My Life’s Work – Part II

by Priscilla on August 7, 2017

“Priscilla, it’s one of your daughters on the line,” the camp registrar looked at me with concern as she handed me the phone.  I was about two weeks into my new job as Director of Marketing and Development, and she and I were working on camper registrations together. Wondering why my cell didn’t ring, and why they were calling me on a work line, my stomach dropped as I held the receiver into my ear.

“Mom?” A small voice spoke from the other end.  “Twin A, Friend A and I walked into the house after school and it was like it was raining inside. Water was everywhere so we went all the way to the our room (on the third floor), and there was water coming out of the toilet.  We called Jim, and he’s on his way over.

(Jim is #1Man who walked into my chaotic life in the quietest and most unexpected way, and hasn’t walked out since, and promises he isn’t going to. “You don’t scare me,” is all he replies when I keep throwing the craziest of curveballs into our relationship.)

After numerous phone calls to Jim and my sister, Celeste, and my mom, I discovered the situation, though crazy, was under control. The toilet tank in Twin A’s and Twin B’s room had cracked right after all of us had left that morning for work and school.  We hadn’t moved yet. I’d put the house on the market and the girls were attending their middle school until Fall Break, and I was commuting the hour back and forth to my new marketing job every day. The water flowed and flowed and flowed all day down through three levels of house all the way into the basement. I love waterfalls, I just don’t like them in the middle of the home I’m trying to sell while the entire family is away.

Years ago, the school system labeled my daughters “gifted.”  If you’ve done any reading about giftedness, it doesn’t mean high IQ or the ability to spit out math problems like Rain Man. It simply means they think outside the box compared to most kids their age.  I could give you lots of examples, but in this case, after the fact, I found out that Twin A, Twin B and Friend A had a plan in place before #1Man even arrived. They didn’t scream at each other. They didn’t freak out. They started in with the towels.  Towels all over the place sopping up the mess. When he walked in Friend A announced, “My grandpa has a couple of water vacuums.  Let’s go to his house and get them.” #1Man takes directions very well, and off they went to retrieve the vacuums. In the mean time my mom and sister arrived to help with large fans of their own. The insurance company was called. The ex husband appeared  (the house was still in both of our names), and I remained at work.  Why? Because I’m not an idiot that’s why.

#1Man and StellarSister assured me after fielding numerous phone calls from various sources, there was not one more thing I could do, and the hot mess would still be there to greet me at 6:30 pm.  I figured it would probably be the quietest two hours I’d have in my life for a long time.

I was right. When I got home with pizza for all, my dining room was dark as the chandelier had been lowered due to the flooding. A cast of characters  sat in my very dry living room (Thankfully, the water flowed down through only one side of the house otherwise a lot of furniture would have been destroyed.) My ex husband, my mother, my sister (neither of whom are fans of ex-husband), #1Man (he tolerates ex-husband for my sake), Twin A, Twin B and Friend 1 all sat together on the large sectional watching me as I climbed the stairs to survey the damage.

“Seriously, God? Seriously,” was the conversation going on in my head. But in my questioning, I also experienced a great sense of calm. My kids were okay. My mixed up family all showed up to pitch in. I had home owners insurance. After everything I’d been through I’d learned the lesson I needed to learn most in this situation – It’s.Just.Stuff.

In the next four days my beautiful old brick home with its gorgeous arched windows and wooden floors – the home that I was giving up due to divorce – looked like a scene straight out of ET. The water restoration company came in with huge heaters and tubes and pipes running through floors and ceilings. The professionals who set up shop remarked over and over that the quick thinking of three 12 year old girls with towels and water vacuums kept the damage at a minimum. They were amazed at their foresight and maturity. I wasn’t. I’ve come to expect this kind of stuff from my daughters and their friends. I don’t know what God has in store for them, but it is going to be some kind of Divine Appointment – of this I am sure.

All the furniture was moved to one side of the house. The kitchen was out of commission, and my girls and I still had to get to school and work and volleyball and orchestra. I had to take the house off the market until everything could be repaired and replaced which meant more months of mortgage payments. The reality set in, that I was going to have to move, and move fast. How was I going to pay for the move? When was I going to take of work to arrange everything? What about my girls. God, why on earth are you putting them through even more chaos?

Honestly, I was just too tired of life at this point, and I just gave God the big old “Whatever.”  I don’t mean the pious, “Whatever, Wherever, Lord,” that I used to hear about as a child from preachers telling me I needed to surrender with full abandon to “God’s will.”  I have no idea what God’s will is. Never have. Never will. I’m not God so how would I possibly know his will. I really wish people would just pipe down about finding God’s will, because all it does is stress people like me out. Nope. I’m talking the “Whatever,” that is said in the tone of  “I give up. I don’t have anything else left to give so you just do what you have to do, because I got nothing. NOTHING.”  And God had me right where He wanted me.

Within a week I had answers. Insurance would cover packers and movers because even if I were staying, they’d have to move everything out of the house and put it in storage while walls were painted and floors were restored and inspections of electrical and plumbing were done.  Insurance would cover updates to the house so when it was put back on the market, it was in even better shape to show. In the mean time, the real estate market was tightening up…too few houses…too many buyers. In the months my home was off the market, home prices kept climbing.

On the other end of things – the place where I was moving – I had a house. It came with the job….and guess what? There was no mortgage, no utilities…

…and 50 steps from my back door was this view.


End of Second Act

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea Peterson August 7, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Oh Priscilla…you brought me to tears, both in sadness and laughter! I can just see your personality coming out in this story! I love it! Life is full of trials, but keeping our eyes on Him, can bring so many blessings, answers, and glory to himself. Hang in there!!!! Andrea Peterson


Cassandra August 7, 2017 at 10:58 pm

PTL! God has you right where He wants you!


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