Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Made it to Utah - - Life has been jam packed since day one.

Cathching up on my blog which is horribly behind. For some reason I've lost interest. I think it is probably due to the current adjustment(s) of living in a new place and knowing that our life in Florida is over . . . done . . . for good. I'm doing ok and I know I'll get more at ease here but I'll be honest and say that moving after 20 years is not a piece of cake and your brain can play little games with you just when you think you are moving on, it says, "oh no you are not!"

It's been hot and dry in Utah and since Dean and I arrived with our moving truck on July 2nd, we've had family visiting for family reunions and weekends and currently Dean's brother Doug and his wife Turid are visiting from Norway. She and I are kindred spirits. We are the two sisters-in-law who really connect. It's probably because we are close in age and our children are raised and on thier way. Turid and I have had several long chats and I will miss her when she goes back to Norway at the end of the month. Doug and Turid want to move back to Utah like Dean and I did and have put some goal planning in place to possibly do that in the next couple of years. I hope they can.

Eric and Jen have come down to visit us from northern Utah 2 weekends this month and may come for the July 24th holiday. This is a holiday that is celebrated in Utah and commemorates the arrival of the mormon pioneers to the state back in 1847. It's a bigger deal in Utah than July 4th. I remember moving out of Utah and being in a state of shock when I couldn't take July 24th off. It never dawned on me that the rest of the world didn't commemorate this holiday too! Duh!!!!! Sort of like People in the south all feel that Martin Luther King Day should be celebrated the world over. Duh!!!!! No! These are days that are significant to a region but not everyone cares or even knows how important they are to certain other populations.

I'm having physical problems. Both knees are having weakness and I see an orthopedic doc every few months for injections that are supposed to help me walk until such time that I feel I'm ready and brave enough for knee replacements. It all started with a worker's comp injury that happened at my hospital job a couple of years ago. I didn't report it because I'd worked in worker's comp and knew what a big deal it is to get the care you need - - so I chose immediately not to go there. I knew as soon as I hurt myself that I was just going to go to my own doc and forego all that reporting, waiting and then being told what to do by someone else. So next year sometime I will probably have at least one knee done.

In the next few weeks I'll be going to Seattle with Dean again to welcome a new little grandson that our daughter Rachel will be giving birth to. They are a sweet little family. Ashlynn the 5 year old kisses her mom's tummy and says, "baby!" Ashlynn has Down Syndrome but is smart. She knows what is coming and while her speech is somewhat delayed, she doesn't miss a thing and understands everything that is said, everything that is about to happen or that has happened and has the funniest responses to life. She is hilarious and it will be fun to see what her response is to having a new brother. She's ready!

The rest of the year is scheduled out for me as I plan to do some more caring for Eric's girls for a few weeks in the Fall.

Clay and his fiance will be moving here from Alaska in September and there will be a December 18 wedding for them here in Utah in the Manti Temple. So my year is already gone and planned out. The calendar is full and I'm looking forward already to the 2011 calendar and having nothing written in those blocks.

In between all of this we hope to soon sell our home in Pensacola and begin building a home in Oak City Utah at the base of a mountain on a lot that we have chosen for ourselves up there. It's lovely. It's our dream.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Goodbye to a friend

I said goodbye to a very close friend today. We met 10 years ago and she has been there for me in good times and bad. She was with me when I drove my boys to the airport to leave for their 2 year missions and also went with me to pick them up from the airport when they came home. Many times I could be with her and I would just talk and she would just listen. Sometimes I laughed out loud and sometimes I cried when I was with her. Sometimes she even listened to me pray. She was there with me when my daughter got married and moved across the country; she was there with me every day of my 10 year career in human resources at a local hospital. She and I became especially close 3 years ago when Dean moved to Utah. She would take me out for long drives and would play beautiful music for me the entire way. Saying goodbye was harder than I thought it would be. She has committed to go on and help another family and I know she will create memories and serve them just as well. Goodbye Blue Buick!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Still at it

Last week I chose a realtor. She came immediately even though I was not quite ready for her. That shows how badly they want our business. I really like her. She let me down easy and said, "I just want you to wrap your head around this." Then she gave me all the bad news. Our house is not worth as much as we thought. At this point, I don't care. I just want to be out of Pensacola, sell the house and get on with my new life. Then she said, "Your house will sell for sure. This is a beautiful house," and added, "stop putting money in it - - - NOW!" She explained that because of all the bankruptsies and foreclosures and short sales in the State of Florida, the housing market is continuing to spiral DOWN. . . and it won't recover for at least three more years. When the rest of the country has started to climb out, Florida is not. Story of our lives. We're always in the wrong place at the wrong time. But we have many other blessings, so I'm not going to complain. I am one of the happiest people on earth. That's just my opinion.

This week I found a leaky pipe and a few other repairs that will need to be done before it will pass an inspection should a buyer come forth. So today I called yet another handy man. It's getting so I close my eyes and point when I open the phone book or look on the internet for people to come and help me. The painter I hired was someone I had hired before to do drywall and the 2nd time he came to paint, he ripped me off. Probably my own fault but he won't be getting called again by me. He did a good job and that's all I care about.

I have two fix-it men coming tomorrow to give me bids on the last 4 items to be finished on the house. The'll come next week and then Dean will come next week, and then we'll put a sign out front and head west again for the last time, I hope. So far I've worked with a Bathroom refinisher, a roofer, a drywall man, a painter, a plumber, a handy man. Total cost of all the fixins? $3700.00. That doesn't take in the dollars saved because my boys and my son-in-law did a lot with no labor fees. They probably saved me a total of $1500.00 I have dones some work myself which saved another $500.00 All in all, I've spent very little dollars. Yay!

