This is not something I would normally do, and not something I hope to ever have to do again… But over and over again it is pointed out to me that there are people out there who would be happy to help others, but they are not aware of the need.
Because, after all, we are the Body of Christ – we are His helping hands.
Well, it’s our turn to be in need.
For those of you who don’t know me personally, let me summarize the recent events as briefly as I can (I’ll probably have any number of posts about individual aspects of this nightmarish journey coming up):
The one sentence back-story: We only recently came through a period of several years of unemployment and underemployment, followed by a cross-country move here to Mississippi, so we have no savings or cushion.
The recent history: Nine months ago we moved (from the tiny place next to the railroad tracks) into a rental with a bigger yard and definite potential — but it turns out it has mold in the walls, or some other toxic quality. Within a month everyone was getting sick all the time. I had bronchitis in the fall, and everyone except Wolf went through a bout of antibiotic resistant strep throat in the winter. Nick nearly didn’t graduate from High School, and Jewel has still not completed her 1st Grade work, due to health issues. I suffered from daily migraines for over seven months, until a desperation treatment (Botox injections) gave me some measure of relief (down to 3 or 4 a week, with a headache most other days).
It took a while to put it all together, but it seemed clear when someone pointed out the dates that the house was almost certainly the cause of our malaise. So, on very short notice, we prepared to move, still not knowing whether we will get our deposit back from the old house (since we are breaking our lease – another long story!). We were strained to the breaking point trying to pay the (large) deposit required at the new place, and moving expenses.
The past two weeks:
- Sunday: Nick (not quite 18) set off on his first solo trip, driving two days to a writing workshop at a college in Kansas. He broke down in the way there, and much stress and drama interrupted my frantic packing, trying to get him some help. This includes a lot of drama because (as a minor) he could not simply rent himself a hotel room.
- Monday: After having his radiator replaced, Nick made it to his workshop. (I had to purchase the radiator online for him to pick up there, since he had only enough money scrounged up to pay for his gas for the trip!)
- Tuesday: While packing, I sell our gas dryer, and buy a used washer and electric dryer. The seller explains that the washer needs a belt, which costs $8 and is widely available. Maybe I was foolish to believe this, but in my defense, Wolf agreed to the deal as well. Naturally, the washer does not work, and the belt is fine.
- Friday: Nick calls and he’s having car trouble, as well as being lost (since his GPS was stolen out of his car at the workshop). He finally breaks down completely in Lowell, AR, which looks like the exact middle of nowhere on a map. More “minor needs a hotel room” drama, more “how to get him help” stress. He does get checked into a hotel, thanks to local law enforcement and a kind elderly desk clerk. But the head gasket is blown, so he’s not going anywhere.
- Saturday: Moving Day. Most of our friends had prior commitments, and I had a migraine. We were blessed with the help of a few valiant friends at various times, or we’d never have made it at all. Three loads with the Penske truck, then loading Wolf’s (non-running) project car on a trailer and hauling it over here, plus returning the borrowed trailer. Wolf didn’t get to bed until after midnight, and I was actually worried about just how over-extended he was.
- Sunday: We dropped off the Penske truck, switched the car seats around, and Wolf took off in my Suburban to rescue Nick – an estimated 14 hour drive. He only got as far as Harrisburg before the truck broke down, and he spent the day (and almost $500) replacing the fuel pump in the parking lot of an auto parts store. He is still healing from the chemical burns across his back from laying in gasoline for so long. Needless to say, he didn’t make it to Nick.
- Monday: Wolf drives the rest of the way to Lowell. U-Haul didn’t bother to tell us that the tow dolly was not, in fact, at the location where I had reserved it, nor at the one that dealer sent him to. After wasting an hour in being shuffled around, they finally found it (and paid almost $250!). Nick’s vehicle’s steering wouldn’t lock, so they had to tie off the steering wheel to make it even marginally tow-able, and the U-Haul dealer didn’t have the magnetic tow lights that would have made the procedure actually safe. But they started driving. Naturally, the Air Force Inn in Little Rock, where they had had reservations the previous night, was booked up.
- Tuesday: Wolf and Nick make it home about 2:00 pm! HOORAY! After parking Nick’s vehicle we hurry to return the tow dolly, get Wolf a haircut, switch the car seats back, and send him on his way. He has to drive 4+ hours to Columbus Air Force Base for three days of Reserves duty.
Meanwhile, we continue frantically packing up the seemingly endless amount of “odds and ends” that are left at the old house, since so many factors contrived to limit our packing and preparation. We also have to find a way to mow about an acre of yard (we only have a push mower!), some of which is quite overgrown (we had been nurturing the wild-growing dewberry plants, but the landlord doesn’t want them there).
The landlord is anxiously looking for a way to keep our deposit, after apparently grudgingly allowing us to break the lease (they never have said for sure one way or the other, even after we provided the letter they demanded from our family doctor!). So I’m personally quite overwhelmed with the amount of packing and moving left to do, plus the cleaning (including cleaning the carpets with my little Bissell carpet cleaner), the impossibility of the yard…
All without Wolf here for the rest of the week.
All done by this weekend.
And meanwhile there is the additional financial stress – we did what we had to do to get our son home, but now the rent and other bills are due, and the money is gone.
I am stepping out of my comfort zone, in faith, to ask the Body of Christ to help us bear this burden.
Angels could come in many forms at this point:
- PRAYING for us!
- Locally: Mowing the lawn, or at letting us borrow a riding mower
- Locally: Bringing your truck or SUV to haul a load to the new house
- Locally: Cleaning one or more areas of the house – bathrooms, kitchen, carpet cleaning, or ?
- Making a financial contribution to help repay the “Nick Rescue Safari” expenses, which totaled out at over $2,000!
- SHARING this story and the “Chip In” information (below). This is SUCH a simple, vital gift you can give! Please spread the word, and give others the opportunity to help.
If you would be able to help, however much or little you feel led, you may click the link below to “Chip In”. Every mite is seen by the Lord, and will add us to an overflowing measure of blessing for our family in this dark hour.