In Good Time . . .

Yesterday we moved our remaining belongings from storage into our home. The place is a mess as I begin, once again, the arduous task of unpacking and deciding where to put “things.” But this is different. This time there will be no saving of boxes “for next time.” This time we are really settling in. In good time I will paint the walls colors of our choosing. In good time the carpeting will be ripped up and natural, beautiful hard wood floors will take its place. In good time a porch will be screened in so that we can enjoy sitting outside for three seasons of the year. In good time trees will be planted and gardens laid out . . . vegetables and flowers. In good time . . . the place will take the shape of what we want in our home. Our place is a small bungalow which suits us perfectly. Having lived in numerous places over the years, we have come to realize that “big” and “material” is not so important as “home” and “meaning” in life. We are already creating community as we get to know people in the nearby synagogue, and our neighbors are becoming our friends. In good time this will truly be our home.

Our world looked quite different five or six years ago. Then Richard was unemployed and I had a part-time teaching position in a sweet little parochial school. I have fond memories of that school, the students and fellow teachers, the community we lived in, but the pay was extremely low and simply did not cover the bills. Richard had recently completed another degree in hopes of pursuing a new career, but the doors weren’t opening. We relied on food stamps and a local food bank for our food. Toward the end of our stay there, a friend had to pay our rent because we had literally run out of money. Our entire savings was gone. Who can get up and rebuild lives from a place as low as the one we had reached? Maybe if we were young and had many years ahead of us, but we were grandparents with a few years yet till retirement age. We still had to survive and furthermore we were competing with people half our ages, people younger than our children with far less knowledge and experience than Richard and me, for jobs that were becoming more specialized and more scarce. The picture was bleak to say the least.

But Richard did get a job, a good paying job. We moved and started over. We began rebuilding. There have been a couple more moves since that time, and another job. Life did not suddenly become easy as we picked ourselves up. We continued to live frugal lives, cutting back and paring down where we could. We worked hard, and still do. Even at our ages, we have rebuilt. We are now living in the community we dreamed of living in. Richard did rebuild an adequate retirement so that he can now do contract work and not rely on the whims of others to make a living. I am studying to become a professional counselor, something I only dreamed of years ago. And most surprising of all, we were able to buy a little bungalow to make our home. Who would have thunk five years ago? Even the headaches of home ownership (which one discovers very soon after taking possession of a house!) are experiences for which I am thankful.

Through the trials we have become stronger. Richard’s and my relationship has strengthened with each crisis we faced. We have discovered what is of value, and what is not, as we have walked this path together. At the center of who we are is a strong religious belief in a good and benevolent (mostly) Creator, and a commitment to a rigorous, practical spiritual practice every day, from the time we arise in the morning till the time we recline at night. Many is the night I wet my pillow with my tears. Doubts and fears have been my companions from time to time, but so has belief and trust. I am old enough, and experienced enough, to know that more trials await. The advantage of age is that we discover that life keeps moving forward, changes continue to mold us, and trials give way to victories, sadness to joy. In good time . . .

So, this morning as I sit amid the boxes and clutter of finally unpacking the remainder of our belongings and creating the nest we call our home, I am profoundly thankful for this good time, for the good man whom I married, and for the life we have lived that has brought us to this time and place.

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49 thoughts on “In Good Time . . .

  1. Cecelia I love the happiness I hear in this post! I love the picture I see of contentment with your typed words. We are looking to move and I would love a cozy bungalow, just right for my family of two. And I will of course add a cat! I don’t think there are any bungalows where we are looking~St. Louis and/or Springfield, Mo. You have put a thought in my head… πŸ™‚ Such a lovely post this morning and a lovely lily too! Good luck with those boxes, I have unpacked a few of them myself with 16 moves during our married life. Oh and that screened in porch, a must!

    1. Best of luck with your move. Moves are stressful even with the best of circumstances. May you find your perfect place. πŸ™‚ And the cat, a MUST. I miss our two, both of which had to be put down in their old ages. We are considering another once we get settled in here. Keep us posted on how things are going. St. Louis/Springfield is a good area. I’ve traveled through many times. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing how you do with your move.

  2. I’m so happy for you Cecelia. I know many people who’ve gone through similiar trials – sounds like you have come out stronger. And now Cleveland will really feel like home!

    1. Thank you Huffygirl. Cleveland is where we got married, and then we left. It feels good to “come home” again, especially after all we’ve experienced. I’m looking forward to making new experiences and friends in this place. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your sweet comment. Have a glorious weekend. πŸ™‚

  3. A beautiful and moving post. I am so happy for the both of you that you have reached the stage where you are rebuilding your home together without keeping the boxes for the next time. You are so right. There are always challenges and tests along the way… the β€˜happy ever after’ is only in fairy tales. But if we know where we’re going, where we are and where we’ve been, and have faith, we can make it through the hard times. Heartfelt congratulations on the move.

