Bud had been trying to get in touch with the plumber that came last time to get water running in the house. This plumber had assured us that he would come back during the Thanksgiving week, but he never answered the phone. We kept on getting a message that the mailbox had not been set up.
We called a new plumber who said he would be out Tuesday morning. He didn’t come…and he didn’t come…so Bud went up to the top of the hill and called him. Turns out that the job before ours was a much bigger job than he had anticipated, and indicated he probably wouldn’t get by that day.
Bud was discouraged, because one of the main goals he had for this visit was to get the toilet, water heater, pressure pump and bathtub in. There is so much to do in the house, and one of the most stressful things has been trying to order things and decide what needs to come before something else; for example, the tile really needs to be put in before the toilet is put down. The flooring in the rest of the house really needs to go down before other things go in. We want to put in more windows, so we will have to wait for that before we put insulation in, or new wall coverings in until the windows are set in. You get the idea.
We had several visitors that day. The natural inclination is to get frustrated that what little time you have to do things is dwindling, but when people have stopped by there, I have been over-flowing with gratitude and I haven’t wanted them to leave. The people up there are so nice and so different. They all feel like family to me. What you see is what you get. The way of life in the ‘burbs is so much different to country life. In the ‘burbs, people are so busy and have such different priorities. These people in the Ozarks remind me of the kind of people I knew growing up with as a child. I hate that society has changed so much, and I’m eagerly looking forward moving for this reason.
I can’t just blame other people. I am no different, and would be quite hypocritical to say it’s everyone elses problem. I have practically become a hermit here. I don’t feel comfortable here in the city. Out there…I feel like a different person, and I don’t know why. I also have to blame technology. Bud and I were talking about how much more time we spent with each other out there. There was no ‘time-wasting’ computer time there. Though I did try to text and email my family to keep them posted, it was different. While I was out there without the internet, I wasn’t in tune with news and all that was wrong in the world. We were concerned with getting warm, working together toward a common goal to get the house fixed, deciding what we needed to buy together, and working toward keeping our animals safe and warm. We talked more…and I liked that. Doing things together toward a common goal strengthens relationships. It’s too easy for me to crawl into my protective shell with mindless activities and shut out everyone.
My desire, when we were looking for a place to live was NOT to be on a road. I wanted to be out in the boonies where I could go outside to take care of the chickens in my housecoat, or do things without worrying about ‘the neighbors’ or what they think. When we found this place, it just felt right. When Bud and I were looking for a place, we made a list of things we thought were necessary to have in our new place. He pulled out the list again recently, and it’s amazing how many of them have been filled in this property. Because everything about this property seemed ‘right’, and the road in front of our house is not very traveled, I came to terms with it.
You have to understand that I am very much an introvert. I like being alone. Social interaction is painful and scary to me, especially meeting new people. Though I often end up enjoying the interaction, it takes a lot for me to get there. I often do everything I can to avoid it. I know this is not a good thing, but it’s me. I’m working on it. I’m just telling you this so you can understand what a monumental thing this is for me. The Lord knows what He is doing, though, and we have been praying all along the way that He would lead us to the property He wanted us to have…not what we thought we wanted.
I have to say, now, that one of the best things about this place has been our house being on the road because of all of the nice people we have met who have ‘just stopped by’. That probably would not have happened if our house was not on the gravel road. I’m so very grateful for it, and instead of cringing in fear when someone drives up, I’m GLAD! I know I can just be myself around them, and they are just good ol’ country folk and don’t expect me to be a certain way. I don’t have to be ‘socially acceptable’ and dress the right way, nor does my house have to look a certain way in order to be accepted.
Back to the story…we met a new neighbor from down the road who just stopped by. (I’m purposely trying to maintain their anonymity. That’s why I’m not naming names.) He was a very nice guy, and, like others we have met, was able to offer valuable information, advice and contact numbers, as well as information about the area, which we relish. He was genuinely disappointed that we had already been invited by someone else for Thanksgiving dinner because he was going to invite us. He very much encouraged us to stop by -anyway- for pie when we left the other place. We had brought some Meyer Lemons from our tree at home to give to our neighbors in the Ozarks and we gave him some of them. People there are impressed with others who are able to grow citrus because the climate in the Ozarks is not conducive to growing it there.
