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Saturday, 24 March 2012

To View Road We Go


“Home is the place where it feels right to walk around without shoes.”  -Unknown

Josh and I couldn’t have felt happier, knowing that in two weeks we would soon be finally moving into our own place, and that we had made the right choice.  There was no longer that feeling of dread in our stomachs, but instead we were filled with relief.  We could laugh again, at ourselves and the mess we had gotten ourselves into, and that we had luckily escaped what would have been a very bad and rash decision-making process.  It makes for a story though; one we will never forget.  I think what made us happiest of all was that we wouldn’t ever have to step foot in that shower, and we would have ourselves a nice, modern bathroom.  After all the experiences we’d encountered and learning more about ourselves and each other, Josh noted something and made fun of me one night as we were driving, laughing at his wife and saying, “You know, baby, you really are high maintenance!”  I gasped and in the most dramatic tone came back with, “I’m not high maintenance . . . I’m American!” haha, we thought that was pretty funny.  And we both knew, too, that if I am high maintenance, which I have never considered myself to be, well, then he is right up there with me.

The next couple of days we found that the property management had been picking up again, and we were kept busy with that, cleaning houses.  As my parents and sister can tell you, as well as any roommates I’ve had and Josh, I am certainly no clean freak at home.  In fact, quite the opposite.  You would think I would have outgrown this phase from my childhood, but it doesn’t seem to want to leave me.  Cleaning is not my favorite thing to do.  So, here I was cleaning other people’s houses for money.  Makes a lot of sense, right?  Not really, I know, but I actually didn’t mind it all that much.  Whenever I would clean my room or my apartments, well, I did clean it by golly, and I was very thorough.  I take my time with a lot of things, well, basically everything, even walking I am slow, so it would take me forever to clean; probably why I didn’t like doing it so much for I’d spend all day.  I will always remember cleaning those houses in New Zealand.  The ones we cleaned that week were for the property management company, end of lease top to bottom makeover.  The biggest kick I got out of it, was, I bet you can guess, was getting to tour these houses.  They were top dollar rental homes, with outstanding views.  One of the houses had been rented out by two bachelors, who surprisingly kept it well maintained and it wasn’t too hard to clean, it was just so big that it took forever.  It was the most modern house I’ve ever seen; which I really don’t like when the architecture is sleek and straight with only blacks and silvers and no warm colors; makes it cold and uninviting, and more like an upscale business office.  Stainless steel kitchen and appliances, a marble rock granite countertop island that was so heavy that it had to be lifted in by a machine when this house was built; twenty men couldn’t have carried it.  The refrigerator was hidden into the wall making it like it was just part of the cabinets.  Josh and I had the joy of cleaning the kitchen; which certainly took all day long.  Erol, our boss, helped every now and then throughout the day as he had other jobs, and there were two other girls to clean the house as well, that’s how big a house it was.

We had fun, though, Josh and I, working together in the kitchen.  I wouldn’t have done it if I were by myself.  We kept encouraging each other, and motivated the other to continue on.  For lunch, we brought our food; nasty sandwiches that we despise eating, a big bottle of coke, and cheesy Dorito chips.  Very healthy.  We sat by the glass walls though, and looked out at the ocean, which was so beautiful and uplifting to see the turquoise blue water.  I remember it was terribly windy that day . . . the morning had been pouring down cold rain, which eventually passed but the wind was ruthless, causing even this newly built, expensive home to shift and sway.  I was beginning to realize that they weren’t lying when they called it “Windy Wellington”.  By the end of the day after cleaning those houses, we were completely exhausted.  It really was hard work; much more so than I would have expected.  On your hands and knees basically all day, smelling the fumes of the cleaning solutions and scrubbing with all your might; my muscles in my arms and legs ached.  Didn’t realize I would get such a work out.  We’d come home just lethargic and our heavy bodies just wanted to crash.  I usually had a horrible headache too and felt a little dizzy. 

