Walking on Sunshine

My oldest daughter and I were taking a walk through our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago on the first sunny day after a long bout of gray and rainy days. We started off to take our normal route, but like my youngest daughter, I was attracted by a dog and decided to change our direction. That change in direction, I believe, changed our entire walk.

What started with one person walking their dog, turned into two people walking their dogs. Then we met a couple of friendly loose dogs that followed us a couple of houses down. Next, we saw a family outside enjoying the sunshine and their three dogs, plus a stray came to greet us.

Our walk became more interesting when the stray dog decided to join us in our walk. As we wound through our neighborhood, my daughter started adding up the dogs we were seeing. It became a game to listen for and look for more dogs as we walked. In a few cases, dogs would escape their yards to come to check out the stray dog that was with us. Just when we thought the dog had decided to stop off somewhere, she would come running back to us determined to follow us on our journey.

During our journey, we discovered our neighborhood has lots of chickens, has some goats, donkeys, ducks and LOTS of dogs. At the end of an hour walk, and we didn’t even cover the entire neighborhood, we counted 45 dogs. Of course, we could only count those dogs that were outside. We had no idea how many more dogs in the neighborhood that lived inside.

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Home Sweet Home

It’s been three weeks since we moved into our new home. We moved in the day after Christmas and I must say, what a Christmas present! We moved in the rain … again. The last time we moved was during Tropical Storm Bill and everything had to be shrink-wrapped. Not fun for unpacking. This time it more or less just misted or sprinkled so it wasn’t as bad.

It didn’t take us too long to get settled because my husband and I are both the type to get boxes unpacked as quickly as possible. It was nice reuniting with our stuff that had been boxed up for a few months. We have done some purging and could probably stand to purge a little more.

The next thing to do is to start hanging pictures on the walls. This will be done very methodically so as to make minimal holes in the wall. At this point, the only thing on the walls are my husband’s animal heads. They had to go up first because our home has lower ceilings than our last home and is arranged differently so he had to find out where they would fit.

I love the layout of our home because it’s a sectioned-off open concept. Sounds weird, but each room has doorways (without doors). This makes decorating easier because each room can have it’s own design without intruding on the design of the next room.

Needless to say, we love our new home and our new neighborhood. We even discovered an abandoned plantation-style home just a few doors down. I look forward to seeing what, if anything, happens with it.

The Reason for the Season

It’s Christmas time again and we will be celebrating another Christmas in our RV. Last year, it was due to Hurricane Harvey and the fact that our house had flooded and was being remodeled. This year it is because we sold our house and had three weeks between the sale of our house and purchase of a new house. Though we had hoped and prayed that we would be in our new house for Christmas, circumstances are not making that possible.

Last year, we had decorated the RV for Christmas because we knew we were spending Christmas in the RV and wanted our “home” to look festive for the holidays. We even bought a tabletop Norfolk pine with decorations to complete the look. We still have the Norfolk pine; it fared well this year and I managed to keep it alive. Now to get some mini decorations to fancy it up and we will have ourselves a Christmas tree.

Because of the temporary nature of our stay in the RV this time, it hasn’t quite seemed like Christmas because we don’t have any decorations up or even a tree. However, this calls us to remember what Christmas is all about. It’s about a baby born in a manger who came to save us from our sins. I am looking forward to the Christmas Eve service at our church and the Bible readings that detail Jesus’ birth. I am also looking forward to our Christmas morning tradition where my husband reads the account of Jesus’ birth from the book of Luke in the Bible.

This year my focus is being drawn to the true reason for the season. The Christmas lights and decorations are nice and do make the holidays more festive, but without the baby in a manger it would just be another holiday.

Following My Dream to Write

Recently, God has put it on my heart to write. It first started when I began this blog. Though blogging is fulfilling part of my dream, it has always been my dream to write and get paid for it. When I graduated high school, I thought about becoming a journalist. I don’t remember why I didn’t pursue becoming a journalist at the time, but God has laid that dream back in my lap and is calling me to pursue it at this time. I have taken a leap of faith and am working towards getting paid for my writing. It will be a side job to my full-time job, but it will still bring in some income and help fulfill my dream of writing. Maybe one day I might even write a book!

