25 Oct

I Did NOT Want to Learn This


My husband and I are total opposites!  Through our working years we joked that someday we needed to buy a duplex, and we would each live on our own side.  When we retired and moved to Arizona, the duplex idea became a necessity.  When we were both working, Dick traveled and was often gone four nights a week.  Now we were both home most of the time, and it wasn’t working!  We didn’t have peace, we had stress!  I couldn’t live with all the stress!  We had been married forty years at that time, and I earnestly asked God to show me in the Bible what I should do.   I prayerfully opened my Bible and it opened to Jeremiah 10:17 (NIV), “Pack up your belongings and leave the land, you who live under siege.”  I was dumbfounded! God said to pack up and move! I told Dick what God had said, and he said perhaps a second house was a good investment.


We hadn’t found a duplex that we liked, but I knew I was to move.  My sister and brother-in-law came to house hunt with me in support of the idea, and we found my dream house!  It was a model home, so as soon as it was built, I moved in.  Dick still lived in the first house, and we went back and forth between the two houses.  We were still married, but living separately!  We found that we got along really well when we weren’t living together! It worked for us, and today, as I write this, we have been married 52 years!


When I moved into my newly built home, I had only one neighbor.  All of the rest of the houses on the street were in the process of being built.  The cool of the day in Arizona, is after the sun goes down.  Almost every evening, my dog Shadow and I walked with my only neighbors, the Smith’s.  We started when the sun went behind the mountains to the west, but it was always dark out by the time we got home.


I had just gotten a new vacuum cleaner, when my husband came by to inspect things. He insisted on teaching me how to disassemble the vacuum cleaner and wash it out—to keep it clean and new. I did not want to learn how to disassemble my vacuum or how to wash it, but I humored Dick and listened as he gave me a long, boring lesson.  I was being patient, but inside I was totally exasperated to listen to all about the vacuum. I breathed a sigh of relief when Dick finally headed for his home.  My patience for the day was totally used up!  Dick is a perfectionist and will spend hours on projects, that I’m not concerned about. Little did I know that I would need to disassemble and wash this vacuum that very night!


My doorbell rang an hour later.  My friendly neighbors asked if I wanted to join them on a walk.  I, and my black lab, Shadow, joined them immediately.  It was perfect weather, and we walked a loop that, in a mile, brought us back home again.  Some of the houses were being finished and people were moving in.  We welcomed them and chatted for a while. By the time we got back to our street, it was totally dark.


Shadow wasn’t on a leash because she stayed really close to me, but tonight I didn’t notice that something lured her away.  I heard bumping noises behind a house that was partly built, and realized that Shadow wasn’t with us.  I called her and she came right away.  I invited everyone into my home for lemonade.  Once inside, I noticed that Shadow was covered with mud.  As a result, she was rolling on my new carpet, trying to get the mud off.  I wondered where there was mud around here, since it hadn’t rained for two months. My neighbor said, “That isn’t mud! It’s concrete!  She’s been in fresh concrete!”  Everyone was horrified!  The dog was covered with wet concrete!  My new carpets looked like they were ruined—forever stained!


My neighbors declined the lemonade, since they knew that I would be busy, and they quickly left.  I was shocked and alarmed, but knew that my dog came first, ahead of the carpet.  I showered the dog, getting all of the concrete washed off her!  Then, I vacuumed wet concrete off my new carpet with my brand-new vacuum cleaner.  Lastly, I disassembled my vacuum and washed it.  I left the vacuum in pieces to dry, and inspected my dog.  She was clean and happy!  I inspected my carpet, and it was okay.  It never again felt new and clean to me, but we had survived the first emergency in our new home.  There was nothing I could do about the concrete Shadow had been into.  I felt very bad and I prayed that the contractor could easily correct the disaster.


Who would have thought that I would need to disassemble and wash my new vacuum that very night?  Only God could have known that I would need to know how to do that!  Thank you, Dick, for that lesson, that I did not appreciate until later.  Thank You, God, for guiding Dick to teach me!  Thank You, God, that you helped my neighbor realize it was concrete and not just mud! Thank You, also, God, for naughty dogs who make our lives interesting!


This was the first and only time in my life where I found it necessary to disassemble and wash a vacuum cleaner!  A new vacuum cleaner!  Whatever possessed Dick to give me a lesson on disassembling and washing a vacuum, on the very day that I would need to know how to do it?  It had to be God!  God knew I would need to know that!  Thank you, Father for watching out for me—and my doggie also!