One house we cleaned, I didn’t realize we were in such a time crunch to complete, nor did our boss.  We would usually finish or be about done by 5:00, that’s when Erol would let us go home.  Josh and I cleaned this particular house by ourselves, with Erol coming back and forth between jobs to help.  I thought we were doing pretty good on time.  It was another huge house, two story, with distracting sea views.  I chose to do the bathrooms; a mistake I had soon learned.  Not very pleasant.  Our boss told us how it needed to be spic and span when it was done, because the people from the property management would inspect it and there would be a problem if they saw anything wrong, and let him know.  Well, I thought they usually inspected it AFTER we were finished, as in the next day.  This company apparently had a different idea.  I was about ready to give out I was so tired of cleaning the dirty bathrooms, when I heard several voices.  Who in the world is here and what do they want?  I was annoyed.  Then I was figuring it out; the property management or leasing agents, whoever they were, had arrived ridiculously early and were already there showing the house to a couple interested in renting the property.  Oh, I don’t think so; it’s not time yet, we are not done, why are you here! I was thinking.  I figured I would just ignore them and not even look at them or stop what I was doing or smile, or get out of the way so they could view the bathroom.  That sounds rude, but nonetheless those were my thoughts as my eyes were watering and burning from the fumes, I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the shower, and I was in my oversized polo shirt that swallowed me up and that had the company cleaning name on it.  I felt so grungy and I knew I looked horrible.  As I heard the voices get closer, and then they were right in the hallway and looking in the rooms right by the bathroom I was in and peeking in the door.  I didn’t even look up.  Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the lady and man who worked for the company in their fancy clothes.  They could have at least said hi, I was thinking, but then again I didn’t make eye contact, so maybe that’s why!  They all sounded very picky and complaining about the most minute things.  The lady went and grabbed Josh this one time to talk about an oil stain that must have come in from the rain off of the door’s hinges that led to the balcony.  She griped about it to him, like he could do something about it.  Okay lady, hold your horses and calm down, I was thinking.  What she did say to me when she walked by was “Oh, are you on bathroom duty?” That’s why she didn’t bother me that time.

Well, she needed someone to complain to and humiliate for the next bedroom.  The prospective renters, who had their noses high up in the air it sounded like from their conversation and complaints, noticed a problem.  The real estate snob lady came into the bathroom, and said, “Excuse me, can I get you to come in here, I need to show you something.”  “Uh-huh”, I said.  Ugh.  She brought me into the bedroom in front of the people and the other businessman in his suit, and said, “we noticed this mark on the wall, and there are a couple others on the other wall, just wanting to make you aware of it and to make sure that gets taken care of”…something along those lines.  It made me so mad and I was so annoyed at that lady and her snobbish attitude, it took everything within me not to say something mean to her.  I had a number of lines I could have used that were in my head and that I wanted to go find her later and tell her; but I refrained.  She might have expected me to scrub the mark off the wall right in front of them, so they could see it magically disappear, but instead I stated the obvious and what made me most mad of all about the situation; “Oh, well, we haven’t gotten to this room yet” I said, “but we will get to it later”.  Duh! Can’t you see you got here way too early, and the job is not yet complete as you can see we are still in here cleaning? Maybe if we were done and out of the house and they saw the mark, then yes, that would be a problem.  The mark, or marks, which I did scrub off later with much vigor, could only be seen with an infrared light; I don’t even know how they saw it.  And second of all, don’t treat me like a lowly servant and bring me into the room with the clients/prospective renters to make herself look good and have power, but instead, she could have waited until the people left and came back in there and spoken to me privately about things they had noticed along the way.  I walked out of the room after I said that and she said, “Thank you!” and I said “You’re welcome” but I said it very shortly and it sounded so fake and overly enthusiastic.  I wanted to throw my gloves on the ground and yell, “I’d like to see you clean this place, you Nazi!”  Lol.  But, I didn’t.  That wouldn’t have been very nice or Christian of me J I felt really sad after that too; it was humiliating, unless I am just super sensitive and I was tired, but I didn’t like the way that made me feel.  I could even hear and imagine the little mice coming out from their holes and singing to me:     