Since starting this project, I know how to caulk, lay flooring, do detail work. I know Lowes building supply store backwards and forwards and they know me by name and I know many of their sales people by name. Lately when I go there some of them say, "Hi, Mrs. Gardner, how are you today." Can I just say that working with people like this makes this process a lot more pleasant? Thanks Lowes! You have been the best help ever. I will be praying for a miracle when I leave here in two weeks, that our house sells "over night."

If you know someone who would like a really nice home that's priced ahead of the market, send them our way. it's not a short sale, it's not a repo that you can buy for thirty or forty thousand, but this is a house you can move into and live in and love from the get go; a house that will not require any repairs because its new and clean and livable.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I've Been Reading this Book Again

A few weeks ago I was packing up some of Clay's things and found his spanish copy of "The Book of Mormon, Another Testiment of Christ" which he used on his mission in Guatemala. I sat down and opened it up and started to read from the first page of the book of Nephi. I have read this book in english more than a few times. This time as I was looking at the words in spanish, which I didn't understand, something very significant happened to me. I felt tingly all over and had a warmth in my heart that radiated out through my body. It was an amazing experience. I have had this feeling before when reading the book, but who knew I would also get the feeling while reading it in a different language that I do not understand.

I determined that I would read the book again - in English and have been doing that for the past 6 weeks every morning when I wake up and before I get out of bed. It's so nice! Today I read from the prophet Mormon's record. Mormon carried and compiled this book which had written records of many early prophets who lived in ancient America. When you read this book you can't help but believe that it has truth in it. What a great man Mormon was. I love this book. Someday I hope to be able to meet Mormon and his son Moroni who also has a written record of his travels and experiences included in the book.

When I travel, I travel with this book. I keep it close, just like I do my driver's license and my wallet and my car keys. It is an essential friend and support. If you want to read it, you can find it at any book store. I hope your curiosity will help you find this book and that it will bless you like it has me.

This Made me Happy

I found this picture on a blog I've been following. It made me smile immediately. I plan to make this cake very soon whether I have to eat it by myself or have it for special company. Yumm! Here's the website it came from. They have the most delectible things there. http://sisterscafe.blogspot.com/2010/05/cherry-chocolate-cake.html

Chocolate and cherries are my favorite right next to chocolate and mint. I get both of these insatiable cravings from my mom! She loves them too! I think she would make this cake for me if I asked her to.

I miss her alot right now. I have to hurry back to Utah so I can sit in her kitchen and talk to her and dad while she cooks for us. I know, I'm spoiled!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Signs that someone has been here.

These are the signs that someone has been here and gone. Food, beach bags, sand toys with sand still in them, watermelon eaten on a hot afternoon, luggage, a rental car, airline wings, pony tail holders, favorite cookies from our favorite bakery in Milton Florida, TUMS, new bathroom hardware installed, new tile in a newly painted laundry room installed by a kind son-in-law. All these things and more are signs that somebody was here and now they have gone.

Goodbye, my Childhood home

The kids came this month. They same to say hello and they also came to say goodbye . . to the home they grew up in.

Clay was here by himself for 9 months. He lived in our home while attending school. Two months ago, he obtained work in Alaska with a cruise line; and so he called and said, "I have to go mom." This was our signal to come, one last time. I came,and Eric and Rachel came along with their families, to say goodbye to Clay and to their childhood home. The place where they grew up loving each other and fighting with each other and most of all laughing with each other.

When Eric came back after being away for 7 years, he walked and walked and walked through the house. He said, "This feels very strange!" After the first night's sleep, it was obvious he had settled back into his childhood and the feelings connected with it. He relaxed, played with his children and his brother and with me his mom. After a day or so, he said, "I missed this place so much," (meaning this town, Pensacola), "but I'm glad I don't live here now." He has moved on. Pensacola is not how he remembered it. It's not as quiet or safe. Now he has a family and his own home where he is creating traditions and memories of his own. When he went to the beach he said, "Ahh this is nice." He spent 3 days there. Before he went back to Utah, he lovingly, methodically and patiently painted the livingroom and hallway with his brother Clay. They worked together just like they did as children. They did it with the loving care that was evident in their hearts for the place that helped to raise them into the men they are now. When Eric said goodbye to this home, for the last time and went home, he called and said, "I wish I was back!"

Clay flew off to Alaska while Eric was still here. When I took him to the airport, he hugged me hard two times and said, "I love you mama!" I'm not sure he really said goodbye to the house, but maybe he did. Perhaps he said it quietly to himself while he was painting the living room before he left. Clay says he'll be back soon for a visit. When we moved into this house Clay was 18 months old. Now he is 23.

After Clay and Eric left, Rachel came with her family. The morning after her first sleep in the house, she walked through the den and said, "Oh, I love it here!" Today she and her family left early in the morning to go home after being here for a week. She was leaving for the last time. I found her standing in the kitchen, just standing. When she saw me, she dropped her head back, closed her eyes, and the corners of her mouth turned south. I recognized the sign because it was familiar to me - - I'd seen it many times in her life. She was about to let the tears flow. I hugged her and said, "I know! It's the house and saying goodbye to it! "Yes," she said, "and that I know I'll never be back." I said, "I know, me too!"

Eric was in this house for 13 years, Rachel for 14 years and Clay for 21 years. We're thankful for the time it housed our hearts, our lives, our loves, our traditions, our dreams. We learned in this home, we cried and laughed here. We celebrated successes and mourned some losses here. This home was a place of healing on many occasions. This home helped us make decisions, and now it is helping us to move on . . sending us out into the world again. We love you sweet, dear, house - - our growing up place, our home.