Well. The HVAC folks determined that we needed to replace our gas line and alter our bathroom plumbing.
HAD WE BEEN INFORMED ten weeks ago when the project began, this would have been simpler. But now we wait. (Do we do anything else?)
Gas people showed up, said there’s no problemo, turned on our gas, and headed out.
Plumbing people showed up, informed us that EVERYTHING IS WRONG.
Ever have those moments when things go so horribly that you wonder . . .
Is someone trying to tell me something?
This past weekend, my husband Josh made a nearly disastrous late night trek out to our church’s men’s retreat. I tried to convince him to spend the night at home and leave first thing in the morning, but to no avail.
First we had to jump his Jeep. Then he felt compelled to drink a triple shot of espresso to make sure he stayed awake. Then he was almost hit by sleepy tractor trailer drivers on two separate occasions. He almost hit a cat and an opossum, ran over a raccoon, tagged a deer, missed a turn, lost cell phone service, and (with his top down and doors off) encountered a black bear on a country road in the middle of the night who refused to budge from the middle of the road. Josh honked and revved his engine, but the creature stayed put, staring at him – so he had to off-road around the big guy (thank God for four wheel drive).
He arrived at the retreat so wired that he only got three hours of sleep.
Did he wonder, at some point during the trip, Hmmm, maybe my wife was right?
He said, “I had fun!”
Sometimes I wonder. Is this what we’re doing with the house? With our lives? Have we drastically missed the point? The universe is screaming, “Abandon ship!” and we’re going, “oh, this is fun!”
Are these mishaps like our version of Egypt’s plagues? Instead of frogs and first born sons, it’s bat poop and dead animals wedged into our walls.
Let’s break this down.
The 20+ plagues of not-Egypt
dead birds wedged into walls
cabinets covered in cat pee
bathroom from hades
nonfunctioning ancient freezer full of meat
basement crammed full of trash and ceramics
basement staircase mysteriously stretches out and punches you in the forehead every time you descend into basement
outlets try to start fires when you touch them
breaker box burns up in a hurricane
perpetually flooded basement
sick for first five months of home ownership
porch falling off back of house
dumpster company withholds services all winter because, omg,
poison ivy attacks brother
forced to rewire entire house, which means:
forced to remove all plaster and lath, and drywall entire house
forced to re-plumb entire house
whole house A/C won’t work because: expensive
plan for powder room upstairs won’t work because: even more expensive
Is God thinking, “Oh, Me. Will they never quit? How many flaky contractors will it take? Let my people go.”
Or are these just [more of] the kind of misadventures that are part of good adventures – things we push through, things we work harder for? We may be millenials, but darnit – we can persevere!
During much of the past eleven months, we’ve felt inspired, smart, and brave. Lately we’ve felt pretty burned out and stupid.
When you bend over backward to sit for over an hour in your broken house waiting for a contractor who doesn’t show or call or apologize, it’s easy to feel very small, unimportant, and pretty dumb for trying.
On those days we don’t press on because we’re feeling awesome and divinely guided and following our hearts into the sunsets — but because there doesn’t seem to be anything else to do. We just cling to what we think we know.
Sometimes in life, when it’s dark and you’re lost and the Lord is possibly shaking his head in dismay at your choices and the road ahead is guarded by a snarling bear, you’ve just got to gun it around the bear and hope you don’t get eaten.
You can tweet that.