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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Petals of Hope

In May, we will have lived in our home for 18 years. That's just a drop in the bucket compared to the 50 years the lady before us had lived in it. I was scouring through the basement last night looking for a little treasure I had packed away, when I came across the cross. It's a crudely pieced together cross, probably made by one of the children raised in the home. It sat on some selves in the basement since before we bought the house. It held a special meaning for our family, so I dusted it off and sat it on the piano with a little petal of hope underneath it.

 When our house came up for sale, we weren't looking for a home. We had bought a home shortly after we married and had finally made it our own with a portico my husband built and some gingerbread trim outside. It looked like a little dollhouse and we both loved it. It was a couple decades younger than the one we live in today. We brought all three babies home to that house and we were happy and content
there. That being said, my husband and I still loved to look at homes. On Saturdays, we would drive through new neighborhoods and get out and walk through homes that were being built. We loved going on historic home tours and always dreamed we would live in an old Victorian. Until an old Victorian came available, we were happy where we were. One night at a Tupperware party we heard some friends of ours who were looking to move, discussing a house they had looked at. It was a few block from where we currently lived and right around the corner from my parents house. Knowing how much we loved old homes, my friend said.... "Jac, you guys should go look at it. You will love it, it's very interesting." That weekend my husband and I drove by the house. We laughed because it's the house we would walk by on our regular walks and always wished the owner would happen to be out so we could get some history on the home. We always called it the Castle House, simply because it reminded me of a castle. As we drove by we jotted the Real Estate agent's number down and gave her a call. We made an appointment to look at the house the next day after church. It was a drizzly Sunday afternoon as we waited in the driveway for the agent. Finally a car parked behind us and a 60ish aged woman stepped out to greet us. She introduced herself as Shirley Black and apologized for being late.  The agent with whom we had made the appointment, wasn't able to make it so she had called to see if Shirley would show us the home. Shirley admitted she had just started in the real estate business and this was one of the first homes she had shown. She told us it had been on the market for over a year and
since it first became available, it was the most shown house in Duncan. Most of the people who viewed the home had done so out of curiosity rather than intent to buy, so that's why the experienced agents had started pushing their appointments off on newer agents.... They felt it was just a waste of time giving people tours of a home they had no intention on buying. My husband and I hung our heads as she told us this, because that's exactly what we were doing. We felt bad for getting Shirley out on a drizzly Sunday, just to give us a tour. Shirley went to the basement door and told us she would go in and let us in through the front door. So we walked around and climbed the steps to the house. Two giant cedar trees sat on each side of the steps. They were so overgrown, you couldn't see the front door. We pushed our was through the cedars and stood at the arched wooden door. The front door squeaked with age as Shirley opened it to let us in. Wow! This home was seriously old, and looked it's age which is great for people who love old homes, not so much for people who like things pristine. The living room was very large with an arched doorway leading to the dining room and one leading to the 1/2 staircase. We both laughed when we saw the fireplace. It took up almost an entire wall. The blond brick matched the outside. The firebox was arched and was flanked by two turrets each about 6 ft tall with windows wrapping around each on. A light switch on the side, lit up the inside of the turrets making the colored windows glow an amber color. It was so
unusual. Virtually nothing had been done to the house in 50 years. The entire house from the hardwood floors with mahogany borders to the Art Deco styled sconces and light fixtures we all original and in excellent shape. As we walked through the house, I saw it, not as it was, but rather what it could become. Obviously, not everyone who had come through could look past the cracks in the plaster and the peeling paint on the ceiling, because a large stack of real estate cards lay on the kitchen cabinet. My husband and I went home chattering all the way about the unique features of the home and how beautiful we thought it was. It didn't take too long for us to decide, why not try to buy it. It's not Victorian, but it's old and it's everything we ever wanted in an old home.... Lots of work. Murphy's Law was just as prevalent with us then, as it is now and someone else put a bid on the home at the same time we did. We were just sick. We offered and counter-offered until finally we were above the asking price. We had prayed and prayed and prayed God would make a way for us to get the house and both of us felt it really was meant for us. The real estate agent called us to the office one day to talk to her boss. She encouraged us to make a higher bid and to take the contingency clause out of the offer which would mean we could possibly be left with two house payments until our house sold. We had put it in God's hands and told the agent to congratulate the new owners of the house. We had just had our third child and that wasn't a risk we could afford at the time. I'll never forget
the look on her face when my husband told her we were happy for whoever got the house and maybe someday it would be ours. We went home with heavy hearts, but also the knowledge that our God works in mysterious ways and maybe the house would be ours some day. That weekend we told our older kids that we didn't get the house, but it was still in God's hands. Then we had them write the word "faith" on scrapes of paper and we drove to the house. We all got out of the van and with our pledges of faith, we walked all around the house putting the scrapes of paper under rocks, between bricks, any little nook or cranny we could find. We walked back to the van leaving little petals of hope all over, in between and under the house we hoped to own. A couple of weeks later our agent called us and said.... "Jackie, the other buyer has backed out of their contract and the house can be yours if you still want it." The day we moved in, we went in search of our petals of hope. When we found them, we placed them under the cross in basement to remind us, God does care about the little things in our lives, and that God still answers prayers.

1 comment:

  1. I love this story! It really just warms my heart, the petals of hope, and shows that we should never lose faith. Thanks for sharing it.