So Much To Do

Day’s Verse:
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Romans 11:33-36

Today Ian told me, “The house has kind of consumed us.” Immediately I imagined a sarlacc-like maw in the front of the house opening wide to munch us up. Of course, Ian is right to a large extent — even though we don’t have any furniture to move, we had plenty of boxes, all of which had to find a home somewhere. The more time we spend there, the more we comment, “Some time, I’d like to __________” (fill in the blank).

So far, we’ve unpacked most of the kitchen stuff, bought 3 stools in decent condition off of Craigslist, picked paint color, visited Ecohaus for flooring ideas, received our mattress and box spring, moved some clothes in, picked a couple paint colors, decided what to do with one room that was iffy (it’ll be a library. I’m excited about this prospect.), bought some smaller things like light-switch covers, a dishes drying rack, and garbage cans, decided to wait on the washer/dryer for a bit until we get gas run… well, I guess there’s no need to list everything. Suffice it to say we spent most of Memorial Day weekend either at the house or doing something house-related.

Next Saturday we’re having a little work party for people to help us touch up the sloppy painting job the previous owners did and get rid of the unpleasant pink walls. Sunday Ian brings a truckload of furniture that his parents are generously giving us, so we’re going to call on our friends yet again to schlep heavy oak furniture up lots of stairs — sounds like fun, huh?

I expect that, when I’m not riding my bike or baking bread, a lot of my future free time will go into making the house homey. Ian already had to fix the garage door opener and mow the lawn for the first, but by no means last, time. I’m sure glad there aren’t any major structural issues we have to deal with, because even these small things are taking an awful lot of thought, communication, and energy.

Shopping Is My Least-Favorite Thing

Day’s Verse:
Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?”
Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You—follow me.”

John 21:2-22 (context)

…Yet Ian and I spent most of Saturday shopping. We started by laying on a bunch of different mattresses; then we moved on to poking buttons and twisting knobs on different washer/dryer sets; then we proceeded to pantomime vacuuming with various vacuum; and we finished off the set by sitting on a variety of extraordinarily expensive stools. During this interlude, we learned the following:

  • Mattresses aren’t named the same thing store to store. If I like the Sealy SuperSoft Downy Cloud at Sears and ask at Sleep Country USA to try a Sealy SuperSoft Downy Cloud, they’ll tell me that sorry, they don’t call it the same thing, and could I please describe the mattress specs? Eventually we might establish that Sleep Country USA calls what is most likely the same mattress the Sealy Bellingham. This makes comparison shopping for mattresses a nightmare, and is, I think, thoroughly evil.
  • You can pay over $2,000 for a washer, and just under $2,000 for a matching dryer.
  • It matters where the water and drain hookup are in your laundry room. Ours, it turns out, are on the non-standard right side, and most washers are built with doors that open to be handy for left-side situation. In short, we can’t buy any old washer/dryer and flip flop which side they go on in the room because of where the doors open.
  • You can also pay $550 per stool for custom-made stools. Ian and I agreed that, although we’d like sturdy, quality stools, $550 a pop is above and beyond.

On Saturday we did successfully order a mattress, and we purchased the coolest vacuum cleaner I’ve ever seen (check out picture 3 in the gallery to see why I feel that way). We still have to do some stuff on the washer and dryer: Find somebody to run a gas line to the laundry room, which only has electricity right now, and have that done; find out if we can run a long drainage hose to the washer; pick a washer/dryer model that works with our laundry room; and actually buy one.

On top of that, we still have to find bookcases, dining room chairs, and a bunch of other furniture to make the house comfortably livable. Next weekend Ian drives down to Oregon with his dad to retrieve some free furniture they’re giving us, and after that, we’ll have enough to actually start living there.

In the meantime, we have spent much of this cold, rainy Memorial Day weekend moving boxes out of my parents’ house — we’re down to only a couple very large things on the back porch and the things we use on a daily basis — sorting boxes and trying to find homes for as many things as we can without having any real furniture. The kitchen is almost all set up, we’ve got big plans for a library room, and general idea of the family room. And, as a side note, Ian did his first-ever home repair project, fixing our garage door openers (which lived up to their name and only opened, but never closed, the doors).

And, totally unrelated, I successfully put a rack on the freebie bike that used to be my rental bike from March through April. I’m very happy that a rack I already had fit on the bike with no special jimmying or help from bike shop people (they did supply me with 4 bolts for free. Thank you, Kirkland Bike Shop.).

