Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Preparatory Measures

Beloved knocks snow off our Maple tree on May 18th
It's an odd state of things to be getting ready to move when we still need to maintain the current place. I was outside dealing with weeds a couple of days after the contract was signed with our buyers. One of our neighbors came by on his bicycle and asked me why I cared about weeds when the house had sold. My answer was something along the lines that I thought my neighbors would appreciate the effort in the month that remained before we leave.

But in my mind I thought, "It's the right thing to do!"

Then just a few days later we got a doozie of a snowstorm-- which although annoying in mid-May, is not unusual for Colorado.

Beloved snaps a picture of the price tag on a set of bunk beds

We are not only preparing to leave The Brown Bungalow, but we are lining things up for our new life at Magnolia Place in the Land of Flip Flops. 

The new house has been dubbed, "Magnolia Place" because we have a beautiful big Magnolia tree in the back yard and I am thrilled about it!

We will be living nearly 2,000 miles closer to our grandchildren, but still far enough away that they will need want to spend the night with us, so this past Saturday we went to our favorite furniture store and bought six sets of bunk beds. (Yes, 6!)  And twelve mattresses to go with them. 

The plan is to have a girls' dorm room and a boys' dorm room with the bunk beds divided evenly between the two.  When everybody comes to visit at once, no one will have to sleep on an air mattress or the floor.

The beds are scheduled to be delivered to us at Magnolia Place shortly after we get down there.

playing around with furniture

With the measurements of our new family room in mind, we've been working with new possibilities. We will have guests over more often, so more seating will be necessary.

sunshine through the shutters in the dining room
Although I've done much of our packing, I'm saving the glass ware and all of the kitchen for the moving company. I wonder if my eldest grandchildren will even remember the ceramic snack hostess set they made for me when they were much younger.

Here's a real handy tip
We have an analog television set that is not going with us to Florida. We had no idea how to dispose of it since the garbage truck refuses to take them. Beloved posed the question on our Next Door internet site and a couple of people said you can buy a box at Office Depot for $10. Take the box home, fill it with unwanted electronics and then take it back to Office Depot.  

Beloved did that today. What a relief to have that figured out!

kitchen table in the laundry room
That wasn't our only conundrum. We have a tall kitchen table with two chairs we intend to sell in our (second) garage sale. We got the table only so far en route to the garage this evening before we admitted defeat. Beloved removed two of the legs so we could get it through the doorway.

We tend to sleep pretty well at night. At this stage of things, the move is taking more braun than brains. 

the neighbor children's snowman on May 20th
We look forward to bidding the frosty snowman good-bye!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Heaven is Home

Today I am sharing with you the devotional thoughts my husband will be sharing with our nursing home ministry this week. 

Heaven is Home 
My wife Barbara and I have only been with you for a few months, but today we will be saying goodbye to you. We are moving to Florida the middle of next month. As I think about this move, there are good points and not so good points about it. 
For the not so good points – it is expensive to move, and it involves a big change for us. The weather will certainly be much warmer and we will miss our mountain views very much. There will be a period of instability as we move from one home to another with a new layout. We have to get used to having things in different places. We will not be familiar with the territory. Finally, it takes time to move. Once we have made the decision to move, it seems to go slowly and we long to be done with the move. 
For the good points – we will be much closer to two of our children and to all of our grandchildren. It will be less expensive to live there than it is here. We look forward to not having to shovel snow or drive our cars in it – I have already sold our snow blower and have given away our snow shovels. The snow last week at our home in Castle Rock was pretty heavy, but it fortunately melted without me having to clear the walks. Finally, we look forward to exploring the new sights in Florida. We are eager to make the place our new HOME, with all the thoughts that come with the word HOME. 
So, what has all of that got to do with all of you dear people? Well, if you know Jesus as your savior as we know Him, we are all looking forward to having a new HOME – in heaven with Him. In John Chapter 14 [V1-3], Jesus said the following: 
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” 
As we think about heaven, will there be good and bad points about our move there? Let’s think on these things. 
Well, we can’t pay money to get us into heaven, so you could say it is not expensive. Yet, when we give our lives to God, we give all that we have to Him – so it costs us everything to be allowed to move to heaven. We know that God will provide for all of our needs in heaven, so it will be much less expensive to live there. We will be provided with white robes to clothe our bodies. Our needs for whole and healthy bodies will be provided. Our needs to be with loved ones that we have not seen for a long time will be satisfied. God will ensure that we have no pain and no sorrow. There will be no tears. I can’t think of anything bad in these things. 
There will be much to explore when we get to Heaven. We will see a new earth – restored to the faultless creation that God made in the beginning. In 1 Corinthians 2 the apostle Paul tells us the following: 
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 
In Heaven, we will meet people that we never knew, but we will share a common bond with them in Christ; our fellowship will be sweet and not contentious. Most of all, we will come to know our Lord and Savior as we have not known Him here. The apostle John tells us [1 John 3:2]: 
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 
I can’t think of anything bad in these things. 
Finally, when it comes time to move to our new home, it will be quick! In fact, we will take one last breath in this home and will take the next one in our new home. In 2 Cor 5:6-8 Paul states: 
“Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 
So, here is my parting thought for you. Are you ready for the move? Have you made arrangements with the heavenly mover? If not, please do so. If you don’t know how, ask one of us and we can help. 