“Cinderelly, Cinderelly
Night and day it's Cinderelly
Make the fire, fix the breakfast
Wash the dishes, do the mopping
And the sweeping and the dusting
They always keep her hopping
She goes around in circles
Till she's very, very dizzy
Still they holler
Keep a-busy Cinderelly!”
Josh came in a few minutes later to check on me.  I think he has some kind of intuition or connection with me, because he always knows when something is wrong, or he just knows me that well.  He made me feel better about it, and then I heard her call on him like two more times talking about carpet stains, which of course is not our fault or problem, and Josh became just as fed up with her as I was.    Erol made us feel better about it after they all left, and said this had happened to him before.  We told him about her telling us about all that was wrong, and he said he had learned a lot of things, like always to close all the windows and turn off the lights and thermostats, otherwise, we’d get in trouble for it if the house was robbed or the power bill very high.  He laughed and said, “It’s always the cleaner’s fault; we get blamed for everything!” His humor and good attitude about it made us feel better.  Our job was certainly not glamorous, but besides incidents like that, it wasn’t too bad and we didn’t mind that much.  It gave us freedom, we thought, and was paying good enough.  On the other hand though, we still felt a bit uneasy knowing we were basically on call and didn’t know how many jobs we would be having each week and if it would be enough to let us live decently.  We didn’t think it would be very steady or reliable. 
God must have been really wanting to take care of us.  Towards the end of that first week of moving into the Raine’s house, one day we had gone shopping and were sitting in the parking lot after looking for stuff for our new place, and Josh got a phone call.  I listened to the conversation and liked what I was hearing.  A week before, Josh had received a call back from the interview he did for the employment agency for a possible insurance job.  At the time, he had said the interview had gone really well, he thought.  I knew he was going to do excellent, and was very proud of him.  They had said they would get back with him in the next few days.  I guess we had kind of forgotten about it or not wanting to get too excited about it, and not sure if we would have wanted him to get it yet anyways as we learned it was a full-time job, 8 to 5.  I don’t think I had mentioned this earlier, but that interview I was supposed to go to in the beginning of January with another employment office, I had e-mailed and cancelled, because back then we decided I wouldn’t need to do that, since we had found the cleaning job and thought that would work for both of us to stick with that.  Well, anyways, so he got a call back from the second interview, and HE GOT THE JOB!  He said he would talk to his wife about it first and call back to confirm, so he got off the phone and we talked about it.  We were so happy and I was so proud of him; he said they had said what a great job he did in the interview.  We talked about it for a little bit, and I knew he was so excited and what a great opportunity this would be for him and the future.  Of course, it meant we wouldn’t be working together anymore, and it would be full-time, Mon to Friday, 8 to 5, which didn’t give us much freedom to travel around so much, but it would give us security, a great salary and the amazing way of vacation time that they don’t do in America; 4 weeks paid vacation!  It was a year contract, which was awesome and it’s hard to find a job like that on a working holiday visa.  He would be working for the Earthquake Commission in Wellington, or EQC, handling the insurance claims of the hundreds of lives affected by the devastating earthquake in Christchurch the year before.  He would be working for the government, which is pretty sweet, and it would look great on his resume in the future.  Josh called his dad to tell him the good news, too.  A few minutes later, and after Josh telling me this would mean that with that salary I wouldn’t have to work, then he called back and confirmed the job.
Josh got a new job!!! We were so happy and just felt so blessed at how everything had turned out.  What a week that had been!  We got ourselves a new flat that we loved and couldn’t wait to move into, and Josh got an amazing job.  And I wasn’t going to have to work! I wasn’t going to mind that at all; I knew I certainly wouldn’t mind the break, and it would give me a chance to do what I never had the time for before since getting out of school and working full-time; write.
I would like to say that throughout this entire process…from the day of arriving to New Zealand and traveling back and forth between the North and South Island, living in different motels, hotels, people’s homes, and a caravan, and all the while on a scavenger hunt for a job and a place to live and adjusting to a new culture and each other and being away from our families, that I completely trusted or “gave it all to God” as I have learned and know is the right thing to do and what God wants from me.   There were several times I found comfort in the thought that God had led us this far and in knowing that He would provide and take care of us and moments we both prayed, asking Him to let us trust Him.   And there were the times when I failed to find this comfort, but instead fretted in my head and sat there and complained or stressed Josh out more so than he already was.  I hate when I have to look back during times in my life when I see how stronger my faith and trust in God should have been; makes me disappointed in myself.  Instead of thanking God every day for the journey we were on, and counting my blessings in how He was taking care of us, often times I would find myself simply frustrated with the circumstances and complaining.  In hindsight, it’s so easy to say, “Oh yeah, I trusted God, I knew he was going to work it all out”, and maybe some of you are able to say that in every situation or sequence of events, whether good or bad, that has transpired in your life; if you are one of those people, then I tip my hat to you, if I were wearing one right now.  But we may say that to others, or at least try to tell ourselves that, but only we know, and sometimes we lie even to ourselves, whether or not we really trusted God with all of our hearts.  Not something I’m proud of, but I think it is a struggle, one that God knows and sympathizes with; He knows we are human.  He knows we are selfish at times, and how arrogant we can be in our thinking.  But He also knows that we are trying.  I can imagine God up there sometimes, watching all of this.  I bet He sure does get a kick out of it!   I know He must laugh a lot at me, too.  He probably wants to grab me by the shoulders sometimes and shake me and say, “Lindsey, what are you doing?!” Or “what are you thinking?”  Trust me! Look around you!
I always love to think of the verse in the Bible that talks about God caring so much more about our lives than the sparrow.  Yet He provides for those birds that we hear singing to us each morning.  I am valuable to Him.  And He loves me. 
