Monday, February 10, 2020

I Bought Something

Two bits of information:

1. Since we moved onto the farm in Surrey when I was twelve, I have yoyo-ed back and forth between Surrey and Langely as if there's no other place in the world to live:
  • Surrey, on the farm. For ten years. And then I got married and moved to
  • Langley, in a tiny one bedroom apartment over our doctor's office, for 10 months until we moved to
  • Surrey, back to the farm. This time living in a barn loft my dad had just built. We stayed for four years; Clint and Billie's Country were both born there. And then we moved to
  • Langley, Walnut Grove, to a rancher we'd built. Max and Drew were born there, stayed for 8 years then sold it and moved to
  • Surrey, back to the farm, back to the barn loft with three kids while we built our house in
  • Langley, where we lived for 2 years until our marriage ended. Then I moved back to
  • Surrey, back to the farm, this time into the house I grew up in. I was back in my old bedroom, Clint and Max shared Jim's room, Drew was in Julie's old room. We stayed for the summer then moved to
  • Surrey, Fraser Heights, into the brand new house I'd purchased. The kids and I lived there for two years then sold it to move back to
  • Surrey, back to the farm. We stayed for 10 months, in the house with my dad and mom, while we waited for a southern-backyarded house to come onto the market in Murrayville. When it did, we moved back to
  • Langley, into our huge foyer-ed house. And stayed til Clint, Max and Drew moved out. I sold it in 2013 and moved back to
  • Surrey. This time into my mom's basement, temporarily, while I figured out what my life was going to look like as an old, wrinkled, crotchety, divorced empty-nester. It's BEEN SIX YEARS, but in Jan 2022, I'll be moving back to
  • Langley. To a condo right across the street from where I work. 

(Maybe someday I'd add photos of all those ^ houses. This is a very NON-PICTUREY post.)

2. And the second thing to note is my decision making process. Seeing I'm not married/don't have a partner to bounce ideas/express fears/figure out things with - I chat with God about it all. He created me, knows what I like, but also knows what's best for me. I might hate it sometimes, but ultimately I trust His yes's and his no's.

Without going through a long discussion about previous answered prayers, I'll just talk about THIS one. THIS one that has been going on for SIX YEARS. THIS conversation I've been having since forever ago. 

When I packed up my lovely house in Murrayville, broken-hearted that my season of living with my kids was over (WAY too soon, in my eyes. Clint moved out at 19, Max at 18, and Drew had left at 17), I moved my 200 boxes into my mom's garage and told her I'd probably be there for two years. Praying for options, "God, what is my next stage of life going to look like? How will I live? A house? By myself? No husband to share the cost or the upkeep? Or an apartment? Or what? TELL ME. I need to know the plan."

It was handy living there, those first two years, because it was so close to the care home my dad was living in. Visiting him didn't involve a 45 minute drive anymore. So there was a blessing in that. Just as my (self imposed) timeline was coming to an end, my dad died. And knowing what this was like for my friends' parents, I decided to stay another year so that my mom wouldn't have to face a year of 'firsts' (first Christmas without dad, first birthday without dad, etc) alone.

Near the end of THAT year, Drew and Dani got engaged, and I prayed, along with them, about the possibility of us purchasing a home together. SO very excited to think about living in a house/suite with my kids again. It wasn't coming together as we'd hoped. So in the meantime, they got married and moved into my mom's house. With me. And my mom. For a year. 

We all had our own schedules and rarely saw each other. I was on the top floor when I was home. My mom had the main floor and the kids lived in the basement. But there's something about everyone being under the same roof, y'know?

After a year of writing offers that fell through, I said to God, "I'm sensing that us (Drew, Dani and I) living together isn't part of Your plan for our lives. I'm going to, with great aching sadness, say, OK, if there's a fabulous opportunity for the kids to have their own place, I will wait to see what you have in store for me." Drew and Dani bought a townhouse in Abby, and I moved back down to the basement. 

They'd been gone a month and I prayed again, "Uh God? What's the plan? Am I staying here another year? Or should I be looking for a place of my own?" TEN MINUTES LATER my phone rang, it was Max asking if, while he was a student at BCIT, he could live with Nan and I in the suite above the garage. HELL YES.

And "WHOA, thank you God. Yup, I will stay here, in this house, if I get the chance to share driveway space with another son. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This? Is a great plan."

