I was so happy to get rid of that old stove and microwave, because not only do they not work, they were also ancient.
The house was needing so much, the list was growing every day and it seemed that everything on the list was dire. One of those things was the lawn. We have a huge backyard, but half of it seems to be a swamp right now. The front yard is somewhat small but full of weeds. The "garden beds" at one time look like they would have been nice but I would never have known they had even existed because everything was so overgrown.
The neighbors must have agreed because in the afternoon, when Dennis was out getting some stuff done, there was a knock at the door. (The doorbell here is broken--just add it to the list!) I knew it would be a neighbor and I just was not in the mood to socialize. I was in a pretty good mood with our new appliances and boxes slowly getting emptied, but for the most part, I just wanted to be left alone to get settled before meeting the neighbors. And yet, a neighbor was standing on our doorstep waiting for me to answer the door.
It was our neighbor from across the street, a feisty older lady named Coralline. She told me she was going to mow her lawn, and would I like her to mow our front lawn? I wasn't sure what to say--it was a hot day and she was an older lady, and it didn't feel right--or look normal for that matter--to have an old woman cutting our lawn. And yet, the lawn really needed it and she seemed like it would be as much of a favor to her as it would be to us. So I thanked her and she got right to it. Everyone here has big lawns so everyone owns a riding lawn mower--except us. She got that lawn done in about 5 minutes flat. What a relief it was to walk through the front lawn with being attacked by a thousand mosquitoes!
About a half hour later there was another knock on the door. Again--grudgingly--I answered it. It was another neighbor. He told me that he also was about to cut his lawn, and would I like him to cut our backyard as well? What was this, some sort of rehearsed play? This time, it was a man who looked like he had been roughened by the weather and I wasn't worried about him being in the hot sun but I did feel bad because our lawn was as big as his, and it would twice the work. It took some doing, but he talked me into it. Again, I thanked him, feeling humbled by this friendly neighborhood. We hadn't been able to go in the backyard since we moved in because the lawn was so bad with mosquitoes. It still has a lot of mosquitoes out here, but it isn't as bad when the grass is short. I knew Dennis would be surprised and happy to see something was off his list.
He was happy and he actually thought that it was me who cut the lawn! Ha, he gives me too much credit! I told him it was the neighbors that pitched in, and he was as happy as I was. Those were a few bright spot of that day.
The next day on Thursday, we were waiting for Dennis's friend to get off of work so that he could help bring in the stove and hook up the microwave. Unfortunately, I have proved to Daddy with the refrigerator incident that I'm no good at lifting appliances. It looked like his friend wasn't going to be able to make it which meant that we would have to live without a stove one more day which wasn't a big deal but it was seeing the new stove sitting in Dennis's truck, it was hard to wait. Then, to our surprise, our neighbors came to our rescue again! The same man who cut our lawn (he calls himself "Weiner" for some reason), said, "You want some help bringing that in?" And before Dennis had a chance to answer, he and his 2 teenage sons started dragging the old stove out and the new one in!
The people around here are simple, but they're kind. They are a "t-shirt and jeans" type, but they take pride in their homes. They know what it's like to work hard and don't mind pitching in to help where it's needed. It doesn't matter if we aren't friends yet, it's enough that we're neighbors and there doesn't seem to be the same boundaries here like there were even in our middle-class neighborhood in Chaska.
So that about covers the past week. We're on Sunday now, and today is our one week anniversary in our new home. We are almost settled; there are only a few more boxes to unpack and I've managed to clean a lot though there is still much to be done. But we're starting to feel a pride in our shoddy house and there is a great potential in this ugly duckling becoming a beautiful swan, with a lot of hard work.
We're looking ahead now, looking into the possibility of ordering flooring and looking at colors for paint. We have Luke's birthday coming up in July and already I'm buying presents when I can, knowing that money will be very tight and small once house payments begin.
I do feel more ready, more confident and much more happier than a week ago. I know that this where God wants us to be. I feel like we're finally home. :-)