Wednesday, June 17, 2009


There is a raging game of Marco Polo going on in my back yard right now. Two neighbor kids have joined us for the first time in the wonder that is our Intex Pop Up Pool.

The back yard is a disaster. It's not mowed...hasn't been for awhile now. The mower has been broken and now the weed-whacker is dead. The fifth pooper-scooper we've purchased in about as many months broke too. We need another shock treatment for the pool but that will have to wait until payday. If I have anything left after getting another sumo-size container of animal crackers, Popsicles, apples and Gatoraide mix.

The credit card bill held all the wonders of the trip to Florida (which will mostly be expensed away, thank goodness!), a tank of gas, a trip to Taco Bell or two, as well as the extra expenses created when the ignition broke in the car a couple of weeks ago...a quirk of the Ford Focus that a Class Action suit hasn't yet forced Ford to deal with honestly. We were fortunate...we did a bit of research and hired a locksmith instead of having it towed to the dealer.

There will be other extras this month. Two doctors to the Drive By Clinic in Walmart, and another for a real doctor....that one will also include a little thing they call "a new Patient fee" to the tune of about 145 dollars. I expect a hefty fee from the lab as well for a mono test....negative fortunately. And a prescription. But at least Vin is finally better. He'd been sick for weeks.

It's summertime now, any my Etsy sales have been cut in half. I keep listing a few things at a time, hoping for one good sale a week at least, besides the 3 and 5 dollar sales that float in.

The brakes are squeaking. The tires balding. The kids need to go to the dentist. Groceries. Air conditioning. Shots for Peggy. Vin's birthday. Our bedspread has a hole in it. The girls' bunk-bed is wobbly. Pool supplies. Gas money. Re-stocking the Etsy store. Summer camp. My clothes are suddenly and inexplicably terribly out of fashion. The kids clothes are suddenly and inexplicably much too small. All these things play in my head like a bad commercial jingle.

The economy.
The economy is bad.
"What's the deal with the economy, Mom? I mean, I never noticed it before now." my ten year old commented the other day. Wait. She's nine. She just tells me that she's going to be 10 so often she must have convinced me to round up subconsciously. Little stinker.

Some of you read this and think, "It could be so much worse!" and some of you read it and think " haven't taken your kids to the dentist this year? What kind of person ARE you?" You are both probably right.

I finally said it out loud to Robb this morning. "We probably won't be able to buy a house before December, will we?" It was more of a confession that I knew what he already knew. We've been working so hard to pay off the debt created from that first year here in Arkansas when the house in Michigan sat empty. It was a lot of debt. We have been convinced that if we could just pay it off, we could buy a house, get that tax break, pay down some of the mortgage in MI, be able to refinance it so that the rent might cover the mortgage or maybe even, if we were lucky....sell it. For dirt nothing, but still ...we'd be free of it...

He nodded. "One more year in this house wouldn't be sooo bad."

I felt something like a rebellion rise up in my chest. "ANOTHER YEAR?!"

Another year in the house we tried to get the landlord to give us a six month lease for....because our house in MI was certainly going to sell and we'd only be in for a short time.....that was....3 years ago now. Eleven hundred square feet for five people and two dogs and a home business to boot. And the grossest carpet you've ever seen.

"You are going to have to pray for me." I told him. "Pray that I will be submissive." His eyebrows raised inquisitively. "Submissive? Really?"

"To God. I think He's telling us 'no' to buying a house."

He kissed me goodbye as I worked feverishly to get boxes out to the curb for the post man to pick up as if by getting them there, I would get some kind of Community Chest "Go Directly to GO! Collect 200 dollars!" if I made the deadline.


"Mom! Can G------ and M------- get in our pool?" Calvin hollered.