Living in the In-Between

For the past month (or so) we had packed (and packed and packed and packed) until the time finally came for us to move out of our home into our 35 foot travel trailer. Yep! We living large in our RV. Again.  This time it is temporary though. We know the end date for getting out of tight quarters so it makes each day less stressful. That’s not to say the first few days were crazy stressful. We had meltdowns of epic proportions (I’m not proud to say I was included as a participant.) We had drama over what was where. We had lots of frustrations over too much stuff in too little space.

Yet, here we are, three days after closing on the sale of our home, and we are settling into more of a routine and it’s just been a week in the RV. We’ve been living in it for one week and have cleared a lot of the excess stuff into the hidden storage in the RV. We’ve also fallen back into the routine that living eight months in the RV will give you. The only difference this time is that we have added a cat, Buddy, to the mix this time. I have to say though, as crazy as it can be trying to keep him out of the dinner area while we are eating, he is very entertaining otherwise and very loving when needed. Buddy has become our therapy cat and he does an excellent job of destressing us as needed.

We have two more weeks in the RV and then we move into our next house, just in time for Christmas. I had to prayers surrounding this move – one was that we would not have to live in the RV and one was that we would be in the house for Christmas. God has his reasons for having us in the RV again. I’m just glad that we will be in our house for Christmas.

For I know that plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Finding the Perfect Home

It was a Saturday afternoon and we had decided to go to an open house to check out this house that we wanted to see in a preferred neighborhood. Once we got there though, we found that the open house was for Sunday so we decided to drive around other neighborhoods looking for houses for sale.

We ended up in Leedy Estates, a neighborhood not far from ours, to look at a house that we had seen listed for sale. While trying to find that house, we passed a house that showed it was “Coming Soon” onto the market.

Not being ones to want to wait, we contacted our realtor to see what he knew about the property and to see if we could view the property before it was listed. Well, God provided for us and we were able to see the house the day before it was listed. Needless to say, it is gorgeous! The curb appeal alone is fabulous plus the backyard is dreamy. We love the flow of the home and the openness.

We decided to make an offer.

The seller countered the offer and we were at a stalemate. We did not want to pay the listing price for the house and they did not want to sell the house for the price we were willing to pay. So we waited.

Two weeks went by and there wasn’t any movement on the house, so our realtor asked if they were willing to consider our offer. The seller countered again, but we still did not want to pay what they were asking. So we waited.

Patience is not a virtue that comes naturally to me. God has been working on me in this area and will continue to work on me until He calls me home. I wish I learned faster, but I’m hard-headed and stubborn.

Another week and a half went by and I asked our realtor if he had heard anything from the seller. I was getting a little nervous because it was getting closer to the closing date for our house to sell and that meant we would be moving into our RV soon. I wanted to know that we would at least have a prospect of a house to shorten the time in such close quarters.

Our realtor came back with the news that the seller was willing to reduce the price to within $5,000 of our original asking price. I took that as a sign from God that this house was meant to be ours and we accepted the offer.

It’s been a wild ride, but I have learned one thing over the years … when God has a plan for you, it’s going to be awesome! He delivers like no one else can.

Barring any difficulties between now and closing, we should be in our new home for Christmas … just in time to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ!

 

It’s Showtime!

Once you put your house on the market, you of course have showings. This is not normally an issue if you don’t have pets, but we have two German Shepherds, Dixie and Daisy, outside and one cat, Buddy, inside. This means anytime there is to be a showing it’s a quick scramble to get Dixie and Daisy crated and Buddy put in his carrier to take with us to the rv in our driveway.

Dixie and Daisy don’t mind being crated because they get treats to get crated plus it means good nap time. Buddy has decided he will tolerate his carrier if he gets to go to the rv because then he gets to explore a new place. He even found a great place to nap on our daughter’s bed when we were in the rv for an open house.

We have played lots of Phase 10 (a card game), a Hidden Pictures game, watched football and even a movie to pass the time while waiting for our house to be shown.

It may seem like a lot of work at the time, cleaning the house, crating the pets and waiting, but it’s been worth it because we got an offer and are now under contract to sell our house.