USPO

I just counted it up…40 days and 40 nights. Exactly. That’s how long it was between the time we moved out of our house at the beach and when we moved in here to our new house.

Knowing, of course, that the number 40 has great significance to Christians, I thought that I would research it a little further. “The number forty, when used in terms of time, represents a period of probation, trial, and chastisement.”

While, no doubt, there were a couple of days of “probation, trial and, chastisement” during our epic journey into a new house in the weirdest housing market ever, I can’t complain. Actually, with the exception of the two days that we found out that two of our contracts on homes had gone south (I’ll admit to having had a little meltdown both times, telling poor Mack that, “I feel like my light has gone out”), we had a lot of fun.

(Ok, I might have been a little overly-dramatic with the “little light” thing.)

We were fortunate to have two sets of folks who genuinely (I think…or else they are really good actors) invited us to stay at their homes. I’ve always subscribed to the “fish and house guests” theory, that both begin to stink after 3 days. So we rotated back and forth between my son Jack’s house and my sister Tammy’s house. I tried to be neat and helpful, but even so, just having someone in your home is a pain. For sure. But, you never would have suspected that either group wanted us gone. (Again, perhaps they are Oscar-worthy actors, but they had me fooled!)

When we left the beach, Mack and I thought that we would have 10 days to two weeks before we would move into a new house. Unfortunately, in this crazy housing market, our offers on two different houses were over-bid. We are old-school, and it never occurred to either one of us to put in an over-asking offer. What’s up with that? But, as previously stated, it ended up being 40 days and 40 nights between homes. Now, that number really strains the old fish and house guest maxim.

We decided that the best way to handle our “guest” status would be to rotate. We stayed with Jack when we would best be able to help with the kids (school pick ups on Mondays and Tuesdays, Spring Break, when Stephanie was out of town at conference, etc.) and stayed at Tammy’s house in between. Both were a major hoot. In totally different ways.

It was fun to have a full-on experience with several days and nights with the kids. While it was, seriously, a joy to spend many hours in a row with them, I was reminded of how brilliantly things were arranged in the universe – with young folks having babies. While I was not responsible for anything, really, by the time we would head back over to Tammy’s, I was exhausted! Those tykes have a lot of energy.

At Tammy’s house, we chilled and watched movies and laughed. We did a little bit of cooking and a little bit of eating out and again, a whole lot of laughing. Don’t tell her that I said this, but we are practically identical twins:) Not in looks, necessarily, but in the things we like: books, crafts, dishes, books, movies, books. You get the idea. So, we had a lot of fun talking about stuff, shopping for….well, books and planning our new home decor (she bought a house on the same day that we did).

Mack and I both enjoyed Tammy’s old dog Cody, too. Cody is about 16-17 years old and had recently been given a governor’s stay of execution, when a last-ditch effort with CBD eased his pain a bit. Cody was a rescue, literally, from the top of a tin-roofed carport across the street from a house that Tammy lived in over a decade ago. He’s a good ol’ dog – part Chow; black tongue and all.

Mack and I were so happy to get to spend this past month+ watching him stroll in and out of the back door, and to help him up a few times each day, when he just couldn’t get up on his own (I know the feeling after moving out, then in….ugh). Tammy said, that on the days that we stayed with Jack, Cody roamed around the house, looking for Mack. He’s almost blind and deaf, but he could feel a friend in the room, for sure. We will miss him.

Between locations, we didn’t want to tote 50+ pound suitcases up and down the stairs (both of our guest suites were on the second floor). So, we did what any cultured, educated, and upscale folks would do – we used US Post Office totes to haul our goodies. Perhaps this is illegal? I’m not sure. I hope not. But, it does say “stealing federal stuff is punishable by imprisonment.” But, I didn’t steal anything. I just used my own federally funded equipment in a time of need. Then, I returned them to my post office. I don’t think that “borrowing” is a crime.

Anyhow, we stuffed our toiletries and unds and a change of clothing or two into the USPO tote, then loaded up computers, monitors, blankets and coffee pot into the back seat of the truck every 3-4 days and headed across Fort Worth to “spread the joy.” I thought it was a hoot. If our hosts think any differently, they’ll just have to write their own story:)

Anyhow, I have a jillion boxes to unpack, but the USPO totes are emptied and returned. Thanks, Tammy, Jack, Stephanie, and America!

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