He is the proud parent sitting on the sideline of a basketball or football game, or, more rather in my case, my parents sitting in the audience with a video camera, taping my choir performances.  What would I have done if my parents hadn’t been there, cheering me on? I probably would have quit.  It meant the world to me, especially looking back now, that they were there at every performance or award’s ceremony in school.  I wanted their approval, and love, and more than anything, I wanted to make them proud.  I thought about that awhile back and related it to God.  Of course I love to hear my parents say, “I love you!” That is such a wonderful feeling to have the unconditional love and support of parents who are in this game of life for you; they have always made you feel that way and that your life matters.  But reflecting on my life growing up, and in high school, and college; I always did my best.  Well, not every time of course or in every subject I sometimes slacked a little bit, but I honestly overall had the attitude and it came easy for me academically to always want to try my best; I was very motivated.  I loved making good grades; and not just enough to get by, but I wanted that “A”, and I wanted to see my teachers leave hand-written comments at the end of a paper.  That was one of the best things ever, having a teacher say what a great job or what they liked about a paper I had written.  They had approved, and they were proud.  And the reward seemed infinite when I would call my parents up when I was at LCU, and tell them what my grades were, or what I made on that test I stayed up nearly all night studying for.  (I didn’t tell them about every test, of course, especially in my world history and geography class, good grief, his tests were hard!) I was thrilled to the core to hear their enthusiasm for my achievements.  Or if I had done something good, or was making new friends, or writing a good article for the newspaper, or to hear that they were happy for my involvement in the youth group growing up and then at my church’s college group.  Maybe it’s because we say “I love you” so often to each other, I’m not sure exactly the reason but I do know this: Even more so than hearing that phrase, it almost brings tears to my eyes now to think of those times hearing my Mom or Dad’s voice telling me, “I’m proud of you.”  You’re proud of me?  Wow.  It is like they just opened the caterpillar’s cocoon hanging from the tree with their bare hands, sending the brilliant butterfly fluttering high above the world, so happy and free.  And today, I ask myself, “Are they still proud of me? Are they proud of my life?”  And that mindset, I had related that to God in the past when using that analogy and it’s a good reminder for me today.  Imagine what that day will be like, when you meet God.  This is what I imagine . . . hopefully He will have let me in, and so then I imagine meeting Him in a field in heaven.  I am finally able to see Him face to face. It’s just me and Him.  Of course I will want Him to say, “I love you, my child!”, but almost even more so and what gives me chills is to imagine Him smiling at me and with the knowledge in His head of the life I lived on earth and us both knowing how I lived, and that He knows the good and bad things I have done and what I’ve been through, He knows everything, and knows me; and I can see all of this in His eyes, and He smiles and with tears in His eyes says, “I’m proud of you.”  And then embraces me.    
How I hope He will be able to say that to me.  I don’t want Him to look at me with sorrowful tears and say, “I’m disappointed in you.” I forget about this so many times and forget the big picture and I mess up and sin and I know that God is often disappointed in me, but yet God is still full of grace and love and forgiveness, which I must not abuse.  And He is on the sidelines and in the audience, cheering us on and yelling out, “Go get ‘em, you can do it!”   I must strive to be the Christian he wants me to be, I just often fail.  I would like to be able to say, “I’m perfect!” Or “I have the right, Christian attitude every single hour of every single day of my life!” But I can’t.  We must daily be reminded, and stay focused, and try to do our best.  Getting a “C” wasn’t good enough for me in school.  I don’t want to be lukewarm, I don’t want to do enough to just get by, or just to barely pass with a 70, but I want to get an A ++ in this life.  I want to make God proud.  Settling for mediocre or knowing I could have done better, that is or should not be good enough. 
Why do I say all of that?  To be honest.  And to say that despite my doubting God or even forgetting Him at times, He has still been with Josh and I every step of the way. It’s neat to imagine Josh and I being puppets hanging from a string; with God just guiding us and adding the characters of the play we encounter along the way.  And changing the backgrounds as we enter new places in our journey.  He’s been behind the scenes all along. 
He sent characters into the play, or into our story, who brought us into their homes to shelter us from the rain and wind and who invited us to dine at their table.  How amazing to find Christian brothers and sisters across the world in another country, willing and able to offer their hospitality!  We were gracious to the Raines for allowing us to stay in their home for two weeks, and for sharing many meals with us made by the hands of Jeanette.  They really did take care of us; I thought that was such a sacrifice to share your home with someone because it takes away from your own family’s space and time with each other and privacy.  What a great example of Christians.  I thought of myself and back home and would I have done that? There were times when Josh and I, especially at this time of frustration and of being away so long from having our own space and place to call ours to settle into, still felt negative and complaining as we were so anxious and ready to move into our new flat.  I was also still very tired of digging clothes out of my suitcase each day and everything being so scattered; I felt very discombobulated. 
During our second week of staying at their house, Josh started his job.  I found myself already missing him during the day and was so happy to see him when he got home.  One of those nights Jeanette had asked if I would like to cook, which I enjoyed getting to do for the family. Felt really good to do that.  I made comfort food; poppyseed chicken casserole, something I found I was able to make here.  I’d had problems the few times I did try to cook when we were still at the Copeland’s house; I guess that’s part of living in another country, where they don’t always have the same ingredients.  A lot of the food tastes very different, but that’s another story for another day about food and cooking in New Zealand.  Anyways, I was so happy that it turned out and I also made my Granny’s sweet potato casserole again.  The first time I made it in NZ was our Thanksgiving meal with Paul and Lynn in Nelson which I used the kumara, that was a white and golden color.  This time I used a real sweet potato; it was orange.  I was happy to see and make something familiar from back home and to have it taste just about the same too.  I also made blueberry muffins.  Jeanette, Antony and their sons Kevin and Jeremiah seemed to really like the meal, as did my hubby, so I was quite satisfied and pleased and that I was able to help out.  I will always remember a particular meal Jeanette made of roasted chicken and kumara and carrots; that was so yummy!  And her sweet iced tea always hit the spot.       