Goodbye and God bless you all! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Disgruntled Passenger

our note on the basement door

We are so glad to be past the point of having to keep the house like a model showroom for possible buyers. As I've said before, it's impossible for two imperfect people to live peaceably in a perfect house for long. 

Thankfully the Lord gave us a buyer very quickly, so that uncomfortable stage did not get to point of straining our marriage. The real estate market in Denver and the surrounding areas has been very strong over four years now (since we sold our last house).

While the main floor of our ranch-style floor plan was as tidy as an old maid's apartment, the basement was another matter. It, too, was very orderly (that's just my style), but we brought down a lot of extra furniture to 'stage' the main areas like they do on HGTV. 

boxes packed by me
When we weren't being shooed out of the house by the real estate showing service, I was very busy in the basement, packing boxes and bins. I confess to enjoying that activity, for the most part, except when I had to make tough choices about things to donate, dispose of, sell, or keep. In our retired status, we don't have Beloved's corporate employer paying for our relocations any more, so keeping the weight of the moving truck in mind is wise.

our basement
Although we are moving to a large house, we will have to bid adieu to the huge basement of The Brown Bungalow. This feature has been one of my favorites in this house.

3 sets of storage shelves
Beloved and his namesake built the most wonderful storage shelves so we could get most things off the floor and keep things tidy. With this move, I don't expect to ever have it this good again with regard to storage space.

So, you are probably wondering why I titled this post, "A Disgruntled Passenger." I will get to that now.

breaking the news to my staff
You may recall my post on April 21st, when I called a meeting of my staff to announce we are moving to the Land of Flip Flops to be closer to the grandchildren (and their parents, too, of course). 

You may also remember  Mandy Sue (dressed in the pink apron with cupcakes and a pink hair bow in the photo above) was the first one to offer herself to get packed for the trip. Her enthusiasm was an inspiration to those who might have felt some reluctance to leave The Brown Bungalow and all the fun of living in Colorado.

Mrs. Berniece Mertz

Today Beloved and I decided to open up some of the boxes that had already been packed so we could combine the contents more efficiently into large plastic bins. When I opened Box #12 (yes, they are all catalogued into a spread sheet on my computer), Mrs. Berniece Mertz popped up with a smile on her face.

"Oh my! Are we here already?!"

"No, my dear," was my reply. "We are still at The Brown Bungalow. We just need to make some changes in our packing arrangements."

A shadow of disappointment flickered across her face, but she quickly recovered herself and returned to where she had been sitting among the crumpled packing paper.

However, a muffled little voice emerged from deeper in the box and I realized all was not well. As I leaned closer in an effort to understand what was being said, it became apparent that the aforementioned Mandy Sue was no longer the cheery positive example to the rest of the staff that I had thought her to be.

I really didn't have the time to deal with her reputation for tantrums, so I refused to let on that I could hear what she was saying.The problem seemed to be she was bitter for not having been given a window seat for this trip across the country.

'A window seat'!??, for goodness' sake! It's a brown packing box!! 

Freddie, packed and ready to go
I thought about it and figured out she must have heard Beloved and me talking about the transfer of the staff into clear bins and she wanted to be able to see out, to see what was going on. Well, I couldn't blame her for that since I always try to claim a window seat on the airlines.  

Rent-a-Nurse, Mrs Berniece Mertz, Eaves Dropping and bunny with hat

Still without letting on that I could hear her complaints, I did my best to arrange her in the clear plastic bin so she could see out, but alas, packing the staff was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. 

packed and waiting for the moving truck
Everything (or every body, I should say) could only fit a certain way if the lid was to snap on securely, so as it turned out, only the smaller passengers were given a clear view of everything. Others had to remain inside the white packing paper...

