The contract on our house fell through. After the Buyer had the inspection done, he wanted us to replace the shingles and put hardi-plank siding on the house to replace some rotten wood on the outside. We already knew about the rotten wood, and so did they, based on the feed back comments their Realtor made before they made the contract.
We had already come down $5,000 on the price of the house and part of the contract was that we would do no repairs. We had priced the house ‘as is’, rather than doing improvements and raising the price on the house. (…except for the necessary repairs, like putting in the new bathtub/shower due to the bad shower pan, sheet rock repair, painting, etc.) Our Realtor has assured us that the price on the house is right.
The cancellation of the contract was a disappointment, and came on the night of Bud’s end-of-the-year concert; however, we believe that everything happens for a reason. Though we were disappointed, we have regrouped and are pressing forward. We have had lots of showings! Since we have to be out of the house when it is shown, it’s disruptive. Many of the showings have been during supper time, sometimes several in a row, so we have been forced to eat out a lot. The house always has to be ‘show-ready’ because sometimes, we only get called about 45 minutes before the showing. There are always last minute things that need to be done, like putting stuff we are using away, clearing any dishes off the drain, doing a quick run-over with the vacuum, putting the chickens in the run, picking up chicken poop, etc.
Bud is moving fast and furiously toward the end of the school year, and things are not slowing down! He has had so many functions and responsibilities that he has hardly had any time to rest, especially when he comes home from school and finds out we have to be out of the house for three hours!
When we signed the contract, we planned to rent a U-Haul, and make our big move early, because there were so few days that were free for Bud to take off from school. We also have two cars, so we wouldn’t be able to do the final move all in one fail swoop. This was the only time we could do it, so we kept to our schedule and planned to rent and load the truck on Thursday, leave in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, unload the truck at a storage facility on Saturday, drive back half way on Saturday, stay in a motel, and then finish driving the rest of the way on Sunday. Bud took an extra day off to rest on Monday.
My little sister came to visit and take care of our chickens while we were gone. They loved Aunt L!! She is the best pet sitter I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some good ones). She is one of the most conscientious people I have ever known! All of the animals love her, and she loves them. I had no worries, whatsoever, with her in charge,but she sent me regular emails on my phone letting me know how they were doing.
The chickens were disappointed when I got back and Aunt L left. I don’t fluff up their pillows at night and wipe their beaks after they eat yogurt. (Just kidding.) She did buy them some dried meal worms as a treat, and said she told them how beautiful they were, and she even went the extra mile to take care of two broodies that can’t seem to be broken off that nest!
‘Broody’ just means that they want to collect and hatch eggs. Sometimes they are broody, even without eggs underneath them. I have had two chickens broody at the same time, but never two who wanted to share the same nest!
L took them off the nest numerous times during the day. They don’t eat or drink when they stay on the nest, so it’s not good to allow them to be broody. Taking them off the nest from time to time encourages them to eat and drink, before they stubbornly head back for the nest! I’ve read that it’s a hormonal thing, and not something they can control.
Rietta and Betty are ‘best buds’ at the moment….Broody Buddies.
My little sister (who is, coincidentally, taller than me) helped us load the truck. I don’t know what we would have done without her! She is tenacious! …and strong! She and I were able to get on the other end of the furniture, with Bud on the other end, and we got that truck loaded! Truth be told, I think she was carrying most of the load on our side!
Bud and I left in the wee hours of the morning, the U-Haul puttering down the road, with me following. It was quite a long trip! We usually switch drivers every two hours, but since I was following Bud in the car (so we could drive back home after we dropped off the U-Haul) we both had to drive the long, hard trip with only burger breaks and potty breaks to stretch our legs. Other than feeling sore from loading the truck, and having a numb hiney for sitting in one position for so long, the trip was uneventful. We arrived with plenty of daylight.
The old house was still standing! Everything was in place as we left it, which is always a relief. The vegetation on the property looked really green, grown up, and untamed.
The watercress in the stream had almost covered it in places.
We both always want to look around when we first get there to explore the plants, insects, etc.
There were yet, more bulbs in the vicinity that the daffodils were growing. We are thinking that the previous owner must have planted them.
The Seller’s wife had been telling me about the ‘Snowball Bush’, and I was very excited to see it. She had said she would take a picture and send it, (I was very curious) but thankfully, it was in full bloom when we got there, and it was every bit as pretty as she described.
