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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Thanks for Noticin' Me

It's been a rough day for a lot of reasons, but this evening I stopped by church on my way home so I could go to Confession. The priest wasn't who I expected; the door sign had one name, but when he began, it wasn't him. But I did recognize the voice and was grateful, for the one who heard my Confession tonight is a wonderful Confessor.

But there was something soon as I knelt down, and he began to Latin. I didn't understand the words, but I knew what he was saying, I saw the shadow behind the screen as he made the sign of the cross. And this indescribable feeling of comfort, even AWE came over me. I KNEW I was in the presence of God, and even if I can't understand HIM, HE understands me.

For a moment, I couldn't speak...I was actually overcome. And I nearly forgot a major sin. But Father would have waited as long as necessary; there was a sense of anticipation as I paused, trying to remember, as though THAT was the sin he was waiting for. And when I left, I KNEW I was forgiven. I knew it was over.

When I entered the Church tonight, my home parish, I was a prodigal daughter. I did not deserve to be called God's daughter. I knew it. I also didn't deserve His mercy. And I felt it painfully all day; how I needed to be reconciled. There I was, so close to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, all day long, right down the hall...but I was not united with Him. I'd slammed that door. Sweet, sweet, blessed relief this evening as I left the church, heading home. I was joyful, I was happy, and I was peaceful.

Then I got home, and it all came to a screeching halt.

Literally. My garage door, that is, came to a screeching halt.

The Agony and Ecstasy of home ownership

I hit the button as usual, and that door opened partially...and stopped. I was confused. Had I bumped the button again? I hit it again and the door dropped, and as it did so, I saw it was crooked. When it came to rest, that was side touched the ground, the other did not. I hit the button again, irrationally, willing this problem away. Nope. Same result.

Crap. (That's about the strongest word I use these days. Usually. I think the Grace of Confession helped me stay away from stronger words this evening).

With a sigh, I got out of my car and walked around to the front door, irritated because, not only is this going to cost me money I don't have, but it's garbage night. And not just regular garbage's RECYCLING night.

So first I went into the garage and stared at the door. The problem was easy to spot; the cable on one side snapped. * sigh *

Well, at least it's not the motor. That thing has been "going" for awhile, but today, it's not the problem; everything else is. So, resigned to my fate, I hauled the recycling container and the garbage can through my kitchen and livingroom, out the front door, disgusted. But I couldn't leave the stinking garbage for another week! As I returned to my house, my next door neighbor came out and asked, "Are you having problems with your garage door again?"

"How did you know? Because I was dragging my garbage out through the front door?"

He laughed, and together we walked around to the front as I explained what happened. He came in with me (through my embarassingly messy house), and we went into the garage. He noted the several things that need to be done and recommended one business, cautioning that it would cost me. We tried to release the door so it could be opened manually...but no, it's stuck.

I was already planning on taking Friday off in order to get my homework done as I'm behind and if I don't have that day, I won't be done in time for class in a week. Well, maybe, since I'll be home pouring over books anyway, someone can come and tell me which limb I'll be using to pay for this.

I called a friend, another neighbor who also recently had garage door problems. She is also dating a contractor. I doubt he himself can help, but he's in the right biz and might be able to recommend someone. In any case, tonight I can do nothing about it. So I'm going to suck it up, hope for the best, and accept this as God's will for me in this moment. I don't have to like it. I just have to offer it up.

Apparently this is why God made credit cards. Or someone did (someone who shall remain nameless). My current plan is just to have them fix the door to the degree that I can open and close it manually, and maybe install some kind of lock. Of course, the security in this door is the automated feature, so I don't know what can be done. But I do know that blood can't be squeezed out of a rock, so unless Extreme Home Makeovers (or whatever it's called) descends upon my puny townhome, when I sell this place it's going to be far less than market.

It already is. Or, rather, the market fell. When I closed on my house, I "paid" $133,000, locked in at a 6% interest rate, 30 year fixed loan. Taxes were to come out of escrow. The first year, I got a refund. The second year, an increase...and same every year after. This year, I got a notice showing that it appeared property taxes had fallen, yet when I got my statement from the mortgage company, I saw that I had to pay either $280 or so or my payment would go up $30 per month. WHAT!

I also received the general appraisal upon which taxes are home is estimated at $122,000. And I'm paying more in taxes than I was when I bought this place!

So much for an investment. And if I were to try to sell it, I'd have a bunch to spend just to make it presentable (not that I've worn it down so much, just that I'd have to clean the carpets professionally, repaint, spackle some spots...fix the garage door, the water softner, replace the kitchen sink, replace the central air - that's next to break - replace the downstairs ceiling fan and the electrical fixture in the walk-in closet. And I fear there's more).

I'm seriously regretting this purchase; had I known the actual cost when I bought this place, I would have just gotten another apartment. Because then at least I'd break even. Oh, and in fact, I'd be student loans would be paid, my currnt grad school loans would be non-existant, and I'd be able to take simple trips guilt-free as I'd be able to occasionally afford them.

I am grateful for one thing, however; that I didn't allow my Realtor to talk me into an ARMS loan; had I done that, I'd be living in a box right now.

Praise God for these small favors.

Do you remember the Winnie-the-Pooh episode where Eeyore kept trying to build his "house", but every time he did so, something caused it to crash down around his drooping ears? And at the end of the show, FINALLY he got the shelter built and he was lying down for a well-deserved nap, and Piglet came catapaulting through the air, right through Eeyore's house. Once again, it crashed down around him.

Eeyore looked up, sighed and said, "Thanks for noticin' me..."

Yup. That's all I can say, too, I guess.


uncle jim said...

no stories from me on houses ... when you're in the midst of issues, the last thing you want to hear is someone else's 'i can top that one' story.

with the dawn, perhaps, comes the solution. get some sleep.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: All I can do over here is pray. You Eeyore story made me laugh and smile. I LOVE Pooh. Sorry, couldn't help myself there....sigh

My angel is on the job for you. I felt your angel's presence this morning in my car. Thanks for the loan!

Melody said...

I hear you. The real estate people don't tell you much about the "down" side of home-ownership. There's been a few times when we wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew. Though one of the reasons we own is, I suspect, one of the reasons you are an owner: most rentals don't allow pets. Trouble is, our furry housemates don't help with the payments!
I'm praying for God to help you with either more income or less expense.