  4. From my experience, your insights are on target. I, too, hope I never have to move again. There was, for instance, that one year where I had four addresses in three states. At last, I’ve entered a stretch of de-collecting … letting go of what’s not necessary or would be revisited or used again. Yes, and being frugal.

    Now that we’ve been in this house a dozen years, I’m finally feeling the richness of sinking roots rather than sojourning wherever I’ve been led (mostly for employment, sometimes for love). It liberates me unexpectedly. My wife’s gardens become a metaphor for many other facets.

    A bungalow in Ohio, though, stirs other memories — a time when I thought all this would happen.

    Best wishes.

  5. what a wonderful testimony this is to enduring and rebuilding. Life brings challenges to each of us, doesn’t it? Wonderful that you have been able to move forward so magnificently together. Blessings to you both and to your new home.

    1. Thanks Joss. It is amazing how far we’ve come in such a short time, although going through it seemed to take eons! May you have a blessed, enjoyable weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I can hear the contentment in your voice. Much of what we’ve learned was through the school of “hard knocks,” too. What a blessed place to be in life, settled once and for all, no more moving. Enjoy!

    1. They are everywhere! I never saw so many before, but now we have hundreds of them growing along the side of our garage, and I see them all over.
      Thanks for stopping by Carl.

  7. This is such a wonderful post Cecelia – your happiness and feelings of contentment flow through it, it was such a pleasure to read.
    You have come up from the pits and rebuilt your lives again; it is a wonderful and inspiring testimony to you and Richard and what you have achieved.
    Your positive action of throwing away the boxes is a good sign of putting down roots so you can get that feeling of belonging in your community.
    I am so happy for you both.

    1. Thank you for your kind, uplifing words, Barb. It has been a journey, that is for sure. But we are in a good place now. I am happy to share it with y’all. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Cecelia – I moved last November, In IL which was the winter! It is now June 2012- I am still not unpacked. I have my sisters garage full of my “things.” I even decluttered! I am in a house and live in a basement. My sister has a disability, so she gets the upstairs and I live in the basement. Talk about a challenge! The walls are concrete! Decorating is my thing, and I just can’t seem to get it together, I may just have to get more creative, Thanks for sharing your warm words. Bless you!!

    1. Blessings to you, too, Jackie. It sounds like you have been going through a challenging time. May all continue to go well, and if I come across secrets to decorating cinderblock or concrete walls, I’ll pass them along to you. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Good morning cecelia, I have to admit that i clicked on your link in seasweeties comments section because I am named cecilia too. And then i come across this most wonderful essay that fills us all with hope and gratitude. how wonderful that you have finally found somewhere to settle. How wonderful to be able to finally throw away the shifting boxes. I really really do understand this feeling. good luck to you. c

  10. Dear Cecelia, thank you for sharing this story with us. It is quietly inspiring. I feel like, for the first time, I have a good idea of who you are. And I am glad to know you!

  11. dear cecilia, you and richard are inspirations to those around you in your community, to your families and friends, not least in the online world! life takes us on a journey and we know not what is in store, all that is asked of us that we keep our faith and do our best … so to see you two come through your (not uncommon) challenges so radiantly is a wonderful thing that gives hope to others, thanks for sharing your story πŸ™‚ blessings for your new home, christine

    1. Wow, Christine, I am humbled by your comment. Thank you. You are one of the folks who inspires me each day to see the wonder of life in everything around us. Thank you for that, and for stopping by, and for being you. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed day.

  12. Cecelia, honoring what you shared here! It feels like everything you went though including the lack of money actually strengthened the soil between you and Richard. You learned what was important. You are an inspiration to me–to so many of us. Thank you for sharing so honestly. You give us hope that when times are challenging, there are doors that will open into new homes, new possibilities.

    1. Kathy,
      I never expected the responses I’m getting from readers. Thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving such a meaningful reply. We inspire each other when we share the narratives of our lives. I am humbled that you are inspired by my story, but you, too, inspire us with your writing and wit. Thank you. I do love the community and the world that blogging has opened up for us! Have a great day. I’ll be visiting you and upwoods.wordpress soon!

  13. I so enjoyed reading this happy post, and I’m happy for you! There’s a time for every purpose… πŸ˜‰ Been there too, re-built and so on. It’s good to think of those times every now and then.

    1. I agree Rebekah. It is good to think of those times, to remember what it was like ~ good and bad ~ because to recall what we have experienced makes the present moment sweeter. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

  14. My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around all the time growing up. Never being able to “settle down” was a recurring theme in my life, but now I’ve been in the Northwest for 18 years and this is definitely home. Sounds like you have a great attitude and everything has worked out well for you and your husband! Now, go paint those walls…

    1. Woohoo! You bet. I am picking out colors today!!!! As a fellow nomad, you do know what I’m talking about. Thanks for stopping in. Have a glorious week, and I’ll be checking from time to time to see if you have more adventures and camping trips. πŸ˜‰

    1. Thankyou, Gobetween. The house is still in chaos, but we are happy to be here, and plan to be here for a long time. I appreciate you stopping by. Have a wonderful day.

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