Life continued with our family…highs and lows…ups and downs…sickness and health…and we prospered. Not just monetarily, but in ways that really matter…education, strength, wisdom, relationships with God. Not all the times were good…some were gut wrenching. But the family stayed the family, and we worked together, and still do. Don and I are still very opposite, but through the years, we’ve learned to appreciate each other’s strengths.
About 6 years ago, we started to remodel our house. We had added on a bedroom and a garage in earlier years, but it was time to redo the kitchen and update appliances. We were adding a sunroom also. But, before we got finished, Don began to talk about selling our house and building another. This had always been my dream. I had built it a hundred times in my head, changed the plans, rebuilt it, furnished it, etc. So, with that in mind, we pulled back on the kitchen remodel, finished out the sunroom, painted and changed the carpet. And I was fine with that because, we were going to build a new house. The plan was to get it in shape to sell. We began to look at plans, and plans, and more plans. Finally we found a set we both loved. Spent $3000.00 on that set of plans, we did. Took them to a draftsmen to change them around a little bit, and began looking for a lot. Don, in charge of all things financial, began to calculate the costs of it all, and slowly started to think that maybe since our house was nearly paid for, it would be wiser for us to stay put for a while. 3 boys…college…medical expenses, life. I was not a happy camper, but I knew he was right. Oh, but that ‘build our own house’ switch had been flipped, and it would be very hard to turn it off! So, he decided that if we could buy a ready built house, it would be more cost efficient. OK…I could do that. So, we began looking for houses. There were several things that were on our list of ‘must haves’. We wanted a library, I wanted a studio, and most importantly, we wanted a place for Alex…his own apartment…separate, but close enough for us to be available for him if he needed us. Don found one listed in the newspaper and we met a realtor there and looked at the house. It was on a street I had never even seen before. Loved the location…but the house…not so sure. We returned the next day, and looked again. It was then we spied the empty lot across the street. A fully wooded lot…lots of hardwoods…just what we wanted. Don decided we needed to own this lot. So, that’s what we did. We bought the lot. Now the realtor we bought the lot from, Carolyn, became a tireless helper in our quest to move on. Don, told her that even though we bought the lot, he was still open to moving into a ready built house if we found the right one. So began our 3 year involvement with her. Bless her heart, she showed us every single house in our city that even came close to meeting our requirements. We looked and kept looking. Until I said NO MORE. I am through. And I was. And we dropped the whole ‘house’ thing for a while. Then one day, about 6 months later, Don said, “Let’s make a list of what we want in a house.” Here we go again. We made our list..Don typed it up all official looking, and made an appointment with an architect. We went to see him, and he said, Yes, he could build us a house just like we wanted, but he was tied up for a year. Don said, we would wait. And we did. Last summer, we began working on our plans, all new plans, and met through the fall and winter. Right before Christmas, he told me that all was on track, I could plan to be in my new house by next Christmas! Joy! Jubilation!
And then, nothing…no word from him until the middle of February. I was about to come unglued. “I’m gonna call and see whst is going on,” I said “Do not call, be patient,” Don said. So I didn’t, but I sure wanted to. “Well, you call then,”I said. “No need to, he’ll call when he is ready.” he said. Finally Bill calls and we set up an appt for last Monday. When we got there, a builder was meeting with us. “When can you start?” I said. “Tomorrow!”, he says. And, friends, the blue birds came out of the trees and carried a little banner in their beaks that said, “O HAPPY DAY!” And all was right in the world. Bill likes working with this builder, so Don asked him to give us a price. We left… with no plans to start building…and the birds went back into the trees and rolled up their little banner. “WAIT” This, is one of the hardest words in the English language for me. But, I had no other choice. Don had to go out of town on Friday. Bill called him while he was away and said, “Mike (the builder) wants to start Monday…is that OK?” Don calls me, and says, “Do you think this is what we need to do?” People…I have talked and planned and hoped and lost hope and trekked through every house that has been for sale in our town for the past 3 years, and planned plans, and drew up plans, and finalized plans, and most of all WAITED…WAITED…WAITED! “Tell him OK, Don, just tell him OK,” I said. And so, he made the call…and told them OK…and on Monday…we started building our new house! “LOOK UP!….Here come the blue birds with their banner again!” “O HAPPY DAY!”
And honestly, this wait has not concerned Donald one little bit. He has not been in a hurry. His philosophy is that with God in control of our lives…everything happens right on schedule…when the time is right…and not before. And, that is true. Even with all the drama, we have both prayed long and hard about this. We truly want our wishes to line up with God’s plans for us. This home will be dedicated to His glory and goodness.
And perhaps when God put Donald and I together 35 years ago,’till death do us part’, He knew that without me pushing Don, things would take forever to get done…and with him holding me back…they would be done in the proper time. And the way that I have it all figured, that is what marriage is all about. Cue those blue birds again! Oh, and say a prayer we make it through this next year…intact!