The big black chair sitting at my computer desk is another blessing.  Nancy Beck (no relation to Sue Beck, at least I don’t think so) saw her neighbor putting it out at the curb for trash day.  She grabbed it and gave it to me.  I spend a lot of time in this chair (too much time probably) and it’s comfy.  I don’t know why he was getting rid of it.  I’ve never found anything wrong with it.

The monitor sitting on the desk is another blessing/bargain combo.  I had a little extra money and my computer monitor was going.  I knew the guys were at the church doing tile work so I stopped by to ask them where I should go to get a monitor and what kind I should get.  Bishop Fick said he had a monitor I could buy and he gave me a great price.  I had also hoped to afford a printer and happened to mention it while I was at the church.  The printer on the bookshelf is a blessing that resulted from that conversation.  Fr. Terry and Nancy Moore had an extra one. It isn’t working right now but I think it just needs a new ink cartridge.  It’s on my shopping list.

Just one more thing before we move into the dining area.  This couch is another blessing/bargain combo.  I needed a couch.  Salvation Army was having a sale and I liked this couch and the price.  However, there was no way I could get it in my vehicle.  I asked Jeremiah Fick to help me get it home in his truck.  Not only did he haul in his truck but he convinced me that, yes I could help him carry it up the stairs.  And it’s a sleeper sofa so it’s heavy.  Every time I look at the couch I not only remember that Jeremiah helped me get it up here (and that Trish loaned me Jeremiah on a busy weekend) but that I helped get it there.  The gift of self-accomplishment is a wonderful blessing.

The dining area is tiny and again holds bargains instead of blessings.  The kitchen is the same way, except for two things.  The first is the microwave.  Again, Coach Mark Tripp found out I wouldn’t have a microwave and so he gave me this one.  I’d be lost without it since I do more heating up than actually cooking.  My Aunt used to say that Ashley’s first word was microwave.  I think she was mistaken.  I believe microwave was Ashley’s second word.

Look next to the microwave on top of the refrigerator and you will see the final blessing on this tour.  No, it’s not the empty bottle of sangria (I just liked that bottle) or even the George Forman grill.  It’s actually the drip pan for the grill.  I found the grill at the Salvation Army (where else do I shop) but it didn’t have a drip pan.  I mentioned to Susan Corey that I loved my George but that I had to fashion a drip pan out of foil.  Susan had two drip pans and gave me her spare.

Here we are back in the foyer.  Before you leave, let me explain about one more blessing.  The fact that I have an apartment and things in it is a blessing.  I moved into an apartment after the divorce.  I had bitten off more than I could chew rent-wise and I got evicted.  My neighbors across the hall helped me pack up and move my belongings into a storage unit when I got sick right before I had to be out.  Sadly I’ve lost touch with them.  I spent almost two months living on friends’ couches or in their spare rooms so that I didn’t have to leave Michigan and my girls.  That was a blessing.  And when I finally found an apartment that I could afford, Bishop and Jan Fick rented a truck to get my belongings out of storage.  They, along with Jeremiah Fick, Fr. Tim Doubblestein and Harry Smith moved me into my apartment.  When I moved into this apartment, I rented a small truck and paid two of Ashley’s co-workers to move most of my things.  But the truck was very small and they were somewhat slow and lazy.  I still had items to move.  Matt Beverst helped me pack up the last of the apartment and he figured out how to pack my van to make the move in the least amount of trips.

I’m facing possible eviction again.  It’s rather difficult to pay the rent when you don’t have a steady job.  I’ve already had several offers of spare rooms or couches, unfortunately none are in Michigan.  So I’m going to try to find a place here so I can stay by my girls.  I’ve also had offers of help packing and moving.

So you see, it’s not just my home that has blessings, it’s me.


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