Josh and I certainly needed to find some furniture for our new place.  We did know that the flat came with a refrigerator and a washing machine, which was extremely helpful and saved us a lot of money and trouble.  We knew we would need at least a couch and bed, so we looked and Josh bid on several items on Trademe.  After much research, we found a futon/pull-out sofa that we really liked the looks of from the pictures and looked like it was in good condition.  We thought it would serve to be very useful that it pulled out into a bed, in case we ever had company, or for those nights that Josh got in trouble and needed to sleep on the couch, haha.  So, we drove out to Upper Hutt city, a suburb about 30 minutes outside of Wellington, to take a look and see if we really wanted it or not.  There was no way we could have fit it into our hatchback car, so we had asked Gavin from church if he would be able to drive up there in his truck and pick it up for us and follow us to take back to the Raines house.  We went to the address where the couch was and met the couple that brought us into their home to take a look.  We both loved it; very comfortable and in great condition and would look perfect in our new flat.  The lady even gave us five decorative pillows to go with it! 
So, while we waited for Gavin and his wife Jenn, who I had recently gotten to know her better as she had led a really good ladies bible class.  I also had hung out with her more as she had been starting a bible study with a lady interested in learning more about the bible.  Jenn was approaching her due date as her baby was due in February, and had asked if any of the women in the church would be interested in helping take over and lead that bible study with this lady since Jenn would be having her baby and occupied with being a new mommy.  I had volunteered to be the one to take over, and so in the meantime Jenn, Abigail, and I had met the week before with the lady and Jenn led the bible study. 
Anyways, so as we waited for them to arrive, we had time to kill with this couple we were buying the couch from, which could have been really awkward or they could have just let us go outside and wait in our car as it would probably be awhile before they arrived, but instead they invited us upstairs to their living room to just chat.  They offered us coffee and tea (a big deal over here, there are cafés and street vendors selling coffee drinks on nearly every corner), which we declined but thanked their hospitality.  I’ve noticed I think that seems a lot nicer and everyone seems to offer this than what I’m used to or more likely to be offered a glass of water.  It seems like they are really going more out of their way to make coffee or hot tea.  So, it ended up being nearly an hour that we sat in the living room with this couple we had never met, making small talk.  I guess I did feel awkward a few moments when there was silence, but for the most part, the four of us just chatted like old friends.  They seemed so intrigued by our story and saying how brave we were to do what we had done in moving here and they were asking about life in America.  It was really cool, I think, and I felt very comfortable being with them…just complete strangers!  I love when stuff like that happens.  They were in their mid to late forties I would guess, and the husband had a thick Kiwi accent and would say things like “Bugger” which I thought was funny.  I almost couldn’t understand him sometimes his accent was so heavy.  Either people here are just very friendly, or Josh and I look very innocent and trustworthy.  If that had happened back home and we were selling furniture and a couple came over and were waiting on a truck to come over, I find it hard to imagine or if we were that couple that the ones selling it would invite us to chat for an hour on their sofa; instead, we probably would or normally anyone back home would have just gone and sat in their car and waited or drove around the block over and over again, haha.  I found the majority of the conversation turning to sports and cars.  He was amazed about my red 2007 Mustang I used to have and really torn up that I had to sell it; he was very impressed that I had owned one.  Another observation; I have not seen one Mustang or Camaro or really any sports car, of the newer models.  The one Mustang I have seen so far was the 1995 style.  Maybe it’s just in Wellington, but I have seen very few flashy cars or big SUVS.  It feels like we are in the early 1990’s or late 80’s with a bunch of used Japanese imports.  We also talked, or Josh and the guy talked about Rugby and Football.  When we told them how much players in the NFL make, they were flabbergasted.  Tell me about it!  The Rugby players in New Zealand make a lot of money, but its chump change compared to what professional sports players make back home.  It’s disgusting and so unnecessary that they should make millions of dollars, I think.  We had a really great time talking with both of them though, they seemed really cool and hip, and I was almost sad that our time with them had to end.  I’m surprised they didn’t invite us for supper and ask us to vacation with them!
Gavin and Jenn came of which we were so grateful to them for helping us out, and then followed us back to the Raines house to store the couch in their garage until our move-in day.   Fortunately, we didn’t have to worry about a bed anymore, as we had been shopping for and found them to be very expensive, but Keith and Elsa had offered to give us their guest room bed, the one we had slept on while we stayed at their house.  They said and we had noticed that it kind of dipped in the middle, but that was due to one of the boards being missing, which we could fix.  They said they were going to let us have it!  For free! Wow, that was awesome and so helpful.  It didn’t come with a headboard, but the mattress and box spring.  Several different people from church and also the Raines helped us by giving some of their extra dishes: pots and pans, cups, bowls, silverware, etc.  We were so grateful as this would really help us out since we had nothing but clothes and books to bring to our new flat.  The Raines also let us borrow a TV until we save enough to get one.
At last, the day we had been waiting for . . . for like 2 ½ months now of hopping around like rabbits from one hole to the next, our move-in date arrived.  Friday, January 27, 2012.  What a glorious day! Haha.  I couldn’t wait for Josh to get home from work that day, and I spent most of the day packing and tidying up our belongings and room we had been staying in at the Raines.  I kept going back and forth to the room, restless and ready to move on, and making sure we had everything.  It was like I was getting ready to go on a first date or something, having to go back and forth and look in the mirror, feeling so giddy and excited just waiting for him to ring the doorbell.  What felt like an eternity of waiting, Josh finally arrived.  I know he was just as stoked as I was.  Antony and Jeanette helped us out again so much by pulling a trailer on the back of their van, and we loaded up the couch and then stopped by the Copeland’s house to pick up the bed.  Then the Raines followed Josh and I in our car out to the other side of Wellington, passing the beach and ocean along the way and driving up the steep hill to View Road.  The men carried the couch and bed down the long flight of stairs, and we unloaded the car load of our junk which I learned was not just clothes and books anymore, but seemed like we had already collected enough stuff to start our own flea market.  We thanked the Raines and waved goodbye as they drove off. 

