We woke up to the Parks Department installing “Detour” signs in front of our three flat. That means that today is the anniversary of our move. It was the first Saturday in May, and we had to park our moving van on West Street and wait for the race to pass before coming to our new place. Since we were stationary, we put 18 month old B up on the dash board, where he waved at the passing racers. Once we could again drive, we finished the last half mile of our trip.
Dan’s family had followed from NY to help us unpack, even Dan’s brother’s friend Dave had come up to help us unpack, and Mom and Dad’s church which we soon also joined was waiting for us. The deaconesses had Dunkin’ Doughnuts box of Joe and doughnuts spread out on a handy table in the apartment courtyard (the landlord had built it for a saw table while he was milling trim for the house, we were the first people to live in the apartment building once it had been renovated.) A high school girl took charge of B, playing with him in the side yard. Al L, on of Dad’s friends from church suggested that we have an in door and an out door, and so the people formed a loop going in the back door, out the front, around the side walk, and back to the moving van.
Dan had seen the apartment, and my Dad had inspected it too, but it was new to me. Dan brought a floor plan back to Illinois for me to look over (and feel less weird about the whole thing). I had decided that as long as I needed to pray for affordable housing, I would ask God for the whole smash. so I asked for a house we could afford, that would be within walking distance of fun toddler things, like a library, where I could have separate rooms for sewing so I could leave out pins and not worry about child proofing, close to Mom and Dad, and with a short commute for Dan.
When Dan found this apartment, he teased my father, “guess how many blocks away my job is.”
Dad said, “The way God is blessing you, it’s 10 blocks.”
Dan smirked, “No, it’s 6.”
Dad grinned back, “I should have known.”
The four bedroom apartment he found had just been renovated with a grant from the city, the land lord was required to keep the rent low for the first tenant, and to only rent to medium to low income. With the temporary technician job Dan accepted, we fit the requirements, and did not have to move out when he was promoted to engineer. Dan’s work, the library, park, zoo, YMCA, and community garden are within a mile, the sidewalks are decent, and my parent’s house is 1.1 miles away.
Back in Illinois, I decided that the floor plan would make a dandy label, so I miniaturized it at a copy store, and printed oodles. Whenever I would pack a box, I’d tape a floor plan to it with an “x” to show where I intended it to go. I wrote the name of the room too, because some people dislike maps.
Between all the help, and (I flatter myself) the labels, the van was unpacked in 90 min. The deaconesses stuffed my fridge with meals for the coming days, assembled B’s new crib, and made my bed. Several people stayed to help us arrange the living room.
We met our neighbors, Charlie and Terri-Ayne, and their daughters. I thought at first that his name was “Cholly” rhymes with jolly. She had been running in the race, and wondered where that family with the cute little boy would wind up when they moved in, they have been a blessing to us over the years.
Dad sat in the corner of my kitchen by the window overlooking the garden and parking lot, smiling at all the bustle, and sipping coffee. He told my Mother in Law that he was blessed and at peace now, my Mom had family near by, and he could die. Six weeks later he did, at his house, in his comfy chair, despite the hospice nurse urging him to get into the hospital bed.
This morning K is standing on our front porch, waving at the runners. It is good to remember God’s Provision and kindness.