Way back when Mike’s cancer was identified, when the most optimistic doctors indicated that we should think in terms of one year, I found myself ‘problem solving’ at warp speed. We mapped out what needed to be done: close the office and get affairs in order; Mike lay beat up from a surgery that gave us bad news; I looked around at my home, sizing up how big it was for two and how much bigger it would be for one.
The main plan was: sell everything, EVERYTHNG, and move to San Antonio, to be near my daughter and my grandsons. I would quit my job and the identity I gained from it; I would transfer all doctor/dentist/eye records to some far away place; I would disappear from the life I had known and just melt into a new environment, mostly anonymous and mostly alone.
Yeah, well, that’s not what God had in mind. He gave Mike and me so much more time together; He gave Mike opportunities to discover and be discovered; He gave me 7 more semesters and, into my heart, place over 1000 students I would not have known; He gave us clarity in our faith; He showed us both that, once again, MY idea is not always His idea and so it is not best for me.
We got to spend a lot more time at the lake which Mike kept filling up with furniture from his workshop. So many of these were his ‘last’ project. We lazied around on hot summer days, sipping tea with neighbors and strolling through the nearby woods. And God surprised me as I surprised Mike when I realize that I wanted to move to the lake ‘after.’ Mike would say that I had never been a lakie and my plan seemed odd. But I had never spent long stretches there, mostly in the company of my sweet husband. The cottage and the lake snuggled into my heart.
So, 4 ½ years after I planned out my life, I am now preparing to make Winona Lake my home base. Several creative friends are busy with the finishing touches in and around the cottage. When I get back from this trip in April, I plan to change over addresses and such as we ready the old Kokomo homestead for sale.
But I figured that I would spend lots of time here in San Antonio with grandsons and soon-to-pop granddaughter. (!!) And as the winter-that-never-seems-to-end is ending, I’m comfortable with the idea of NEVER spending winter up north again. So, yes, I guess I’ll become a snowbird.
My daughter and son-in-law have a very nice guest room; I am welcome any time and can spread out in there. However, even THEY would grow tired of my face from, say, October to April, so we have discussed my getting a place in San Antonio. They live in a gated neighborhood with new houses, 3 bedroom to 6 bedroom. Because of the military presence, homes go up for sale and/or rent often and according to those who know, “they get snapped up quickly.”
So they have been on a lookout for a house for me. When they have called me about one, boom, it’s gone within a few days. When I arrived for this trip, I took it upon myself to walk Ivy around the neighborhood, surveying the goods. On the third day, I decided to take God into this. (I believe He’s OK with 3 days) Still learning. I pointed out about 7 of the small homes, telling Him that each of those ‘would do.’ My identification did not take into account the current owners, their life situation or the price, as I knew none of this.
I’ve been tutored well in the last 5 years. I included in this discussion that He knows if I’m supposed to rent a house; He knows if I’m supposed to spend my winters down here. He knows what the next year or two will involve. And 10. And 20.
And then, there is one house, 5 doors down. “Father, THAT one would be perfect.” Small. Not too far for boys on bikes. Not so close we’re looking at each other through the windows. And NOT taking into account who might be living in this house and whether or not it might become available some time.
So am I surprised…not really, that the next day, a moving van pulls up in front of the perfect house? A recently stationed military couple just got new orders and must move out by the end of the month. I know this because we boldly walked up to the woman who was sweeping out the garage and asked her. She was not too pleased with this new development in her life, but she handed me the landlord’s card.
I called him. I wasn’t clear, I guess, because he said he did not have any houses for rent for several weeks. I read him the address. Pause. “Oh.”
Now, here we go, Lynne lunging toward a big decision on what seems to be a lark. So, I prepared for the 3 taps on the head to alert me if I was not to follow through. Instead, I received 3 confirmations.
So, ok. In fact, good.
The landlord and I met two days later; he took down some info to research this eager rented and the next day, boom: I signed a lease.
So, my final weeks in Texas are full of renter things: setting up utilities and purchasing basic furnishings. I realized, as I chatted with the very nice water person, that I had never turned on water, electricity, gas, etc., before. Much like I didn’t know about changing oil in a car until I owned one. (Thanks, Daddy.) No big deal, I’m sure but it’s another activity that is new for me. Mildly stressful. I needed to meet in person, not just because I’m out-of-state but also I wanted to write down the instructions and repeat these to the agent to make sure I was getting it right. Big surprise for me: I can set up a way to pay for these without being physically in Texas. I know. Everybody already gets this….but not I. And knowing how my brain works, it will take several months of this working for me to relax.
South Texas seems foreign….climate, foliage, food. (chili pepper on fresh pineapple???) Just exotic enough for an adventure or two. Perhaps new topics for the blog.
As I reflect on this big decision, as well as several others I have made within that one-year time frame (as in “do nothing major during the first year”), as my younger sister would say, “Nice problem.”
And for those of you who are tracking this adventurer, the winter address is
7222 Willow Rain San Antonio, TX 78244.