The Beginning of Act Three

Moving on, they say, moving on. Don’t get stuck in the mud of circulatory thinking. Don’t spin your wheels. Keep the conversation going.

And so, in the year of our Lord, 2012, we have. But then isn’t all of life a moving on, or else, a territorial leap from here to there? Isn’t that what happens when you fall in love?  When John and I began our life together over 32 years ago, our two hearts leaped ahead into the future, beginning something uniquely ours in the universe, and an Anthony family tree was built from scattered branches.

It all began last May, when we fell in love with the mountains. The ocean views in Santa Cruz no longer hold sway. We looked and kept on looking at ads of houses and lands. We had so many questions, doubts and fears, least of all the pile of funds you should have accumulated. But we did have some, so we boldly proclaimed our desire, and earnestly prayed for God’s guidance.

Then one day a friend named Terri and I were actually standing in a vacant house, and me, proclaiming it was mine, feeling like an explorer who had just found the hidden treasure. That began a ritual chase that ended on an auction block, and further from our reach. Our daughter Aimee was our real estate guide, and apologized for the roller coaster ride of emotions: now you have it, now you don’t. We plucked up our courage and made an offer on a charming house for a great price. Aimee called it a “classy Tahoe style cabin”, and was excited for another possibility on our horizon. Since it was in a short sale category, we were warned of waiting endless days ahead.

We endured the interim, punctuated by the silence of the unknown: would they accept our offer, and if they didn’t, what next? But then we started to preempt any negative answer by looking at some more houses. John kept coming back to one that had dropped in price from $260,000 to $154,000, all 2600 square feet of it! My first reaction was: it’s way too big!! All I wanted was a little cabin in the woods, etc.

But we had to investigate, and called Aimee for her input. As we three compared the two homes, it became obvious that this bigger one was so much better for our family and for growing older needs. Boom! We put in another offer, and were accepted, much to our surprise, because there were quite a few other offers in the mix.

Though it had gone into foreclosure, the house had “good bones” and was still pretty much in move-in condition. Then began another wait, and much counsel about the type of loan we should get. The Lord led us step by step, through a steep learning curve, and we moved from our 850 square foot apartment on Sunday, Jan. 8th, with quite a few helping hands and willing feet. Our son-in-law Tom had made a beautiful mantle for the stone fireplace, and installed it and a new window in our office/craft room in one day!! Lucy, Tim and the boys were on hand to ease the transition. Together we lovingly endured the mounds of boxes, the chaos and the endless questions of where things should go, and me mumbling answers like: don’t know, not sure, maybe here, that looks good.  John and I crashed very early that first evening at 8:30 pm, and said goodnight to our company of movers and shakers.

After three weeks had passed, my friend Terri came by, marveling that it seemed like we had been there for years. Curtains were hung, some pictures and plants filled in the spaces, the kitchen was functioning, and the fire was dancing on the hearth, but we were still waking up in a state of shock, and saying: Do we still live here? Is this the place we will call home from now on? And yet we had been preparing for this moment for 15 plus years and were as ready as we could be.

The curtain has ascended on Act Three, the winter season of our wonderful life, as we finish the race set before us, giving thanks for the grace of growing old together in joy and peace, surrounded by such beauty, and gently led by the kindness of our Shepherd.



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