Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Home is Where We Are Right NOW!

This is where is all began for us in Mobile. When we found out we were moving to Mobile out of Alaska we promptly booked tickets, boarded the plane and went house hunting. We were looking forward to living in the "lower 48" again. Our first stop was in Florida, a hefty 8 hour drive from Mobile Alabama. We left Emily, Molly and Jack at my moms so we could find our new house in peace .

Pete and I were pretty excited. We had about 5 days with only the child in my belly (Lucy). The day of our drive was sunny,crisp and perfect. We drove our 8 hours on a Sunday, pulling in to Mobile about 1:00. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining and Pete and I were intoxicated with the old homes and big old oak trees. We got a little turned around when we were looking for a particular house and we pulled up along side this one. It was for sale! Our mouths dropped. Pete called the number asked how much and three days later we bought the house. It's the way we like to do things!

Six months later we finally moved in. The kids had never seen the house until the day it was ours. We signed our lives away, got a key and drove to our new home on Church St. We were in the house for about 3 seconds when I thought to myself, "What have we done?" A thought I would have appreciated having 6 months earlier, not 1 hour after signing away our life. The kids all took off in different directions. I thought having 4000 sq. ft would be a dream come true with our little group. Not even for a second. Even though the house was empty it did not change the fact that every room had a mess in it after the children were done tearing through. Meanwhile I'm following them saying, "Where are you? Stay in that room until I can find Jack." What have I done?

I began praying that night, "Please God, let us sell this house." I know it sounds odd, but I had a hard time feeling at home in that big beautiful fancy house.

God answered our prayers about 18 months later. Friends of ours loved the house. They wanted it! I wanted to give it to them. We all agreed. We swapped some stuff, money, keys, hugs and tears!

It would seem that Pete and I tend to do things at a rapid rate. Sometimes it can work out for us, sometimes ...not so much. The jury is still out about this time. We wrapped up the house deal in about 30 days. That means we had to move 4000 sq. ft of furniture into a rental house by ourselves. There were a couple of problems with that too. First, we had no rental house. Second, we had no rental house. And third , we had no rental house. At the last minute, before Pete had to go to Alaska for 2 weeks, we found a furnished house that was in the same area we were currently living in. Perfect! Not so much. The rental house was furnished because it was a Show Home. A staged home that was for sale. All we had to do was keep it in perfect show condition, mow the yard and get out at any time the Realtor needed to show it. All of that would be hard with no kids, try adding 5! We had to do it though. At the time there was no where else for us to live.
We had to store our stuff while we lived there because it was a fully furnished house. I randomly called a storage place, called some friends, packed some boxes and moved ALL of our stuff into the storage unit.

The whole show home, living perfect, sitting on someone else's couch set up got pretty old REALLY fast. I, of course wanted to move into something a bit more "us" sooner rather than later. I convinced Pete to come look at a rental house with me one afternoon before his night flight. On our way back we pasted a building that was up in flames. Fire trucks were everywhere turning people away. You could not even drive down the street. As we are getting turned around I realize it is our storage building that is blazing. Mouths agape, hearts pounding we realize all of our things are GONE!!

What's a girl to do? I quickly found a small rental, bought some furniture and moved us in! Now we live in a tiny house that is feeling more like home. I miss our things. I miss all of my Halloween decorations. I miss my signs I made over the years. I miss all of my scrapbooks. I am trying to be patient and rebuild our life slowly. It strikes me every now and again when I think of something like the turkey platter I bought with my mom in San Diego the first year I had Emily. When I think of the notes and letters I kept from Pete that he wrote to me from the Academy. Home is not about things, I know that, but it does help make a house your own home. I will keep trying!
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