600: Old and New

I have purchased another house. This one isn’t new, either, which means there are things that need to be fixed to suit me (and others, if I should decide that I don’t want to continue living in this place until I go to my great reward in the hereafter).

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Older homes become dated-looking. No matter how spiffy your home once was (at the very pinnacle of fashion), things change. That nifty and trendy avocado or burnt orange color scheme that was so popular once – isn’t now. Unless you want to maintain that home in the 1970’s style as a hipster showplace, there will be things to change and work to be done to bring the home into the current era. This is necessary even when the old, dated stuff is still mostly functional, especially if you ever plan on selling the home again at some future date.

Then, there are the things that some other occupant/owner of the home did in some previous iteration that you stand gazing at in absolute wonder and stupefaction, scratching your head and wondering, WTH? This includes funky things like:

  • a bedroom that can only be accessed by going though a bathroom, or, not quite so egregious: another bedroom (????)
  • a toilet installed smack in front of a bathroom door with one foot clearance between the front of it and the sink cabinet, such that it becomes a tripping hazard. Did they step OVER it to get into the bathroom previously?? And, when it comes to using that toilet, whose legs are that short?
  • a kitchen with no lighting fixtures. At all. Not even one. ?? You had lamps – in the kitchen?
  • the ever-popular favorite – doors installed so close to each other that each interferes with opening the other.
  • an elaborate, attached to the roof, shingled, installed cover for the central heat and air unit that funnels rain water right smack into the back door. In floods. Did it never rain while you were there?
  • windows that are painted shut. *sigh*
  • door hardware that does not match – literally seven different styles of knobs, hinges, and finishes in the one house. Did you buy a sampler pack?
  • exposed electrical wiring, or funky outlet placements – such as running the plug for the fridge through the side of a cabinet (all the way across to the other side) to be able to plug in the fridge. Not much experience in planning, hmmm?
  • a room the size of a closet – literally three feet by four feet – that has AV coaxial cable installed in it.   ???
  • Astro-turf (literally, plastic grass) as the master bedroom carpet. Indoor sports?? Needed that look of nature? It was the cheapest floor covering they had?

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Weird and questionable homeowner decisions aside, the last category of items you must deal with when you purchase a home that isn’t new are those things that are just worn out. This includes things like flooring, paint, siding, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, hot water heaters, central heat and air units, appliances, chain link fencing, the roof, and various and sundry other necessary (and costly, usually) things.

Still. I am sure that there have been people who have purchased homes I have owned who have scratched their heads over some of the things I did, too. Karma. Doing its thing.

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478: Why?

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Because you are breathing, and life isn’t always fair. Because there are lessons you are supposed to learn from this, and you haven’t learned them yet, or you would not be going through this again. Because there is a reason that you can’t see, and this time, the lesson is that you are supposed to have faith and trust that God knows best for you. Even if it hurts.

Because it is for the good of someone else, not you this time. Because you are strong enough to take it, and come out victorious on the other side, even if it does not feel that way right now. Because you made a less-than wise (OK, butt-ugly, dumb, and stupid) decision and must now suffer the consequences of your own haste/poor judgment/desires. Because the universe and the planets aligned and it was simply your turn. Because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Because you deserved it (ouch). Because karma made that big circle, and your chickens are coming home to roost. Because you were good and noble and the world does not always honor that. Because it is a sacrifice. Because it is an honor. Because you love. Because you live.

Pick one.

198: Just Desserts

I have learned, after 52 years of painful experience, not to shake my upright middle finger in the face of God. He does not appear to appreciate that very much, but then, that is completely understandable, because I don’t much like it either when it happens to me.

The last time I did it, that I can clearly remember, I said something along the lines of “I will go anywhere in the world God wants me to go EXCEPT for AFRICA or NEW YORK CITY.” Well. Here I sit, in AFRICA, writing this blog entry, and wondering (faintly, but with sure certainty) when I am going to be sent to New York City, because I am pretty darn convinced that’s coming up pretty soon, too.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not a missionary. Unless, of course, you consider teaching school a mission field, which many teachers the world over actually DO, even if they don’t admit it. The underlying reasons are much the same: make a difference in the world, help make the world a better place, make my contribution to the betterment of the world, etc., etc., etc. Sounds like missionary rhetoric to me, even if you are not allowed to actually mention God while teaching.

However, be that as it may, I am a reflective personality in that I ponder things that happen, searching for an underlying pattern, logic or plan. Increasingly with the advancement of age, I can see the hand of a higher being (one that I sincerely HOPE has my best interests at heart) at work in the seemingly random occurrence of events in my little, old, rinky-dinky life.

There have just been too (FAR, far too) many fortuitous happenings for this good fortune just to be the vicissitudes of karma, or random chance. I am not sure if trying hard to do your best each day counts in the grand scheme of things, and trying to live an ethical life that does not ‘do dirty’ or take advantage of other living beings carries any weight in the great cosmic scale of justice. I prefer to believe in a gracious God who takes into consideration the underlying motivation of His creatures to do no harm (at least those who espouse the hold-harmless view).

Even when there have been people who have been determined to do me wrong (husband’s ex, for prime example), somehow, their evil machinations have (so far) been countermanded to my (eventual) credit and gain. I have no explanation for these happenings other than divine mercy, because even though I try mightily to be a decent person, I don’t make the cut more days than not. Especially when considered in the light of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, when he explains that just THINKING evil is the same sin as actually COMMITTING it. Sheesh

Well, nobody said being a Christian was going to be easy, and I do NOT have sufficient control over my thought processes to prevent glorious, rapturous fantasies of various nefarious forms of revenge against this ……person…..and I use the term loosely. The Lord has not matured me to that point of thought control…yet…and I suspect the maturation might take longer than Johnnie Walker Blue’s years of ripe aging in the oak cask.

At any rate, trying to be good, with the help of God and prayer, not to mention Scripture, has worked out to be in my decided favor for the vast majority of experiences in my life, whether you believe in a God or in Karma, or in the Force, for that matter. I don’t think I EVER got a spanking that I did not richly deserve, and I know for a fact that I never got a traffic ticket that I did not richly deserve, either. So, based on personal anecdotal experience, God works for me, in both senses of the words. I do my best to work for him in grateful and humble gratitude for favors received, unearned and undeserved.