Blackberry vines were plentiful along the fences up and down the gravel road.
It had rained a lot the previous week, and Bud found numerous tracks of different animals. He thought this track was either a big deer, or elk, which have been re-introduced to the area.
We also saw something up in the cedar tree. I got the telephoto lens, and took a picture. Does anyone know what this is?
After our curiosity was sated, we reluctantly started to unload some things at the house. We decided to put most of it in storage because 1.) There is still a smell to the house and we don’t want that smell to get in the furniture, especially the bed. 2.) The floor needs some work. There are rotten boards that need to be replaced, and we need to finish the wood with something. It would be impossible to move heavy furniture around in that small place to work. I didn’t think I could stand just having boxes and boxes of stuff that won’t even be unopened until we get the place built out and ready to receive ‘stuff’, either.
We had to move some boxes out of the truck first, then we moved out one dresser and the kitchen table and chairs, and a bag of clothes. Then, we put the boxes back in the truck.
We had picked up smoked meat sandwiches at Coursey’s (which is becoming one of our favorite places to stop.) You get your choice of bread, your choice of smoked cheese, and either shaved smoked turkey or smoked ham. They put about 1 1/2 inches of meat on it! I am not exaggerating, and the meat is so flavorful. They only charge $5 for a sandwich. After we unloaded the truck, we sat on the porch, listening to the birds sing and the insects fly and buzz, while we ate our sandwiches.
The butterflies were abundant! There were bumblebees all over the place.
There were so many different bird songs! I’ve never heard so many at one time! We saw several hummingbirds, one coming right up to the porch. We saw two hummingbirds up in a tree, one of them flying, swaying back and forth in front of the other bird. We figured it was some sort of mating display.
The place was alive with nature, but so very peaceful. The woodsy and herbacious smells surrounded us. We breathed in deeply, and then breathed out all of the stress, worry, petrochemicals and noise that had followed us from the suburbs.
I swept the bedroom out. There is dirt and dust that covers everything when we leave and come back. I guess it’s falling out of the ceiling. I pumped up the mattress and made the bed. There are always dead bugs in the sink and on the counter tops. I cleaned those out. We took turns taking a much needed shower/bath and turned in early.
One thing about being in the Ozarks-even in the dead of summer-no matter how hot it gets, it almost always cools down at night. We left two windows open that night. We slept with a quilt. I woke up cold the next morning. I’m almost never cold here on the Gulf Coast of Texas, even in the dead of winter, so Bud liked it that I was cold, because I snuggled up to him to stay warm.
The morning remained cool for a long time. We had bought some kolaches on the way up, and had those for breakfast. As we were finishing up, a familiar truck drove up and gave a little honk. It was the Soap Lady’s son. If you remember, he raises chickens to sell the eggs…has over 75 of them. He was on his way to town to pick up supplies, and just stopped by to say hello. He shook Bud’s hand and gave me a hug. He is a big teddy bear, and his hugs remind me so much of my brother’s hugs. It made me miss my little brother so much. Everyone out there is like family. It has been so unexpected to meet people out there, especially good, Christian people.
We shot the breeze, and exchanged news. He didn’t stay long, but it was good to see him. I was sorry we did not get to see his mother this time (the Soap Lady). She is already a dear friend, and I can’t wait to be up there full time. I’m looking forward to being neighborly, not only with the Soap Lady and Son, but the Seller and his Wife, the Amish People, The Homesteaders and…
Bud had wanted to tile the bathroom before we left because after the tile is done, we can’t walk on it (or use the toilet or tub) for several days afterwards. He finished cutting and fitting the tiles, which he had begun before we left the last time. He hadn’t been working long, when a truck stopped beside the road and honked.