Then, we walked down the stairs to our very own flat, our very own home all to ourselves with an amazing view in NEW ZEALAND!  I wish I could describe that feeling; I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a feeling of relief as that moment.  Josh had to stop me from running off the balcony in my enthusiasm at having our own space.  We threw our stuff on the ground and couldn’t believe that we could finally leave it there…if we wanted it in the middle of the floor in the living room, well, it could just stay there the rest of our time here, we weren’t moving it!  We spread our stuff out so much in our bedroom, the kitchen, the living room, bathroom, it was like throwing rose petals at a wedding how we scattered our stuff with quite exaggeration all over, to emphasize to each other and ourselves that we had every right to do so as this was our place now; our own rules and we were here to stay in this spacious, perfect flat for two with a view.  I could leave my three pairs of shoes and dozens of pairs of socks lying around everywhere, as I’m always known to do and not have to worry about it.   And Josh and I could finally be alone again.  Oh man, we were so happy!  That day had been cloudy and rainy, but we didn’t mind.  At night, we left all the curtains open to take in the view of the lights covering all the mountains like hundreds of little candles on a birthday cake.  We stood out on our balcony to hear the ocean crashing into the rocks far down below.  There was definitely nothing to complain about!  We went to bed feeling quite content and ready to go shopping the next day.  More importantly, though, I had an exciting event taking place in the morning…but I will leave you in suspense and tell you about that in the next post!