It's a tight fit for all

Moving is a lot of work that pulls at the emotions in a variety of ways. Blessedly with this move, I can stop and rest (take a nap!) when the strain is too much and then return later to tackle what remains of the job.

It is helpful if all involved try to have a positive attitude and to keep their disgruntlements to a minimum.

Welcome to the New Design and Title!

As I announced on Thursday, today is the first post with the new design for my blog as I change from: 

My Journal Reflections at The Brown Bungalow 


Sweet Tea and Sandals, My Journal Reflections

Because we have lived in Florida before, we know the adjustment to the heat and humidity at sea level from Colorado's high altitude and semi-arid climate will be a challenge. But I'm choosing to give it my best effort.

For a cheery, tongue-in-cheek kickoff to this special celebration of my new blog design, I am sharing a fun piece Sue (a former Floridian) sent to me last week. I did a little digging around to discover it originally came from another blog titled, "Florida Biking" posted on June 13, 2012.

It's a Florida Thing
  • Socks are only for bowling.
  • You never use an umbrella because the rain will be over in five minutes.
  • A good parking place has nothing to do with distance from the store, but everything to do with shade.
  • Your winter coat is made of denim.
  • You can tell the difference between fire ant bites and mosquito bites.
  • You’re younger than thirty but some of your Friends are over 65.
  • Anything under 70 degrees is chilly.
  • You’ve driven through Yeehaw Junction.
  • You know that no other grocery store can compare to Publix.
  • Every other house in your neighborhood had blue roofs in 2004-2005. You know that anything under a Category 3 just isn’t worth waking up for.
  • You dread love bug season.
  • You are on a first name basis with the Hurricane list. They aren’t Hurricane Charley or Hurricane Frances. You know them as Andrew, Charley , Frances , Ivan, Jeanne, Wilma…Irene…Cheryl…Rita, Mary..Alison
  • You know what a snowbird is and when they’ll leave.
  • You think a six-foot alligator is actually pretty average.
  • ‘Down South’ means Key West .
  • Flip-flops are everyday wear. Shoes are for business meetings and church, but you HAVE worn flip flops to church before.
  • You have a drawer full of bathing suits, and one sweatshirt.
  • You get annoyed at the tourists who feed seagulls.
  • A mountain is any hill 100 feet above sea level.
  • You know the four seasons really are: Hurricane season, love bug season, tourist season and summer.
  • You’ve hosted a hurricane party.
  • You can pronounce Okeechobee, Kissimmee , Withlacoochee , Thonotosassa and Micanopy.
  • You understand why it’s better to have a friend with a boat, than have a boat yourself.
  • You were 25 when you first met someone who couldn’t swim.
  • You’ve worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas and New Years.
  • You recognize Miami-Dade as ‘ Northern Cuba .’
  • You not only forward this but you understand it.
  • When it does snow in FL you run outside with no coat or shoes on and knock on neighbors doors no matter what time screaming for them to come outside.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Goodbye and Hello

The Brown Bungalow

The Brown Bungalow went on the market early last week and sold almost immediately to the first interested buyer at full price. Others came through our home in the days that followed, but by Friday morning all was settled and we had one more confirmation that this is the direction we are to take. 

Dames Point Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida
photo from the Internet

Truthfully, I never thought I'd see the day when we would trade our views of the Rocky Mountains for the Atlantic Ocean, St. Johns River, and architectural eye candy such as this bridge. (isn't it stunning?!

We have been immersed with getting ready for the move, which for the most part has been fun.  The goodbyes are hard, but if people or places mean something to us, it's supposed to be that way.

We won't be leaving the Rocky Mountain West for a few more weeks, but I have decided to go ahead with changes to this blog to reflect our new locale. It will be a solid two weeks between the day we leave The Brown Bungalow for good and the day our household things are delivered to Magnolia Place. 

As we travel and live out of suitcases, I may not have the time nor the Internet connections to play around with blog design, so I'm doing it now.

I have designed the new header (with the help of clip art), dreaming up a descriptive title (the Internet address remains the same) to reflect the ambiance of the deep South we expect to find with our new home. It will show up tomorrow, so I'm preparing you now for what you will see.

Please continue to come by for visits! I'll be chronicling the transition as we empty out The Brown Bungalow and  slip into this new adventure. If you have been subscribed via email, you will continue to get notifications of new posts.

Wear your flip flops with a cute pedicure. We'll share some [virtual] sweet tea out on the lanai, in full view of a mature Magnolia tree. 

my new blog header