Friday, July 20, 2012

4290 Orchard Creek

The 5:30am alarm came all too soon on Monday morning.
 It would be the last time our alarm would ring in Burgessville…just another last. In a few minutes we would take our last shower, eat our last breakfast, watch for the last time the cow and her calf quietly munching on their breakfast and listen to the birds chirping ever so merrily. They didn’t understand the mixed feelings that we were feeling…they were too busy singing. Everyone threw their sheets and blankets in box #324…one of the final boxes to be packed. We felt like we were packing for a very big holiday but as we joked we knew this was just something to comfort one another for for the pain we were feeling. Soon it was 8:00am and the final items were put into the Semi-truck and several “last checks” were done throughout each room of the house. As each room was given the “all clear” the door was shut. People started arriving and our minds began swirling. The moment of truth had come; it was time to depart.

Last farewells were said…tears were shed…one last trip through the house was made and the caravan of vehicles made their way out of the driveway, leaving 13 years of memories behind.

The caravan itself needs some explaining. First went the truck. Following him was our van, Rachael in her car, Micah in his car, Jeremy and Aje in their car and last Henk & Michelle Vrugteveen in their truck. As we slowly drove out of Burgessville we spoke little…each buried deep in our own thoughts. We decided to go to the border on our own and meet at the duty free by Port Huron. At that point my husband would go with the trucker and we would each take our vehicles and meet together again 30 minutes beyond the border at the rest area. This plan worked well. The truck went ahead and our little caravan went through the border without a single problem. We stopped at the first exit and all got gas and some food. Soon we got word from the truck that they were going to have to go through the X-ray machine and go in to fill out some paperwork which they did without too much trouble. Again our plan worked and about an hour later were all together at the rest area.

This time we and our kids decided to stick together which we did the rest of the way to Grand Rapids.
About 2:45pm the surrounding neighbors of 4290 Orchard Creek must have thought an army was moving in. All of our vehicles arrived and finally the truck. The kids took a quick look around the house before the flurry of activity began.

Photo: Unloaded.......
By 6:00pm the truck was empty and we and those who came to help were exhausted from the heat, a mixture of emotions and hard work.Reality did not sink yet and by night we fell onto our mattresses ready for sleep.
The next days were days of discovery and this discovery continues to surprise us till this day. 4290 Orchard Creek is a very interesting place. In this house one can actually get fact one little visitor couldn’t even find a bathroom and resorted to using the stair landing as a port a potty. If you do get lost and someone tries to find you this can also pose a problem as there are two separate stairways to the upper level so as one goes up one the other person is going down the other and so the search can continue.
The third night in our new house I went to go upstairs to get ready for bed and walked in our master closet only to find my husband’s entire wordrobe (including about 30 dress shirts which I had so carefully tried to preserve so as not to iron them all again) laying in a crumpled heap on the floor. The inside of our closet is made up of metal white shelving and the previous owners didn’t understand the concept of putting braces into studs. Thankfully, I have another week before his work begins to re-iron.
And then there is Grand Rapids water. If we drink the water out of the tap we can almost imagine being in a swimming pool. So we toyed with the idea of buying our water but that just seemed weird as well as expensive so we were told to get a Brita filter which we did. But this only made the water taste like the chlorine level was low in the pool. So we decided we could use the water from the fridge system but it took about 2 minutes to fill your glass. Finally, we had the bright idea of finding the filter in the fridge and changing it. So my husband went to the store got a filter, looked up how to change the filter for our particular fridge and took it out. The sight that we saw about made us all want to throw up thinking we had actually drank that water. The filter was a combination of black and green when it was supposed to be white. For the next several hours we hardly would drink any water because the thought of that filter was so horrible.
And so life continues here at 4290 Orchard Creek. My dear husband is the world’s best Mr. Fixit man and hardly takes any time to sleep he’s so busy fixing “It.” "It" being finishing off a under the stairs closet and installing a under the stairs unit from Ikea.
Previous Owners

Completed Project

"It" being installing cabinets above the washer and dryer. It being putting up shelving in the basement.

Previous Owners

Completed Project

"It" being putting up numerous pictures and the like. The latest “it” project was to try to find out if our flower beds actually had any dirt or plants under the 4 ft tall weeds. Of course tackling this project on 100 degree days may not be the smartest, but when we stopped for the day we just jumped in the shower and drank some of the water and could imagine that we were swimming. On the second day of this project it seemed to be there were some other issues that needed addressing so Mr. Fixit went at it again. I stepped in the house for a few moments and when I went back out he was repeating the words "Uh oh" and I saw him covered with water and mud looking bewildered at a broken sprinkler line that was spouting water and mud. Apparentely there were other things under the 4ft weeds.

At this point I seriously wondered if he thought the list was getting too short to he had to make a new fixit project. Well the old farmer in him just got down in the mud and dirt and started digging…mud literally from head to toe until the break was found. Yes the rest is history…back to Home Depot once again.
Anyway we bought a sectional for our family room but haven’t gotten a kitchen table and chairs yet. This hasn’t been a problem, as we have a patio set, until it rained most of the day today. Old mean mom won’t let the kids eat on the new furniture so tonight we used the kitchen island as a table and had a stand up supper…makes life interesting.
All kidding aside we are settling in. Last wednesday had been a very hard day as Jeremy & Aje and Micah left us…it was a struggle for all of us. We are looking forward to when they visit us again and are thankful for Skype. As far as the unpacking goes I think about 80% of the boxes are unpacked and things are coming together nicely. By Sunday reality began to set in for most of us. Sunday was a hard day. We missed church in the morning as my incision became infected and we had to go to the Dr.  But in the end it was a blessing in disguise as he also took out the stitches which he said were put in a special way as it was a high tension area and I think if my husband had to do it, as was planned, we probably would have needed marriage counseling. Sunday afternoon was a time of no work and we all could think. Burgessville was much on our minds. Our thoughts were drawn to how much we really miss our children as well as everyone in Burgessville. As I sat outside quietly reading I again heard the birds singing their songs. They didn’t know what thoughts were going through my mind but it didn’t matter…they have a mission which is to sing and that’s what they do. We too have a impact the lives of the student body at PRTS and so with God’s help we will press on in our mission. Dear friends in Burgessville…press on in the mission which God has laid upon your path…we love you!

1 comment:

  1. Read this almost made me cry!
    When we came here we were so excited and even though I knew we'd miss our local church and family, we knew that it would be only for a while.
    Actually I miss them more than I thought I would and my heart gets tight only thinking about them and about our food, and about our sun and beaches... anyways... I miss all that a lot... but we hope to go back soon... and we can't wait to finish the studies to go back to our new new reality: Ministry. (Even though we love here and we feel so blessed to be able to have this opportunity. We've been learning so much not only in the seminary but also in the fellowship with different people from many different places and cultures).
    I can imagine how hard it is for you to be here, and even more because your health it's not so well...
    I really hope and pray that the Lord is comforting you. I know he's taking care of you.
    Thank you for your sacrifice for Love for the Lord's People and Kingdom.
    Much love,