"Sure." We've been getting to know them this summer. They are good kids...we just never hung out before. But they must have gotten acquainted being in Gifted and Talented class this year. Our street, in fact, boasts 5 GT kids, with William next door being a shoe-in when he's old enough. All good kids. I don't mind having them over and handing out hotdogs and Popsicles to whoever is involved in the latest baseball game or war or army-baseball-nerf gun-tag-hide-and-seek-scooter-race they happen to be playing today.

In fact at any given moment, there could be as many as 13 kids playing together outside my front door. I don't mind any of them. Ok, maybe one or two drive me nuts, but that's not bad, really, all things considered.

If we were to move, I guess we'd make new friends. But it takes time to build the kind of friendship where your neighbors are willing to watch your dog or mow your front lawn because they know your mower is broke, or even give your church a chance. That takes time...

The kids began squealing as they dropped into the pool and the cool water took their breath away in the 90 degree weather. I headed down the hall to change the laundry. And something inside me whispered, "Really? Has it really been that bad living in this house? Just think how much your kids would miss these friends." I smirked to myself, knowing that God was cajoling me. Bringing me around to His plan, whatever it is, with the laughter and the shouts of "Marco! Polo!"


12-arrows said...

Icould so understand your thoughts and feelings through most of your post. I'm there, our family is there, jobless now for 3 years, really jobless this summer and wondering how we are going to make it and WHEN God is going to reveal the next step. How long does that take??? seems like, somedays, He forgets about us, yet I know He's there, I do see Him and the evidence of His working. I'm trying hard not to get discouraged or distracted yet its so easy too. Focusing my thoughts elsewhere so as not to think about our dire circumstances and dreams well most days they are something of the past. I just can't allow myself to do it anymore, they're too painful. You were a huge encouragment to me. We need out of our house, really yesterday, last week, two years ago, we can't afford the utilities or the rent, yet we are still here.....where is God in all of this? what is He doing? I wonder most days. . . . .

Sara said...

I think about how much we all learn from children. There are times when it seems like all they do is want want want...but the things that they want seem so small compared to the things that we want as adults...

Your children love the home that you and Robb have created for them in that tiny 3 bedroom house and oh what sweet memmories God is storing up for them the longer you all are there.

I thank you for your honesty and I praise God that you are able to submit yourself to HIS will and plan for your life even if it isn't exactly how you would do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to cut spending. But I still buy myself little treats on Etsy, and I bought an aloe plant at the grocery store today. My husband and I both work, but there will be no pay raises this year.

I envy your weather! Here in Chicago it's been rainy and cold, yuck!

Carrie said...

i totally understand!! we thought we would be with my parents for a few months and our house would sell... it has been a year! we looked into getting a house anyway but it doesn't look like we can swing it. still in the limbo waiting stage. missing you guys so much (zach and ellora said it this morning!)

Anonymous said...

Join in and "dish."

Tell us ~ Which EtsyCreator steals your HEART...

Have a lovely day,


Let me tell you something about Mark: he LOVES to mow. He says "there's nothing like a crisp yard to straighten a spirit!". He says to tell you that he insists on mowing your yard on Friday. Maybe we can have a chat while he's working!


carahinojosa said...

Check out her latest entry, From Strength to Strength. It struck such a chord with me and I think it will for you, too.

H said...

God is sneaky. Just when you think you can enjoy a day of feeling sorry for yourself.....He sneaks a lesson in on you!

ness said...

tee hee...I'm just glad he left bugs out of it.

: )

Miss K.P.-Ness said...

I like your blog. I am a 'Ness" too- as in, K.P.-Ness or fluffy-Ness or Happy-Ness.
For a long time I've feared that life may have stolen my "ness" but I find comfort and inspiration in your statement "I have recently grown up to be an artist"
Super cool!

stephanie garcia said...

Sighing with you tonight and hoping for you a brighter tomorrow.

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my. The dentist.... Us either. And there is no excuse since he practically lives next door. Please send your nominations for mother of the year in soon : ) I really want to win this year. Really for really!

I will pray specifically for you and your house tonight Vanessa!

Blogging tips