Saturday, September 29, 2007

Julie's at a children's ministry conference all day today, so me and the pup are on our own. I love my wife immensely, but I also love a little time to do only what I want. Selfish? Maybe, but if it is, hopefully I'll work through it as the years go by. But for now I'm gonna mindlessly surf the web and email friends for a bit and then watch the Lord of the Rings "Two Towers" and "Return of the King," the extended versions. Here's a shot of our apt. where I'm writing all this, along with some other shots of our place here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The first entry from CA, or The Last Wild Guinea Pig Ever

Finally, the blog is started! Some of you have been waiting patiently to hear what's been going on with us. Well, unfortunately I'm of the procrastinating sort, so please accept my apologies. Actually, we don't even have our own internet connection yet. Our neighbor is graciously allowing us to tap into his wireless connection until we get our own, which will hopefully be soon. So that's been a factor in the slow start-up also.
Anyways, to begin with the saga of the Webers...
To those who don't know, my wife took a job as the Children's Pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Camarillo, CA., . So we packed up everything, including our Bassett Hound, Loretta Lynn, headed west. We arrived at our humble house on the night of Aug. 18, 2007, and found that it was in utter disarray. We'd only seen it in pictures that some people from the church sent us, and we knew that it was not going to be the swankiest of California bungalows, but we needed a place, and it was cheap and had a month-to-month lease. So if it was terrible, we'd stick it out for a month, then find something better. To our complete disappointment, the place was worse than we'd been prepared to handle. There was garbage littering the front yard, which was really just dirt anyway. The backyard had 3 large trash cans overflowing with garbage. The heating vents had several layers of dirt on them. Several windows wouldn't shut completely, or wouldn't open at all, and some had cracks in the glass. From under the stove there was a dried-up puddle of something rusty-brown in color. The furnace closet was full of cobwebs and dust and had an old toilet seat cover on top of it, I guess in case we needed another one. When the toilet flushed, it sounded like a jet taking off. The window in the bathroom had goldfish stickers all over it. Cute, but not really us. They told us that there were washer/dryer hookups in the garage. All that was in there was an old filthy sink and a possible hookup for a gas dryer. The garage itself looked like it might have been a torture chamber or a meth lab. I swear there was an old chicken carcass in the corner too... To top it all off, we were greeted by a wild guinea pig prowling the yard. Apparently, the previous owners had it as a pet, but just threw it outside when they moved out. That was at the beginning of July! How it survived for a month and a half outside on its own is a testament to the guinea's underestimated hunting skills and its incredible will to live. We saw it for ourselves as it easily eluded Loretta as she tried to chase it down. You might even say it was toying with our Bassett.
Speaking of Loretta, I forgot to mention that she'd been puking for two days prior to our arrival - in the moving truck, in the hotels... AND, she had picked up fleas at some point on the trip. I felt like Job (I know, what an exaggeration...)
It didn't take us long to decide that we were absolutely NOT going to live there, if for no other reason than we wanted to guarantee that we'd get our security deposit back at least, and we left to find a pet-friendly hotel. It was not a peaceful and easygoing night. There was much weeping, possibly even some gnashing of teeth, and questioning our decision to move so far from family and friends.
For the next three nights we stayed in a hotel, and during the day we'd check out other houses and apartments. On Monday the 20th, we met with our landlords to tell them we weren't moving in to their place and to tell them our reasons. They were very receptive and agreed to charge us only for however long the place remained vacant. They didn't have to do that because after all, we did sign the lease. So that made us happier. Oh, I forgot to mention that before we left to go to the meeting, Julie's car died - needed a new alternator. That was $406 that we didn't plan on spending. After that happened, there was some more questioning and doubting. On the 4th and 5th nights, a couple from church, David and Glenda Rea, allowed us to stay in their guest house, which was awesome. The place was very nice, and the Rea's were even nicer. They had us over to grill out, and we met another great couple from church, the Brunner's. After 3 days and nights of chaos and uncertainty, they were a true reminder that the Almighty is indeed on our side, and that things weren't really that bad. On the 5th day, we signed the lease to live Rosewood Apts., where we will be for 6 months at least. Soon after that, I got a part time job at an embroidery shop,
Some other hurdles came up which made us continue to question everything, but the only one worth mentioning is what happened with Julie's grandfather, affectionately known as "Papaw." One of the things she struggled with the most was leaving her Papaw, who had emphysema and was not doing good, even before we left. She didn't want to be so far away from him if something happened. Well, it wasn't even a week after we left that he went into the hospital. His condition had gotten very bad. Nothing else could be done for him so he was released into Hospice care at home. They originally said he might live another 6 months or so. We made the decision to come home to see him after we'd been told that he'd gotten even worse and might not live another few days. So we got there on the morning of Sept 15, and he died about 30 minutes later. Julie got to see him and hold his hand before he passed away.