Max graduated in May, and even though (thankfully) he didn't move out immediately, I knew this season of sharing my mom's house with my kids was nearing an end. So when I left work that day, I saw the marketing signs for a new development going in at exactly the location I'd be interested in living someday. "God? Latimer Heights? Will I live here in the future? I like how close to the freeway it is. And super close to work. Do they have any affordable southern-backyarded places for me? I will know this is where I'll land if there's something with a sunny backyard."

I checked the website, didn't notice anything appropriate for ME, nor anything facing in the correct direction. And I found out I had breast cancer. "OK then, God. Looks like now isn't the time and Latimer isn't the place. It's good I'm living with mom and Max while I go through this. It's good that the house is ten minutes away from the cancer clinic. FINE. I personally wouldn't have added cancer as something I'd have to deal with, but sure. You're in charge here. Please can it not hurt? Or be icky? And if having me die from this is part of something amazing You've got hatched, can it be quick? While I'm asleep? And have no bodily fluids do spurty things that'd traumatize my kids? 

In November, I took a day off work to look at few housing options for my mom in Sardis. Julie and Daryl were moving out there (and since I spend my weekends out that way) it seemed like a good place for my mom to consider. (Up until this point she was NOT DOWNSIZING (she loved everything she owned) and she was not moving (SHE LOVED HER HOUSE.) But on THAT day, something shifted and she could envision herself living in a beautiful suite on the penthouse floor. 

So in January she bought it. 
It's being built and should be ready between Aug 2021 and March 2022. 
She is culling her treasures and it turns out? She doesn't love EVERYTHING. She's planning on getting rid of a ton of stuff at a garage sale later this year. 

"Uh, God? Me? What about meeeeee? Any ideas? Got a place in mind? Want to tell me about it?"

And then, three days after I'd started weaning myself off the drug that had ruined my January, Nancy texted me. "Let's meet for coffee. And take a look at the show suite at Latimer Heights." I hadn't seen Nancy in at least a year, so I was looking forward to hanging out at Starbucks with her before my radiation treatment that evening. We met at the Discovery Centre and looked at the table top model of the 75 acre project. Then we wandered through the show suite. 

Willow, the Vesta rep asked what we were interested in. 
Me: Something with southern exposure. But I can see that everything has decks on either the east or west side of the building.
Her: Well actually...
Me, maybe a bit eagerly: Yes?
Her: Come over here. See this building? Building D? We haven't started selling units in it yet, but see this suite here? It has a private wrap around southern deck. It's the only one in the building.
Me, not at all cool about pretending I might be interested: I'll take it. Can we write it up?
Her: We don't even know the price yet. Or what the size and layout will be. 
Me: That's the one I want. Can I give you some money? Can you save it for me? When should I come back? 

Me, turning to Nancy: Jesus loves me and God wants me to live RIGHT THERE. I just know it. 

Ahhh, bless Nancy. She is a pro. THIS IS WHY GOD MADE REALTORS. To handle the negotiations when clients have no cool. 

Long story, short. Willow put my name on THAT suite. And on Saturday, Building D was available to the public for sale. The sales office opened at noon, and by the time we'd written up my offer, 13 units had sold. Apparently there had been much interest in MINE, but they'd saved it for meeeeee. 

So. One week after completing cancer treatment, I bought a condo. It's being built and will be ready January 2022. It's a two bedroom unit, and I can afford it. 

The moral of this very long story? Sometimes God is VERY clear about how much He knows and loves you.

And sometimes it takes six bloody years for things to work out. SO HANG IN THERE if you're only in year 3. Good things are coming. (And actually, good things are already here; enjoy every season you're in.) 

Wanna see some pics?
I'm so excited ...

Nancy and Willow, making dreams come true since 2020:

This is my corner of the 75 acre project. There are 4 buildings; Building A is on 200th, (not pictured) Buildings B, C and D are below. "My" building is the last one, and the red arrow is pointing to my suite on the corner of 5th floor. (It's a 6 floor building, with the penthouses having 11 foot high ceilings but no decks.)

You'll notice I have a glorious view of the parks, ponds, walkways and unobstructed sunshine!

Yes. It's tiny. 
1000 square feet. 
I will be selling just about everything I own over the next two years. 
Just watch me embrace minimalist living like a boss. I'm going to be so annoying. 

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Answered prayer. 
2. Southern decks.
3. Peace about my next move. 


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