So, after the exciting event the next morning that I will tell you about later, that afternoon we found a furniture sale at this warehouse outside of town. We made pretty good bargains, and bought a coffee table for 20 bucks, a little nightstand that would fit perfectly in the narrow space between the bed and our bedroom wall so that I could put my lifesaving lamp on.  I have to have my lamp, remember, just like Josh has to have his fan!  And we also bought a mirror for the bathroom.   We went to the Warehouse, which is the closest thing to Walmart you can find here, and bought a few more necessities and a couple of decorations.  All of these items we somehow managed to fit in our little car that has proven to be a miraculous bottomless pit in storage, and brought our belongings back to our flat.  It was a beautiful clear, sunny warm day and we were taken aback by the beauty outside our window.  We were home!   

2 comments:

  1. Another good 'un!! My thoughts in order again: Love the quote again!!

    "I am certainly no clean freak!! In fact, quite the opposite!!" - hah!! Not Lindsey!

    Good sermonette!!

    I think we both were motivated to get good grades in school and to do our best. Don’t know if it’s because we’re just smart, or we wanted to make mom and dad proud, or both! We weren't lacking in motivation in that department!!

    It’s funny and grand – you’re talking about y’alls new house and somehow you’re talking now about God and heaven and making God and your parents proud of you, hah!! That's great words of wisdom!

    That’s so neat about that couple you talked with! Another great, memorable experience, even though it’s a somewhat small happening.

    It’s neat how you relate other’s hospitality to your own and wonder if you would have done the same thing – it’s helped me too!! Might be one of those influences that you keep when you come back home!

    So nice that you got dishes and that bed from people – wow!

    Your socks and shoes flung everywhere around the house?!? No, not Lindsey's socks! They are always put up in the dresser - NEVER under coffee tables and such!!

    Love y'all!!!

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  2. Hey guys! Wow - Josh posted on my blog! that was a nice surprise!
    Just wanted to wish y'all a great trip - I know it'll be fun, and I think y'all are more settled down in NZ now, so it won't be so scary maybe... Anyway - hope we get a chance to visit before you take off - love you two to the moon and back!

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