It was a new couple we had not yet met. They looked to be in their late 60’s. She was driving, he was riding. He wore dark sunglasses. We were later to learn that he was legally blind…can only see shapes. He called his wife Miss _______ and told Bud he was going to call me Miss K, because it was easier to remember. Him and his wife moved here about 15 years ago from Mississippi, coincidentally from the same place as the Amish people down the road, and they even knew each other while they were there. The blind man had a saw mill there. Through the conversation, we found out that they, too, are ‘God-fearing people’ and they were pleased to find out that we were too. 🙂
They use to raise dairy goats…had over 100 of them and use to milk them every day. When the man started losing his eyesight, they had to give it up. They have some baby goats that they intend to sell. The wife told me that her husband loves his goat milk. The other goats they have left are wild, and can’t be milked. She told me her husband has been telling her that maybe they can find a Mennonite woman who he can give a goat to in order to milk the goat and give him some milk every day. My eyes got as big as saucers and I could here a ‘Ding-Ding-Ding’ ringing in my head, and before I knew it, there were words coming out of my mouth. I blurted out, “Maybe I am that Mennonite woman!” The wife looked at me like I was off my rocker, and I told her that I had been telling Bud I wanted a milk cow, and that our neighbors had been urging us to get a goat instead (and Bud too…Cows are more expensive and more trouble, from what I hear.) I suggested that maybe I could take one of their goats to keep and milk and share the milk. Of course, we’ll have to get the pasture fenced, and a barn built, and….
We had a nice chat, and we both felt warm inside that we had met yet more ‘God-fearing’, good neighbors, who, by the way, offered to let us borrow any equipment they had, and also said they would leave us a key so we could get inside their gate to come visit them anytime we wanted.
It was past noon when we said our goodbyes, and I was getting worried that we hadn’t gotten the truck unloaded. We finally decided to get that taken care of, and save the tile for later. It was a good thing we did, because when we got to the storage facility, it was CLOSED! Bud had been told they would be open until 5:00! When he pulled out his phone to call them, he saw that there was a message (the call which we did not receive because we have no cell service out in the boonies,) and it was the guy at the storage facility telling us that he hoped we would be there by the time they closed at noon! We started scrambling to find another storage facility, and thankfully, found one. I had called my sister, explained the situation, and asked her to pray. She apparently has a hotline to God, because He answered quickly! We found a place down the road a piece that was comparable in price, but not climate controlled. We were just happy to have a place to store our stuff!
Bud and I were both cranky and dehydrated, so I went down to Burger King and brought back hamburgers and iced tea. We ate it there in the storage unit, sweat dripping off our brows. One thing about that area, it can get really hot in the sun, but it’s much drier than Houston, and it’s always bearable in the shade.
We got the truck unloaded in record time. My sister had said she would be praying that God would send angels to help us lift stuff, and he did. My sister is a prayer warrior, and I don’t know what I would do, at times, if I didn’t have her to support me in prayer and take my concerns to the ‘Throne Room’ when I am in need of prayer support. I was able to handily (with my angels) carry the other side of the pieces of our couch, the recliner, the mattresses, bed frame, etc. We also had pictures and a lot of boxes. We got it done in a couple of hours, Praise the Lord!
We returned the U-Haul. It was about 10 minutes after 3:00. We had been told that it closed at 5:00, and that there would be a drop box for the keys (there wasn’t). Thankfully, there were nice people still hanging around, and they let us turn the truck in even though they were closed.
We got Route 44 Limeades on the way home. When we arrived, I started packing and loading the air mattresses, bedding, suitcases, etc., while Bud continued working on tile. When it was all cut and fitted, we took the pieces and laid them out on the kitchen floor. Bud laid the tile on the bathroom floor, and I handed him the pieces in order. He was finished in record time! By that time, it was warm in the house, and he was sweating. He has bad knees and they were killing him, not to mention that we were both still sore from loading and unloading the truck. It was finished.
We made preparations to leave, turning off the water heater and well pump, etc. I went to grab my limeade, and the lid popped off. Limeade spilled all over the place. 😦 We cleaned that up, and then locked up and headed out, sad that we were leaving the peace, quiet and beauty of the place, but thankful that it will be less than a month before we can come back for good!
The trip home was uneventful. It was after 5:00 when we were finally on the road. We drove about 4 hours, and stopped for the night in Arkadelphia. It was about 9:00 p.m. when we stopped. We got up the next morning and drove 6 more hours to home. The heat and humidity are already oppressive here, and the chickens are panting. I’m very much looking forward to the drier climate.
The house feels empty and depressing without all of the furniture. I spent Sunday doing laundry, packing stuff that was left out, and cleaning, in anticipation of showings starting today again. We know that everything is in God’s hands, and the house will sell when it is meant to sell. We are not worried. Regardless, we will be at our new place in less than a month!