We Own a Home

Day’s Verse:
Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans?
Romans 9:20-30

It’s official. All the paperwork went through yesterday. Linnea gave us the key yesterday afternoon. We celebrated by enjoying some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Tomorrow at 6:00 pm we take possession of our house, unless the sellers finish packing and leave early.

This is really quite a surreal feeling.


Day’s Verse:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

Little did Ian and I know, but we had to sign the papers on the house — of which there are many — before the closing date. We learned this on Thursday afternoon and spent some time that evening marveling at the fact that we’ve received innumerable instructions regarding the house, none of which made it clear that signing took place beforehand.

Friday, which as Bike to Work Day I got to work at just about 6:10 am and left at 2:45 pm. This allowed me to arrive in time to eat some food, take a shower, and then get really nervous about the signing, which started for us at 5:30 pm. During the day, Ian arranged to have our money wired to the escrow company. We drove over to the escrow place after depositing a check* and waited in the lobby for a bit. Turns out Stanley Erickson and his wife, the owners of the home, was leaving as we waited in the lobby — I wish I’d paid attention to what they looked like! I was reading an engrossing Seattle Times article on the Mariners’ first win in 2 weeks.

Once the current owners finished signing, the escrow lady brought us into a room with extremely uncomfortable, modern-looking orange chairs, sat us down, and pulled out this enormous sheaf of extra-long paper, all of it densely printed with endless legal jargon. Since this is our first home purchase, she explained the pertinent parts in detail. We signed…and signed…and signed; and then for some variety, we initialed the bottom of a bunch of pages. Then we signed some more.

Linnea, our agent, had warned us when we put the offer down that this involved a million signatures, but although it took like 45 minutes to sign everything, the time seemed to compress into a single momentous instant. It didn’t feel like it took very long at all before we’d signed all the paperwork and the lady was handing us a long, narrow folder filled with copies, shaking our hands, and ushering us out the door.

I think we both felt a little bit giddy — both excited and nervous as the reality that We Will Own a Home Next Tuesday sinks in. I’m pretty sure Mom and Dad, who have so generously opened their home to us for the last 6 or 8 months, will be more than happy to help us pack up. Next Saturday is moving day.

For some reason, when I woke up at 4:45 this morning, I simply could not get back to sleep. Why might that be…?

* I mention this check because it’s the final settlement check for my March bicycle crash. Although I received the bike repaired three weeks ago, I had to then get reimbursed from the bike shop for a $100 part they didn’t replace but charged me for; and I had to get reimbursed for the $985 rental bike cost** from the insurance company. On Tuesday I got the bike shop reimbursement and on Thursday we got the insurance money. Also on Tuesday I saw my doctor and she said that I probably wouldn’t experience any physical effects since nothing has surfaced by now. What a huge relief to — I’ll say this quietly — be done with bike crash money issues. Whew.

** I don’t remember if I mentioned this here or not, but the bike shop I rented the bike from agreed to let me have the rental bike outright. They felt they’d made enough money on it — more than double the asking $450 original price — and happily agreed it was mine when I paid off the rental. I feel satisfied with the overall insurance/bike crash resolution: My original Seven is repaired and running beautifully and I got a “new” (used) bike for free.

Not that Anybody’s Counting…

Day’s Verse:
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4

…but we close on our house in FIVE DAYS. The current owners get 2 days to pack up and move out, and we get the keys the evening of May 27.

Assuming all goes well, Ian and I will own outright 1/3 of a home in one week. ‘Course, it’ll take another 20 or 30 years for us to own the remaining 2/3, but let’s not pick nits here. After almost 7 years of apartment-dwelling, we are joining the ranks of homeowners.


Dreams and Realities

Day’s Verse:
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Acts 20:35

I keep dreaming about the house, mortgages, and other related topics. I wake up feeling vaguely uneasy, although that unease quickly balloons into full-on anxiety. I’m excited at the prospect of having a real home to settle down in, but I’m daunted by the mortgage stuff, by the responsibility of owning a home, and by the breadth and depth of my ignorance about anything pertaining to home ownership (and not a day goes by in which my ignorance isn’t revealed to be even deeper and wider than I previously thought).

The good news — aside from the fact that we will, in fact, be able to pay for this home and that our neighborhood evaluation didn’t come up with something so terrible we backed out of the deal — is that Ian and I continue to get along very well throughout everything. He’s documenting details; I’m talking to strangers. It’s working pretty darn well.