Later in the day, three women stopped by. They were the seller’s sisters who grew up in the house. They were together for Thanksgiving, and they were delightful. They were almost giddy with tales of growing up in the house there. It was neat to see them re-live their tales. I expressed that I hoped they weren’t distressed at seeing the house like it was with all of the wall and floor coverings ripped up. They replied emphatically that they were excited that someone had bought it and wanted to fix it up! It was a very nice visit. One of the sisters lives right down our road, and another lives close by in the area. The other is from out of state. We gave them some lemons, and they seemed pleased. The sister that lives down the road said that when we move there permanently, she’ll have me over for a visit to look at family pictures, which I’m very much looking forward to. Bud and I are both very interested in the history of our place.
I also wanted to say one more thing about the neighbors. The sellers offered us the use of a space heater. The lady who invited us for Thanksgiving dinner even offered…pressed us…to stay at her house because of the cold and our lack of heat. We declined because of the animals. Still other neighbors offered help of any kind, including anything that could be done when we weren’t there.This is unusual to what I’ve been exposed to in the way of neighbors during my married life.
The rest of the day was spent eating lunch and piddling around doing things. I burned trash. Bud did other things.
I also have to interject here that at some point (I believe it was this day, but might have been the day before) Bud injured his knee. We have a gap in the floor between the bathroom/utility area and the old kitchen where Bud had to rip out termite-eaten wood and rebuild the floor. We had covered the gap with a tarp in an effort to keep the cold air out. Bud slipped on it and went through the hole! He whacked his knee cap, and it was the knee that had a previous injury to it, and which has always bothered him. He whacked it good, and I was very worried. He just laid there on the floor afterward holding it. I prayed for it several times. He was afraid that he had dislodged his knee cap, but it seemed to be okay, so we figured he must have injured some ligaments around the knee cap. It has bothered him ever since. I offered to put some of my ‘draw-out’ salve on it, but he declined.
I have been so excited to see the UPS truck bustling down our gravel road. Yes, I want to be out in the country, but being the hermit I am, I order a lot of stuff online. Seriously though, I can often find better deals and find things I can’t get anywhere else by ordering online. ‘Round about 3:00 p.m or so on Tuesday, lo and behold, the UPS driver pulled up into our driveway! My heart started fluttering. Why is the UPS guy stopping at my house? And what could he be delivering to us? I know I haven’t ordered anything.
It was FLOWERS! ….from Bud! Never in my wildest imagination did I conceive that the UPS man would be bringing flowers from Bud. LOL! I was so touched that he thought to do that. Honestly, I don’t know if I was more pleased with the flowers, or pleased that I had gotten something delivered by UPS! I didn’t get a good picture of them, but they were a beautiful Fall arrangement of Fall-colored roses. They were absolutely beautiful…but not as beautiful as the thought my sweet husband put behind it.
Toward the late afternoon, we decided to go to Walmart for our second new space heater since the new one we had bought the day before worked so well. We also needed to get some more long underwear since we had no way of washing things, and no shower or tub to clean up in. We knew the long undies we had been wearing would be practically standing up by themselves in a day or two.
During the summer, it wasn’t a problem to take a sponge bath, but it was pretty painful trying to do it in front of a space heater. I heated a large pot of water on the camp stove to boiling, and then took some out and put it into a pitcher and added cold water to even out the temperature. I washed our hair at least every other day. Bud seemed to enjoy having his hair washed and I think he could really get use to that. We are both having feet issues (I’ll spare you the details) so I washed his feet and doctored them with my Chicken First Aid Kit. That kit is more well stocked than our ‘people’ kit, and I think the stuff even works better!
That night, we snuggled in, much warmer than previous nights since we had two good space heaters. We even ended up taking some of the covers off.
Thus ended Tuesday.
(To be continued…)