Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adventures in Moving

I'm in a new house.

Unless you've been following this blog pretty carefully, you probably don't know why. So here goes.

We loved the house we were living in. It was a perfect size, great yard, excellent for youth group, good location. It just had one small flaw: the walls were falling down.

Sort of. All of the internal walls had these gigantic cracks running through them. Cement walls. With cracks so big that sometimes you could see all the way through to the room on the other side. And they kept getting bigger--sometimes by the week.

So the landlord sent over a contractor who checked it all out. He thought the best solution would be to knock down all the internal walls, put a better foundation under them, and then rebuild them again. They wanted to do this last summer.

Considering we had guests for the entire summer, we asked the landlord to put off the work until March, when we would be going on our Home Assignment. She agreed. In the meantime, the contractor reinforced the walls and fixed the cracks. Since then (a year ago), there have been no more cracks.

But....the landlord still wants the walls rebuilt. Even though we've had two of our own contractor-friends examine the house and tell us they thought that would be a waste of money. Nope. Landlord won't be dissauded. The walls are coming down.

Only problem is that now we couldn't take our Home Assignment in March. Which means we had to find another place to live. Finding short term housing is not easy. Twice I even asked the landlord if we could stay in the house while the work is being done. (What was I smoking? They are going to knock down all the internal cement walls and I still want to live there with two toddlers? Yeah...) But there were times I felt desperate enough to do it. Thankfully, she said no.

As of last Wednesday, we thought we had a place to move to. I had been emailing with the landlord and I thought everything was set. So I called him on Wednesday.

"We want to move in on Saturday. Can I bring the check at the same time?"

"Oh," he tells me. "I need you to pay in cash. If you want to pay by check, you have to add on another 20%."

What the....? Oh. Suddenly I get it. 20% is the amount of government tax. Cash. I see.

Uh, I don't think so. No, I'm not going to pay another 20% on your already over-priced two-bedroom apartment. And no, I'm not going to pay you under the table either.

I was infuriated, to say the least. And now we had no place to go.

So we prayed. And suddenly a thought came to me. What about the house on the hill?

Sigh. The house on the hill. Our dream house. We had looked at it four years ago and it was way too expensive to rent. But it's right next to school. Overlooks the ocean. Amazing breeze. Feels like a beach-vacation house.

And we knew it was empty right now. A new owner had just bought it. Hmmm... It will probably still be too expensive, but it was worth a shot.

We got ahold of him on Thursday. He came down in his asking price because we only wanted it for a few months. We went up in what we were willing to pay because we only wanted it for a few months. We met in the middle.

We met with him Monday to make sure. We were sure. He was sure.

And we moved in on Tuesday. (Oh my goodness, our amount of possessions have doubled with each child. How did we get so much stuff? Sell it, burn it, make it all disappear!)

Tuesday was a holiday (Mohammed's birthday--did you know that?) so it was a good day to move. We could never have done it without Carley, Julie, Savannah, Melissa, Hannah, Caleb, Ben, Sarthak, Esta, Tumaini, Gibbie, Cecilie, and Sarthak's mom, who made us lunch. It poured rain on Tuesday and the truck we checked out from school wasn't there, but another friend came with his truck at the last minute.

I hate moving. Especially knowing that I will have to do it all over again in three months. But I am so thankful for friends.

And....we get to live in our dream house for a few months! It takes 81 steps from our gate to the school's gate. I counted this morning. I can invite students over for lunch! And we have the most incredible view imaginable (pictures to come!)

So. We are exhausted but thankful. Thankful for God's wonderful provision and undeserved blessings.
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